From Mirror to Lifeboat: Thoughts on Learning & Teaching

When I was in ninth grade, I attended a weekend leadership retreat for girls. Back then, much as I am now, I was chubby, bookish and pretty much the opposite of athletic. I was looking forward to a weekend of seminars, but what I got was outdoor team building, ropes courses and — at the very end — a monumental climbing wall. You can imagine my excitement. It was pouring rain and cold. We looked up at this climbing wall that seemed 1,000 meters high. I made up my mind immediately: I could not accomplish this. Then they told us that, as a group, we had to get every single one of us up that wall before we could finish the day. I promptly volunteered to go last. I watched as other girls climbed

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