Impossible things

“There is no use trying,” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”

“I dare say you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

-Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is visiting high schools to recruit students. I love going into these places, which are usually fizzing with energy and high spirits. In most schools, the walls of the classrooms are plastered with motivational posters of athletic, grinning people doing handstands, running marathons, or climbing very steep mountains, and have slogans like “The possibilities are unlimited!” and “Be whoever you want to be!” The thinking is that you can do whatever you want to do as long as you work hard enough.

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