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  • Steven Delpome

Muscle Memory


Confession: Every morning there is a 50/50 chance I will begin looping my belt through my pants in the wrong direction. I’m 40 years old. I went to a grammar school that required school uniforms, which means in 35 years it hasn’t sunk in.

It’s time to concede muscle memory may be a problem for me.

Never been a particularly good athlete, though I like playing sports. The only one I’ve even been even modestly good at is bowling, and muscle memory is vital in it! Though anyone who was ever on a team with me could attest to my wild inconsistency, as capable of scoring a 230 as a 120 from game to game.

I was always a good student in school. I learned to read before I was in school without direct instruction. I couldn’t tell you any math formulas or theorems, but I can puzzle out algebraic equations and geometry proofs. Can’t explain why. Imagine, though, if muscle memory were more valued in school than the academics traditionally valued.

“Mrs. Delpome, by the age of ten a child should be able to throw a ball and hit a target at a 70% rate. Perhaps at home some extra practice with the arm motion.”

“We practice every day, but his arm angle on free throws is always pointed slightly out to the side instead of aligned with the target. On his assessments he’s only making 54% of his attempts.”

“Mrs. Delpome we are going to recommend to you that Steven be put into a smaller learning environment where he will be able to get more one on one time with his teachers.”

What are you good at that you wish school valued more? What are you not good at? What would’ve happened to you if school placed a high value on it?