the essence of a lesson…

If you’re ever interested in finding out what people really think of your opinion, try sharing it on the internet.  The responses may vary from silly to cynical, from appreciative to apathetic.  There is certainly no disclaimer attached to blogging to request, as most of our mothers did, that those with nothing nice to say should remain quiet. People will respond however they wish, and when taken with a light heart, it can be pretty entertaining.  It takes a lot of strength and courage to put one’s opinion out there for others to dissect, and if nothing else, this blog has been a process of personal growth.

Another pivotal period of learning for me came in the form of time spent with a great teacher, Dr. Bob Sanet.  I didn’t realize it then, but the further away time takes me from that experience, two things about that time continue to amaze me.  The first is how open and willing Dr. Sanet was in sharing all he had learned; and the second, which really should come as no surprise at all, is how incredibly accurate and insightful his teachings were.  Now, almost 10 years later, those lessons continue to resonate, and even come to life, in ways they never did before.  I encountered this phenomenon again this week, when mid sentence, I realized what was happening.


As most of us do during the initial Vision Therapy visit, my patient, his parent and I were discussing the parameters for home activities.  Four activities, five days a week, 20 minutes per day. As most parents do, this particular mom had a list of concerns attached to such a commitment.  Taxiing three kids around all afternoon, a dad whose work requires him to travel for days at a time, and on top of the other normal duties, tending to a sick parent of her own. It became clear to me that she’s already juggling a lot. And then it happened…

It’s not so much the actual activity or the amount of time you spend, it’s more important that your son gets the essence of activity as he learns his new visual skills.

When Dr. Sanet used to teach about the essence of an activity, my thoughts back then were always akin to duh! 🙂 Dr. Sanet and I have always shared a loving and innocent banter with each other.  But this week, his lesson was no laughing matter.  After saying those words to this mother, my brain began to race. Wait a minute…what did I just say?

It never ceases to amaze me how lessons from the past circle back to teach again and again, particularly those I didn’t fully appreciate the first time around.  As Dr. Sanet might say, I may not have been ready to understand it the first time I heard it, or the second time, or even the third. The essence of an activity is not just about getting it done and feeling the muscles pull. Nor is it about solving the particular visual challenge presented by a few parquetry blocks.  The essence of an activity is about understanding the challenges of the change, how those changes will affect your vision, and how, when asked, to return to that space to replicate such thoughts or movements.  That should be the essence, or goal, of any activity.

Ten years later, the essence of Dr. Sanet’s teaching are coming to me…


Posted on March 16, 2014, in From My Perspective.... Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I get to live a vicarious thrill each time Dr. Gentrup, the resident at our office, comes back from one of her Sanet-Pave seminars. I hear the quotes again and I hear the depth of the statements, simply put, without the academia spin, and I get excited about what I do all over again! Great stuff!


    • Sounds like Dr. Gentrup is a lucky lady, Dr. Bowersox. Learning from Dr. Sanet is always a treat and the value of his knowledge reaches far beyond the words he speaks. Truly a fantastic teacher! Thanks for reading 🙂


  2. Couldn’t agree more, Robert. Sage words from a gifted teacher.
    Nice piece, and nice photo!
    Dr. Samantha Slotnick


  3. Jessica Zwilling COVT

    This happens to me ALL the time! Glad I’m not the only one.


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