Sunday, February 09, 2003


After watching the All Star weekend, I was struck with an idea I have not fully developed.

Coaches ask of their players the most that can be given, sometimes more. They practice relentlessly, some even staying after "regular" practice is over to do more work. Sometimes, these practices go for 8 hours. Some, even more.

Michael Jordan, while attending North Carolina, Practiced four hours a day, then scrimmaged. When the othe rplayers would go get a drink of water, he would stand in the middle of the court and wait for them. When they asked him why, he said "When everyone else is off the court, I am still here, that will make me the best." By putting in more hours than anyone else he became the household name, and impact to the game, he is now.

Academia should be no different. Never should we be asked if we are taking on too much. Never should we be given the opportunity to do less than our best, or less than we can handle. In fact, we should test our limits daily. We will not improve, we will not even reach our full potential, if we do not test ourselves.

In high school I wieghed in excess of 200 pounds. I had a torn ligament in my knee, and I was out of shape. When I tried out for the team I was laughed at. I went to practice, ran drills as hard as I could, and stayed until everyone was gone, and the janitors had to kick me out to get things ready for the next day.

Perhaps as a writer--or more, an explorer of writing--I, like many of my collegues, would benifit from drills. Perhaps the blog is a drill for us. Like playing horse in the driveway, we get to practice our stroke, perfect our art, in the comfort of a generous environment. The wiki, too, is a drill. We have already seen the amazing power of the internet, and our class has impacted that--as illustrated by the response from Rebecca Blood.

We can choose to run these drills, taking time off to get water. or we can test them, push them, mold them, and truly excel and create something new and exciting. The choice is whether we want to lay the ball in, or dunk.

~"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

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