Friday, November 12, 2010

Yeah it IS Magic

Lt. Morse had a nice post up the other day called Magic and anyone who plays this game knows that what he says is an irrefutable truth. He writes of that moment on a serious call when it all comes together: the training, the teamwork, the timing, and the hundreds of hours of preparation for that moment in time. The politics, conflicts, and problems all fade from existence, and it is all about the patient and getting the job done. It is truly an exceptional experience that, to my mind, can not be replicated anywhere else except perhaps in the military.
 I've mentioned that I teach and we have just begun the season for our 'team'. For me, this is a big responsibility and I treat my students like a patient, in that I am providing a service that must be accomplished properly and effectively. I hold myself to a higher standard than I can usually attain. Each session I find something I could have done better, made clearer, or presented in a better manner. I know the members of the class are pretty smart and get what I am telling them. They all have varying levels of experience, many of which exceed mine. I also realize that I have precious little time to deliver the message and have to do it well to keep their interest, make their time well spent, and hopefully impart some new knowledge.
 As I said, I am rarely satisfied with my performance because I stumble over a sentence or thought somewhere during the session. I always ask the other instructors for their criticisms, and during the break I also ask some of the students what they thought of the session. It makes me better and more importantly it makes the class better for the next batch of students.
 The other night I gave a class on a subject which one of the other instructors has done for years, yet I had never done. During the session I kept glancing over at 'the boss', our lead instructor and a fellow that I have been trying to emulate for years. He has that smooth natural delivery with a sense of humor that I can never master. He always has the class chuckling and he always gets his message across. What I saw on his face didn't tell me that I was doing very good. I kept pushing a little harder and eventually got through it. When I finished, I felt I had done very well on the subject matter and could not think of any goofs that I made. 'The Boss' came over and I asked him what he thought. "You slammed that one out of the park, added some stuff I never thought of. We should get you to do that one more often." Then he added a couple of thoughts on refinements, but it was the first time I saw him smile in surprise. Kind of like Magic for me.

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