Life on Training Wheels

There's a 2002 episode of This American Life that featured prisoners performing Hamlet. Many of the inmates were so frustrated by the play's language that they missed its meaning at first.

My own high school experience was similar. While good teachers helped me to cultivate my love of civics, community service and journalism, I lacked proper guidance to awaken in other areas, and purposely overlooked Shakespeare, history and math.

To use my favorite Barbie quote, "Math class is tough!" Especially when you already think you're an idiot.

Near the end of that episode of TAL, a prisoner/performer said the line that made me cry (there's at least one teary do-gooder moment per show). It was something like: "I always thought I was dumb. But I'm not. I just wasn't educated."

While the passion in Shakespeare or math can be challenging for a novice learner to uncover, it isn't impossible or even tough. Life is tough.

Tough is trying to be wholesome & make good choices after nearly 33 years of living sans boundaries. Tough is becoming the teacher you always wanted but never had.

I'm absolutely aboard the Steve Jobs-as-master bandwagon. A few years ago when his Stanford speech began circulating, I was reminded of the idealist I was. I refocused.

But time passes and it's easy to lose sight of goals & self. We humans need constant reminders. (And especially to be reminded that we're only human.) Although I'm saddened by his passing, I'm overjoyed and renewed by his urging and earnestness once again.

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