Friday, March 06, 2020

Discovering How To Get "Really Good" At Anything

"Teacher Tom, I know how to pump myself on the swings now!"

"I'm happy to hear that."

"I still have to practice it a lot."

"That's how you get good at things."

"That's what I know . . . I can also write my name now."

"I'm happy to hear that too."

"I got good at that by practicing. And I'm still practicing."

"Then you're going to get really good at it."

"Yes I am . . . I'm going to write my name right now." She carefully wrote her name with a black marker in large capital letters, taking pains with every stroke of the pen, stopping to admire each mark before moving on to the next. By the time she was finished, she had filled up most of the paper with bold letters. She seemed to have forgotten me as she concentrated.

As she looked at her work she sighed. There was something she didn't quite satisfy her. Sliding this paper aside, she took a new sheet, bending tightly over it, her nose only inches from the surface. She began to write her name again, although this time the letters were tiny. Her concentration was fierce. Finally, she looked up at me. "This is my name again. I made it smaller this time so there would be room for a picture. I'm practicing pictures too. I'm really good at practicing."

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