My early PT sessions always involved a team of 2 – E (1) and a helper. My helper, I think he was an intern, was often Z (15). One morning I was practicing sitting on the edge of my bed and Z sat in front of me. He’d stretch his arm out and tell me to touch his hand while keeping my balance. (E was there to make sure I didn’t fall over.) I did so, giving his palm a smart tap each time. Actually, it might have been more of a quick slap – I was interested in doing this as quickly as possible since I wanted to use both arms for support and I think I lacked the motor skills to aim well. Pretty soon he gauged the situation by looking at my face and mimicked what he imagined to be my voice (since he hadn’t heard it before). “She’s like, ‘I’ve got this,'” he said, adding a minute later, “‘What else ya got?'”
I remember thinking at the time, Yeah, well, I’m just doing what you asked, although I really don’t know why we have to do exercises like this. Like I told C when she was trying to conduct my exit survey, my attitude was like, Ummmm….I have to go do my job now. I don’t have time to sit here and practice touching your palm.
Now I have the time but I don’t always have the physical capacity. Back then I didn’t understand what was happening so I just followed instructions for the sake of following instructions. Z read my mind, though….I’ve got this. He also called me “[young] grasshopper.”
I’ve actually used that way of thinking a few times in my life. One of them was before my final presentation during my Summer Internship of ’08 with Intel. Basically, you spend 3 months working on a project you probably know nothing about at first and at the end you give a presentation to extremely knowledgeable people and it’s the main driver behind whether or not you get a job offer. Mine was about Data Center Networking Total Cost of Ownership. I kid you not. I just kept on going to visit every data center I could and before one holiday weekend when everyone was out but I needed help I went prowling around the aisles where the IT guys were known to sit and someone really nice answered my questions.
The sad thing was that the night before my presentation I found a formula error in my model. I was like WAH!!! :(. My foils (Intel-speak for a ppt deck) were scrubbed and I was all set. I IM’ed my manager, P, and he was so nice – he just talked me through the problem, I redid my calculations and thankfully I arrived at the same set of recommendations. I stayed up super late and L, my roommate (the one who stayed with me when my brain bled) tried to get me to eat something or go to bed. I don’t want to come out here in the am and find you passed out on the floor, she reasoned with me.
The next morning the first thing P said to me was, “You did the right thing.” When they offered me the job later in the week, P’s manager told me, You didn’t have to tell anyone, but you did. I was thrilled to receive positive feedback that plainly showed that people cared about how you did a job in addition to producing results.
Rewind to preparing for the presentation: I was terribly nervous. But I also told myself, Hey, I’ve been studying this all summer, and I know this stuff. Yes, I was still nervous, but it was comforting to tell myself that I’ve got this. My friend L was nervous, too, but she knew her stuff inside and out. We had a great time that summer but we worked really hard, too, and I was SO proud to be her friend when she got up there and sailed through her obscure subject matter and fielded questions from the audience with ease.
So I’m going with the same strategy again. This Saturday Ai Ai is hosting the Ladies from 10-12 noon and I’m going to share (briefly) re. what’s been going on. If you can come, great! You can either contact Ai Ai, or email me here. Like my “Memoirs” I promise to be wildly entertaining. Okay, maybe not “wildly.” I will try to be more decorous in this context (lopsided grin).
You can imagine that I’ve got a million things to say. I’ve actually been preparing for this for over two years. I dreamed in the ICU that I was talking at my OR church about what happened etc. I think it was on the brain because I had just done a Sunday School presentation and I had just been invited to do an Africa debrief on a Friday night a few weeks later. I was wearing the black shirtdress with a full skirt that I had worn on the prior Sunday with fabulously high peeptoe heels.
I wear pants and sneakers now, but I still have LOTs to say. Thankfully for my hearers, though, I am severely limited physically, e.g. my voice and stamina issues, visual disturbances prevent me from looking at notes, motor skill challenges discourage me from writing them in the first place, and floppy me brain moments keep me from remembering anything other than 1, maybe 2 points.
But I know this story because I’m living it. And if you’re in my life and I get to see you semi-often, you’re living it too (fasten your seat belt!). Oh, and BTW this isn’t really “my story” – it’s the experience the Lord chose to entrust me with. Still, even though I know this subject matter thoroughly, I’d appreciate your prayers for Saturday morning if you think about it. Also, I am going on a blog vacation until at least next Wednesday. As you know, I have not been feeling well of late. Actually, it all began when I caught that cold a LONG time ago. The cold was followed by back pain, headaches, anxiety over going to the PDG, and some other stuff I can’t remember. And then when I flew south to see Ai Ai I started having the left side pain (it’s better! but the left side weakness has returned) and the itchiness (also better, now that I know what I’m allergic to!). So all this is to explain why I’ve been ignoring my email for about 2 months. My master plan for becoming a responsible electronic communicator is not going so well. So I’m going to go attend to that etc. and I’ll see you next week! xxoo
PS. Yesterday was Decision Day (July 24). The giver didn’t know that July 24 is special to me, but I woke up to find a lovely gift waiting for me at my spot at the breakfast bar. It was carved from an olive tree in Jerusalem. Thank you! It makes me think of a gift P sent me from another city in Israel. I would have photographed it, too, but it’s in Maryland. Both of them were such nice surprises.