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September 2014 - In This Issue:
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"Back on the rez, I was a decent player, I guess. A rebounder and a guy who could run up and down the floor without tripping. But something magical happened to me when I went to Reardan.


Overnight, I became a good player.


I suppose it had something to do with confidence. I mean, I'd always been the lowest Indian on the reservation totem pole. I wasn't expected to be good so I wasn't.  


But in Reardan, my coach and the other players wanted me to be good. They needed me to be good. They expected me to be good. And so I became good.


I wanted to live up to expectations. 


I guess that's what it comes down to. 


The power of expectations. 


And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew until I was scoring twelve points a game. AS A FRESHMAN!" 


This excerpt is from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie


Later in the novel, the main character is told by his coach, "You can do it." He describes them as the "four hugest words in the world when they're put together."  


I am reminded of an article I read many years ago about how if you put a fish in a small bowl it will stay small, but if you let it swim in a larger space, it will grow. 


When have you said to some someone, "You can do it"? When have you been told, "You can do it"? What did it feel like? What did it take for you to believe the person who told you that? 


For me, it took a while for my teacher's confidence in me to sink to in. Then it took hard work, practicing, accepting bumps along the road, staying with it and also patting myself on the back occasionally. Just like Sherman Alexie's character who had to practice hard at basketball in order to succeed.  


Let's all be the friend, parent, sibling, and teacher who says, "You can do it!"







In Kakenya Ntaiya's TED talk, A girl who demanded school, she demonstrates through her life and  through her message that we can do it. 


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Thank you!

Sue Schleifer 
Oak Communications Coaching and Consulting 


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