Two words I HATE MORE than anything ... I + CAN'T .
We've all likely heard the uplifting stories of burying the words "I can't" from our vocabulary or the fun Friday Stories as humorous, down to earthly reality written about by Craig Conrad in his book "Unstoppable!" ... I too had an upbringing that was similar in many ways to Craig's approach with his students and in his motivational assemblies.
There is an EPIC difference between being out of your league and admitting as much, and just flat out refusing by saying "I CAN'T" ...
I had a very frustrating day once with an arrogant art teacher when I was in my Senior year of school.
By Senior year I had earned enough credits in all the right categories to have been able to graduate half a year early. Instead, I chose to take on College Credit Classes and mapped out a day that was just as draining as taking college courses. My only reprieve was the art and creative writing classes I took in those spare period blocks. This class didn't TEACH much of anything by way of skill, technique, working with mediums etc ... it was demanded quiet, Gladiator Soundtrack music. Bland. Boring. Couldn't talk to friends.
I was the oldest kid of 5, living with a single father at the time. Dad worked 14-18 hours a day to keep us fed and a roof over our heads (THANK YOU DAD!) I supplemented where I could by buying my own gas for my truck and paying my dad for the insurance by working a part time job. Often times I was WIPED OUT TIRED ... but I kept at it.
SO, this one day I am working on an art project. This project had been a few weeks in the effort already, but I was stumped and burned out on it. I was trying to meld Human anatomy with that of an animal - this was just as Google was rising in popularity as a search engine- and my computer time was very limited - our art class didn't have any computers we could use. We got heaps of magazines or copied pages - no digital stuff. Anyhow, I was burned out on this project and needed a break. So I started doodling random stuff - nowadays they call it a "Sketch Dump".
Anywho ... There I was "Sketch Dumping", doing loose doodles of animal anatomy and poses and playing with shading and fantasy creatures ... up walks Teacher.
"Why aren't you working on your project today?"
I reply honestly - "I'm burned out on it and getting frustrated with it - I need to take a break from it and work on something else.I don't want to work on it today."
So Teacher gets up in my face and says "Is it that you don't want to, or 'can't'?"
I reply "I just don't want to work on it today."
"He repeats "Is it that you don't want to, or CAN'T?"
I got flustered, and rather than squawking at him in my fury, I turned my back to him and just started SCRIBBLING dark ridges and circles across the papers in front of me.
I still don't know what the point of that was - was he trying to get me to admit that "I can't" ??? I don't know for sure. I have since been able to achieve what I was working on - but admitting defeat or quitting? That NEVER occurred to me to even be that way.
I think the funniest thing I got out of that art class was now, when I am in an artsy or creative mood - I turn my Pandora to Epic Film Scores - and one of my favorite film scores is The Gladiator Soundtrack ... HAHAHAHA!!!
Shanna Stott, Artist, Writer, Mommy
Shanna Stott is an artist creator and visionary capable of any artistic medium put in front of her ... follow her as she shares what she does as she sees the world through artist goggles and Little Rue's perspectives ...!