15 Comments
May 9·edited May 9Liked by Charlie Bleecker

Really enjoyed this one Charlie. I can relate, painfully. Going into my junior year season of college lacrosse my coach spent tons of time with me, telling me I was going to be an All-American, have such a great year, all kinds of shit. After a good start to the season I had a couple of bad games and fell into something of a slump. He initially responded by getting all over me, like your coach, but as the slump continued I saw him give up on me - it started with some subtle signs of indifference at practice and slowly developed into blatant disregard.

Like you, it put my chip on my shoulder. I was going to prove him wrong! But I'm not MJ. This particular chip just made it worse. I pressed during games, not letting the game come to me and playing with the free flowing style I had before that had made me good. That season sucked.

I don't know what to make of all this either. But I love your writing, and I love the way that you talk about the craft. It has replaced lacrosse as the love of my life (I begrudgingly had to stop playing after 7 concussions), and it's certainly more of an infinite game. It's got a different texture; like you, I want to win, but winning feels different in this game. To me, it seem that winning the game is mostly a function of continuing to play.

Also Whiplash is a banger of a movie and that final scene is so good.

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gahhhH i have such complicated feelings about this movie and you summed them up pretty damn well. i hated the teacher but i also wish he would take me under his wing because he saw that greatness in me but FUCK HIM but also plz pick me ?

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Ah this turned out so great!

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I just watched Whiplash a month ago and had similar thoughts.

1. Is it worth the abuse to become great?

2. Can you be great without the abuse?

But I was also wondering if these hard-ass teachers only produce greatness in defined activities? If you're "creating your own monopoly" could they help?

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I struggle a lot with the balance between the comfort and fulfillment of self love and the undeniable self improvement benefits of self loathing (hahaha). This essay reminded me of that and how often this conflict shows up for me in my relationship with mentors.

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"When you have a drive to be great, nothing can stop you."

Love the conviction behind this!

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It indeed sucks when teacher/trainer brings you out of everyone else as a weakling or faulty one,most especially when it’s a funny badge.Your class/team will remember that for life and this will be something they will remind you of all the time, but it will only take courage to come out of it. Exactly the point that nothing can stop the good in you.Whip it out and don’t lose your confidence. Your story is a reminder that took me down the memory lane of how I was treated in Maths class when I was in secondary school.

Thanks for this masterpiece of great and important discussion!😊👍

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