NORTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY, 1982: I was in the mandated Theater Appreciation class.  It was held in the big theater, and there were probably 150 students.  Most of them hated it and thought it was a chore.  I thought it was interesting (you got to talk about movies and plays and acting), and the professor was cool.

One of the first assignments was to write a review of a movie out in theaters at the time.  You had to pick a movie from a short list of ones the professor had seen.  I picked “Tootsie.”

As I wrote the review, I thought it was pretty good (I hadn’t switched to an English major yet), but not great. I predicted a hopeful C.

A few days later, after I’d turned it in, the professor mentioned to the class that he was still waiting on several people’s reviews.

Then he said: “I got a review on Tootsie that I have to mention.  The author is articulate and intuitive and has genuine insight to the film.  I hope I get more reviews like it.”  Then he mentioned a couple of specifics – yep, it was definitely my review.  I got it back with an A+ and a written “Good Job!”

MY POINT: You can think you’re very average at something and an expert can think you’re awesome.

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