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American Annals of the Deaf

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From Topic Boundaries to Omission: New Research on Interpretation
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146   we discover new ways of being.
147   We discover inner strength and abilities.
148   We learn to expect bigger and better things from ourselves.
149   Expectation is another very powerful determiner of events.
150   I’d like to share a story with you about a young man who took the scholastic aptitude test,
151   the SAT,
152   as part of the college entrance procedures.
153   When he received his test scores back, he saw the number 98 on the paper.
154   Well, he was quite distressed and concerned about his ability to succeed in college with an IQ as low as 98.
155   But he did go to college.
156   His first term he received Ds and Fs.
157   His second term was no better,
158   and the dean called him in for a conference.
159   The dean warned him that, if his performance continued at this poor level,
160   he would be asked to leave the school.
161   “Well, whaddo you expect?” replied the young man.
162   “I only have an IQ of 98.”
163   The dean took out the file and explained to the young man,
164   “You don’t have an IQ of 98.
165   You scored in the 98th percentile.
166   That means that your score was equal to or better than 98% of the students in all of North America.”
167   Well, the next term, that student pulled a 4.0 grade point average.
168   The only thing that had changed were his expectations.
169   Another example of how powerful expectations are in determining events
170   was shown in a research project conducted in San Francisco.
171   Three teachers had been brought into the principal’s office and told,
172   “You three teachers are the best teachers in this whole school.
173   We have decided to reward your performance by giving you each thirty of the best students.”
174   These teachers were asked,
175   “Don’t tell any of the students or the parents about this.”
176   At the end of the year, it was found that these students tested significantly higher than all of the students,
177   not only in the school
178   but in the entire district.
179   The teachers were brought in again.
180   They were informed that this had been an experiment
181   and that the students had actually been selected at random.
182   Well, the teachers were amazed,
183   and they could explain the high scores only by the fact that, they were, after all, the best teachers.
184   Well, then the researchers informed them,
185   “Actually, we put all the teachers names in a hat
186   and yours were the three that were pulled.
187   This was a double blind study
188   with the only factor not being controlled for being expectation.
189   In summary, if we learn to live with fear as an ally,
190   which navigates our path in the direction of growth,
191   use our minds and strength of spirit to expand our personal comfort zone,
192   and learn to expect bigger and better things of ourselves,
193   we will enhance our ability to live more fully with a constant focus on our beautiful cathedrals.
194   I’d like to leave you with a poem that says,
195   “Come to the edge, he said,
196   No, they replied, we will fall.
197   Come to the edge, he said.
198   No, we will fall.
199   Come to the edge.
200   They went to the edge.
201   He pushed them, and they . . . flew.
202   I wish you all a good flight.
203   Thank you.

Note. Transcription was made from the spoken text recorded on Living Fully: With Interpreting Models, 1994, Salem, OR: Sign Enhancers, Inc. Copyright 1994 by Sign Enhancers, Inc. Used with permission.

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