Month: February 2011

Breaking Ceilings

We got a ping-pong table at Christmas, and within days my 15-year-old son and I were seriously, hopelessly addicted. At first, I beat him regularly — 21-15 would be a typical score. Occasionally, I even dialed my game back a notch, so the game would stay excitingly close.
But then one fateful week something changed. The …

The Power of Crumminess

Here’s a little-appreciated fact about talent hotbeds: their facilities tend to be rundown. Rusty. Makeshift. Overcrowded.
In a word, crummy.
Exhibit A could be the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, which has produced Michael Phelps and a squadron of other top national swimmers despite its considerably-less-than-lovely setting.  Or Anand Kumar’s tin-roof math class in India where an astounding …