Photo: Ray Stubblebine, in USA Today.
Because I still belieeeeeve. (Celine, Cher or that currently hairless wonderfreak should have a song that would be the soundtrack for this post. And they should have a way to let us supply soundtracks to posts. Hey, THAT's what we can invent instead of selling drugs to pay those pesky student loans.)
From everybody's bff, Wikipedia:
"The shortest player ever to play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues at 1.60 meters (5 ft 3 in). Other short players have thrived at the pro level. Anthony "Spud" Webb was just 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 m) tall, but had a 42-inch (1.07 m) vertical leap, giving him significant height when jumping. The shortest player in the NBA today is Earl Boykins at 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 m). While shorter players are often not very good at defending against shooting, their ability to navigate quickly through crowded areas of the court and steal the ball by reaching low are strengths."
It's hard to be very good at anything. People will have countless opportunities throughout their lives to learn that; teachers & parents are more useful directing a kid with successes, but I don't think they usually have to dissuade them from doing what they love. I would lay MONEY that the worst people on American Idol (or any other "reality" show) have wierd histories and even stranger family dynamics. The problem there is with perspective- no WAY an otherwise sane, well-adjusted person would be as delusional as some of those sad souls. That's why those shows depress me- just like COPS, it's one of the worst moments of their lives and half the time they don't even have the sense to REALIZE it. Not only are they screwing up their lives, they are missing them completely.
Anyway, the original article and study on kids & praise basically said one thing. People do better when they focus on progress and on level of effort, not on an unchangeable/uncontrollable state of being. (smart/not smart)
I plan on teaching Toby how to do school. How to learn, how to figure out what a teacher wants, how to imagine the best version of an assignment. I think the earlier the better on that stuff, because there will for sure be stuff he doesn't want to do (life is hoopy) and stuff he doesn't do well, so why risk either experience defining his academic life?
Anyway, blah blah blah. He's asleep and I need to practice. In some tiny windowless room at 66th & Broadway a violist is playing the crap out of Don Juan.