Student mind

So–more deep thoughts brought about by a reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). Under a cut so as not to spoil anyone who hasn’t seen the latest episode yet.

This week they made the final cuts, going from 35 to 20, 10 women and 10 men.

I had assumed that Cyrus wouldn’t make it. He doesn’t know dance like the other dancers. He doesn’t have the training the others do. Plus, he was in the last group to be chosen, just one other guy and him. The other guy had done really well, too.

However, they let Cyrus in.

Why? The cynical side of me says because it’s “America’s favorite dancer” not “America’s best dancer,” and they assume he’ll have a huge following, which will bring more people to the show.

The not so cynical part of me says it’s because of what they told him just before they gave him the news that he’d be in the show.

“When people make it to a level when they’re considered a master, they don’t have the appetite of a student. [But] You have that.”

If Cyrus hadn’t been so willing to learn things completely foreign to him, approaching all of it with a student’s mind, he wouldn’t have made it. But he did.

I’m not a beginner, nowhere near a beginning writer. I know the proper phrase is “beginner’s mind.” But that’s never worked for me. Student mind says what I want.

I’m trying to get back to that student’s mind. I have it when I’m writing, when I’m deep in story, when every casual comment, or ad seen in a magazine, or overheard conversation, somehow feeds whatever I’m writing. I’m so open at those times.

I want to be that open more often, always learning, always willing to learn. I was messed up for a while: I didn’t think I knew it all, but I didn’t know how to learn. Now I have a much better idea of how to absorb things, how to improve my writing, and IMO, it’s already working.

Student mind. Let’s go learn more.

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