Friday, February 24, 2017

Dancing in My Dreams

Dancing in My Dreams by Debra H. Goldstein

When I was in college, I finally decided to make my father happy.  He believed the only safe careers for women were nursing and teaching.  Because he acknowledged I wasn’t suited to be a nurse, he pushed for teaching. I didn’t agree.  That is, until I discovered twelve hours plus student teaching would qualify me for a high school teaching certificate in the state of Michigan. A slam dunk – Daddy happy and I would have another minor.

I immediately signed up for all of my education courses to be taken the next term. My favorite one, which I still use in so many ways today, was Methods, but there was another course that by reverse osmosis left its mark on me.  I can’t recall the name of the course nor the subject matter, and I only remember the teacher as a screwball, but I remember most of our grade was based on a research paper.  Another slam dunk for me to get an “A” in the course because it would count fifty percent in the final calculation.

One student, a football player whose name was making headlines, objected to the fifty percent factor.  He wanted the paper to count at least seventy-five percent, if not more.  The teacher refused.  The football player sulked.

The day came to turn our papers in – one for the teacher and a copy for each member of the small
class.  Most of the papers were double spaced well-written examinations of some education related topic.  The football player’s paper, with two inch margins and triple spacing, was on visualization.  He wrote how, at practice or sitting in his dorm room, he visualized the quarterback throwing a long pass in his direction.  Slowly, in his mind, he raised his hands and the ball nestled in them. He mentally visualized the arm of the quarterback pulling back to throw, the trajectory of the ball, and it softly landing in his hands. His conclusion was that if he visualized every aspect enough, it would all come together in a real life moment.

We all mocked the paper and I have no idea what grade he received, but in the end, his paper is the one that stuck with me. For it is when we visualize something long enough, that eventually we find a way to make it happen.

I visualized linking words together to write a story and it happened.  I visualized my thoughts and words coming together into a book and dared to dream someone would publish that book – and it already has happened twice. Most recently, my visualization has been more physical. My waking moments concentrate on standing, walking, and fitting my reconstructed foot into a sneaker. Slowly, the details are happening in real time and I am expanding what I dare to imagine. I’m visualizing words flowing from my mind into a new book series and I’m dancing in my dreams.

4 comments:

  1. Love this post, Debra--and the story of that football player. I hope he did get a good grade, if only because of the staying power of what he wrote.

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    1. Although I will never know his grade, he did visualize himself into a professional try out -- though I don't think he caught the ball for a final contract.

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  2. Ditto what Art said, above. I think it's fascinating that the football player took the topic literally and seriously, and passed on a life lesson to the rest of the class. I have to wonder what happened to him in his life.

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    1. Because he didn't make it on the football field, I've always wondered as well. Never did find out and his name now eludes me. The irony is that at the time, his paper was a subject of ridicule - but it is the only one I remember, including mine.

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