Tomorrow’s a day off from work, so I’m looking back at my calendar to try to re-collect the week before heading into an extended weekend. As usual, I attended a lot of meetings this week, but I feel really lucky because, in many of these meetings, I had the chance to hear from passionate people.
I heard a science teacher argue passionately for a new Physics course, one that would give students access to a broader swath of the discipline.
I heard a group of students argue passionately for an improved approach to bias incidents in school and society.
I heard a colleague argue passionately for the importance of sharing one’s creative work.
I heard a student argue passionately for his particular interpretation of a complicated book.
I heard a colleague argue passionately for an inclusive approach to developing next year’s calendar.
All of these people were respectful; all of them were insightful; all of them had done their homework; all of them showed me different ways to see and value and care about the world. I am thankful that there are so many ways. I am thankful that so many people around me care enough about me, and about the work we do together, to try to help me see things from their point of view. I am thankful that my education, both formal and informal, taught me how to listen — and that I have so many opportunities to practice. Listening is obviously a gift to the heard. It is also a great gift to the hearer.
A colleague and I are using Austin Kleon’s new book, Keep Going, as a frame for our senior May Term program. Any senior working on a creative project during the month of May will receive or has received a copy. So far, students who have cracked it open have often said “wow” or “this looks like a great book” or sat silently reading until they reached a passage or drawing that they wanted to share, which never takes long.
Yesterday I posted something about a (to be) revered moment in golf history. Today, a friend shared with me a revered moment from an e-sport (sometimes known as a video game). The parallels between the two moments are quite interesting: both include passionate players, steely resolve, perseverance, the triumph of hard-won wisdom, long practice, and fully engaged audiences.
This is a nice piece of sports writing from the desk of Joe Posnanski and (delightfully) the POV of the 12th hole at the Augusta National golf course. I’m linking to it here because it’s a good read now and it will be a good read five years from now and five years after that. Evergreen is what that’s called in the business.
I also love this particular passage for what it says about the way the ego that drives us in your younger days may not be the ego that we need to keep going into our middle and later days. When you get to the sentence about young golfers feeling too proud and too strong, roll it around in your mind.
I looked at him closely. Was this really Tiger Woods, the bold and impertinent kid who believed that nothing was beyond his powers? I could not tell. I began to say my silent prayer for him … but then I stopped because I noticed something. He was not that Tiger Woods. He moved more gingerly. His face was wider. His weather-worn face suggested that he had seen things.
And as he began his swing, I caught something in Woods’ glance, something unusual, something I had not seen in, well, in a long time.
He aimed his shot away from the flag.
He hit it to that space between my front and back bunker. The ball landed and settled 40 feet from the hole but dry and safe. It was the shot that young golfers feel too proud and too strong to hit. It was Jack Nicklaus’ shot. And now, it was Tiger Woods’ shot.
And I knew right then that Tiger would go on to win the Masters.