Monday, November 1, 2010

broken eggs and flying arrows

Sarah just announced proudly to me that she opened an egg with one hand. I was pleased and impressed, not just that she accomplished it but why. She saw me do it and wanted me to show her how and I actually did. Some things I was never good at but could teach others to do well. I coached archery at camp Maluhia for boy scouts one summer. I could get the boys to have the right form and stance and then even coach them about breathing and visualizing the arrow flying true. (Jedi stuff, but I thought it was cool.) And the boys shot bull’s-eyes. I was very proud of them but when they asked me to shoot I refused. I don’t even think I was tempted to feed them some line about dazzling them too much, I just said there wasn’t time. I couldn’t shoot to save my life.
Other skills I can master but have trouble teaching. I can’t teach Jamie to tie his shoes and I had a terrible time teaching Sarah to do a Hawaiian cat’s cradle. Maybe this is because they both involve strings. Another boy scout skill I had a terrible time with was knot tying.
I learned to crack eggs with one hand watching McDonald’s commercials. An excited voice sang to the tune of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody and there was a close up of a hand breaking an egg against a hard surface. Sarah saw me breaking eggs like this and wanted me to show her. I did and now she can do it too. I have tried to break eggs using one hand and no surface to strike. Maybe some people can do this but I can’t without ruining the egg and making a mess.
If someone has a unique skill like cracking eggs one handed, I might call it a superpower. So my superpowers might include that as well as a few other talents. I can most times tell the gender of an unborn child. I can interpret dreams. And I can make good soup. I would like to think that teaching is one of my superpowers but I can’t go that far. I may be a good teacher but I am also an experienced teacher. I have all kinds of students from enthusiastic learners to shy discoverers to surly teenagers to outright evil manifestations. What I’m saying is teaching is not a superpower because right now I have good students. One of whom is making blueberry pancakes from scratch for breakfast.

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