When it comes to my daily life, I have my times of fearlessness. I face DC metro commuter traffic with nary a qualm (we call it “combat driving” around here and caffeine helps), I’ve traveled solo through New England, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and other parts of the planet, and I’ve been known not to panic when the Advent wreath at my church catches on fire.
Sometimes writing this blog is a bit difficult. (!) The hardest part is to stare at the terrifying blank “Add New Post” screen and come up with something to say that’s fresh, original, entertaining and informative. My blog ideas come from books I’ve read or conversations I’ve had with my real-life people or with fellow bloggers. Sometimes, it’s just anything that occurs to me and that I think would make for an interesting blog post.
But by far, the biggest writing challenge that I’ve EVER faced was in college. I had to write 14 term papers…in the space of two weeks.
In case you missed that, I’ll repeat: Fourteen. Term. Papers. In. Two. Weeks.
(*runs off to corner to scream in remembered terror*)
By some bizarre coincidence (or maybe it was Fate’s way of snickering at me), my college professors decided to set the deadlines for these papers within the same two-week period. I was taking several English classes to fulfill the requirements for my major, plus I had a modern dance class. Two of the papers I wrote were for the dance class; these involved watching documentaries and analyzing the dancers’ performances.
It was brutal, but I got all of the papers done and they did okay. And since then, I figured that if I could survive that experience, I could handle anything else that came my way, professionally or personally.
A dozen newsletters due in a week? No problem, boss. Three advertising campaigns with several sets of revisions? I’m on it.
But the best part of that experience is that I got to know some famous African-American dancers such as Sandman Sims, Honi Coles and the Nicholas Brothers. Howard “Sandman” Sims was a tap dancer who used sand to amplify the sound of his steps while dancing. Charles “Honi” Coles, another great tap dancer, you’ve probably seen: he’s the bandleader in Dirty Dancing.
As for the Nicholas Brothers (Fayard and Harold), see below. (To get to the really amazing part, skip to 2:22.) They were incredible athletes. Wow. I’ve never seen anybody else have the ability to do what they did in this dance scene. (One take, NO rehearsal, according to a YouTube video interview with Fayard!)