The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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 I chose this memory for Pralav because it seemed to capture a major part of what formed him into who he is today. When he told me that he realized he wanted to be “comfortable feeling uncomfortable,” I knew that this moment did a lot for him. He told me himself that this helped him become open to learning people skills and that talking in front of people became easier with practice. It shows that Pralav is strong, and I’ve seen this first hand when he helps other people through difficult situations.

“O the bleeding drops of red, wh-, where, on theeee,” recited Pralav as he stumbled over the lines to “Oh Captain, My Captain.”

           

            This was no ordinary mess-up though. Pralav’s endless nights practicing had suddenly turned on him at the worst time possible. The entire boarding school went quieter than when Pralav was speaking. He felt his forehead become sweaty, and when he wiped it, his face makeup smeared. It was as if a flock of crows went from cawing to complete silence, and it felt eerie. He couldn’t stop clearing his throat, and the subtle giggling from fellow classmates started which caused a blank space that clouded his head. He was unable to recite his poem, and his face became red. The judges stared at him in dismay for a few seconds, which to him felt like an eternity.

“Pralav, thank you for participating,” said the teachers judging the elocution competition.

            Pralav walked the creaky boards of the stage and returned to the side where he was comforted by other students competing, and he began to calm down. “It’s okay Pralav, I’m probably going to fuck up worse than you did,” said his friend who was next in line.

             A few days later, he thought to himself about what that day taught him. He didn’t want to recite the poem in the first place, but he saw it as good practice for public speaking, which had been a fear of his beforehand. “I’m more comfortable being uncomfortable,” a reminder Pralav often thinks to when overcoming a situation out of his comfort zone, even if it doesn’t go well.

              

Oh Captain, My Captain

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2012
Nepal

I chose this memory for Pralav because it seemed to capture a major part of what formed him into who he is today. When he told me that he realized he wanted to be “comfortable feeling uncomfortable,” I knew that this moment did a lot for him. He told me himself that this helped him become open to learning people skills and that talking in front of people became easier with practice. It shows that Pralav is strong, and I’ve seen this first hand when he helps other people through difficult situations.

Tags: poem
Decade: 2010s
Rating:
Recorded by Ryan Jones on June 4, 2019
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