How long does it take to get this? one of the students asks. She is dubious. She has made progress the first three classes in ways that seemed remarkable to her but in the last class all her doubt came back. It was immensely deflating. She couldn’t get the backfloat. She kept getting water in her nose. Despite my suggesting otherwise, she wanted it to do it without a nose clip. To prove something, I guess.

I respond, it takes as long as it takes. This remark is a clunker. I take another tack: I refer to the cultural meme given much currency: it takes ten thousand hours to master something.

Her face falls.  Oh god.

But what if they’re ten thousand hours of fun?

Her expression changes.  Is it possible?

So I ask myself practicing accordion this morning, entertaining images of defenestration.  Not myself, the accordion.  Maybe myself.



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