Four years ago, when I was struggling to finish my book, Cello Practice, Cello Performance, I hit a wall. There was so much to do! I had to typeset hundreds of musical figures, get all my citations right with the style guide, compose the index, and so on. It seemed utterly overwhelming.
On the phone with a friend, I wailed “I can’t do this!”
My friend replied “You’re already doing it.”
Don’t ask me why, but for some reason her point somehow made the way ahead seem clearer. Of course I could do it. I was in the middle of it, I knew how to do it, the end was in sight.
I saw a tweet this week that brought that conversation to mind.
My organic professor made me write this note after freaking out in her office about an impending exam. 3 years later and I still look at this regularly, especially before exams. Shout out to all the mentors and professors whose advice and encouragement does not go unappreciated. pic.twitter.com/PliXbZ5RvC
— Rebecca Ulrich (@RJUlrich12) September 28, 2018
It inspired me to be that kind of professor. So many times students will approach me with a hard concept that they think is impossible. Usually, with coaching, they leave doing it better than they did when they arrived.
Yesterday I gave one of them a post-it note with my friend’s words on it.
“You’re already doing it.”