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Signs Of Life

Columns by Pamela Majteles

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Posted by pam on January 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Originally published April 27, 2007

This column is reprinted with permission from The Hills Newspapers.

Life is full of doubt.  That’s a lesson I have learned since leaving high school.  I have no doubt, however, about one thing.  I would never want to go back to high school.

There is no doubt high school is an experience unlike any other.  The local stage production of Disney’s High School Musical recently at Holy Names University in Oakland simulated the experience with lots of singing and dancing.  Like the story line of the play, I recall the challenges. (Although I don’t recall the challenges being accompanied by song and dance.)

The story rang true in its portrayal of kids wanting to break free of limitations placed on them by others.  For instance, “the jock” wants to sing and “the brain” wants to dance despite resistance from peers.  At the end, the audience has no doubt everyone should be allowed to be whoever they want to be.

It got me to thinking about things I would like to try that others might doubt.  Watching the over-the-top dancing in the play inspired me.  Along with being a mother and writer, who’s to say I cannot take up dancing.

Undoubtedly, my former dance teacher would say so.  Several years ago, I was inspired by another performance, and I decided to give dance classes a whirl.  It turns out it’s not as easy as it looks.  Like all talented people, dancers make what they do look easy.  When I dance, it’s as hard as it looks.

There is something else I have always wanted to try.  Like the lead characters in the play, I long to sing for an audience.  Once, I was even told I sang like a bird.  (When I was six-years-old, my mother told me so.)

Since then, everyone has doubted me. They tell me just because I sing, it does not mean I sing well.  When I hear myself singing in the shower at home, it sounds like I am hitting all the right notes.  My family says I am all wrong.

Although my singing and dancing are doubtful, I would like to approach life with the energy of the young performers in the play.  They bounced off the stage with energy and enthusiasm.  Like watching a fast moving ball, I could not look away for fear of missing where it would land.

With this in mind, I imagine myself going through the routine of my day in the same way.  Leaping into the car to drive my kids to school. Seizing a can from the grocery shelf while shopping.  Striking my computer keys with gusto when writing.

After accompanying a bunch of kids to the play, however, I have my doubts.  Waiting in line, negotiating seating, and securing snacks took all my energy. Like a ball without air, I had no bounce.

Some of the performers were still in high school, so perhaps that accounted for their energy.  As much as I wish for the same energy, with all the challenges of high school, I would never want to go back.  No doubt about it.
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.

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