When I was a kid, I didn't have a particularly good sense of balance, so I fell down a lot. Due to this, I got pretty good at controlling my falls so I didn't get injured. We went on a class trip to the state house, which has a sweeping spiral marble staircase. Sure enough, I slipped (with a little help from some bully) near the top. After a few stairs, I realized I had a choice. I could stop tumbling, or I could keep going. I figured it would be more impressive if I kept going. So I flailed down all three flights, ending up in a tangle of arms and legs at the bottom. The bully actually looked somewhat contrite.

Years later, in college, I was coming in out of the rain into a large lecture hall. Sure enough, I slipped on the stairs. Again, I figured I'd just go with it, and tumbled all they down, stopping when I got to the lectern. Whereupon I stood up, took a bow to scattered applause, and went to my seat.

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November 2013

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