The Michelangelo Phenomenon

Angel (1494) by Michelangelo

Angel (1494) by Michelangelo on the Shrine of Saint Dominic, Basilica of Saint Dominic, Bologna, Italy (Photo courtesy: James Steakley)

“My dad thought you were drunk,” one of my students told me the next day. He tried to stifle a chuckle.

Sadly, I totally understood – his father had seen me shaking like a leaf and turning all shades of purple on “meet the creature” night. Even I had to admit that there was a delicious irony in this tea-totalling, school teacher being mistaken for sloshed because of my phobia. I felt like the only teacher alive afraid of speaking in front of adults.

Flash forward 5 years.

“Phew. Survived. I really don’t like speaking in front of adults,” I said to a collegue after giving a presentation at a staff meeting.

“Really? I wouldn’t have known. I enjoyed that. You should speak more often!”

What changed? How did I go from quivering puddle of goo to someone half excited to present on things I am passionate about? Without a doubt, I am the product the Michelangelo Phenomenon in action.

Continue reading