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February 20, 2020: An analogy to the Gorilla crossing the Basketball Court

A wonderful day weather-wise, when I woke up there was a light fog, but it burned off really quick, allowing the sun to make a very welcome appearance. I went outside, came back inside and exclaimed, “there’s heat in that there sun!” and added that I had not felt this in months. And the grass, it was so green it hurt my eyes. I suspected, and later found out, that I was right – back at home it was still snowing.

It was a good day instruction and riding-wise. I did not disgrace myself in either capacity; although, I freely admit that my performance was sub-par. I haven’t been teaching and I haven’t been riding much. When in doubt, fake it, and this is what I did. I think that I even fooled Joy, my riding horse.

First day of clinic
First day of clinic

Joy is aptly named. She’s an Arab, maybe a hand taller than Raudi. And like Raudi, she’s a chestnut, although Raudi lacks Joy’s white socks and blaze. I found her to be most appreciative of the attention that I gave her. And I was quick to praise her for being so steady on her feet.

Susan, like Dorothy, my EMT teacher, is a wonderful instructor. Both see the best in everyone and everything. Both set their students up for success. Both give students with questions their undivided attention. Both also love their subject matter. In making this comparison, my always high level of apprehension diminished considerably.

Susan and Dorothy both see what they want to see, which is the good inherent to all people and in all situations. The analogy that comes to mind is the one of the gorilla in the room. This video is used to teach students about the validity of subjectivity. A group of individuals are instructed to observe on a screen a group of basketball players passing the ball, then say what they see. They do not see the gorilla crossing behind the players because they’re focused on the players and the nuances of the game.

The comparison is this: Susan and Dorothy focus on the positive, which is the players, rather than on the negative, which is the gorilla. Susan had nothing but good things to say about my riding and my instruction. The instruction was hard because the student was so noncommittal. And her horse, named Dancer, indicated to us all that it was nap time.

This reminds me of last semester. We were doing our final medical practical exams. I was a patient for a classmate named Jake. I saw several things that he did wrong. Dorothy saw that which was positive, not negative. Jake walked out the room quite pleased with himself. I wanted to say “but he didn’t do this, this, or this.” However, I kept quiet because Dorothy was in charge of the evaluation.

I was fortunate in that Susan and I both are staying in the big house, so I had plenty of time to talk with her about horse and non-horse related things. A good first day, and a good second day coming right up.

Next: 52. 2/21/20: More or Less

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