David Hartman’s Impossible Dream

Introduction

‘David Hartman’s Impossible Dream’ is a short story that was written by Allen Rankin.  He is a well-known American columnist. He often writes for famous magazines like Reader’s Digest, The New York Magazine, Voices, and more. He writes mostly about things that have happened in real life. His writings have a strong emotional impact and are very motivating.

The present story chronicles David’s struggle and triumph over all odds and obstacles and is  told through the eyes of a blind man. At the age of eight, he was born blind. Because of his parents’ support, he was able to live a normal childhood. He first picked up the sport at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped since. At the tender age of thirteen, he proclaimed his desire to become a doctor and enrolled in medical school. He was accepted to a normal elementary school. there He excelled and was accepted into Temple University’s medical school programme. In order to become a doctor, he had to overcome numerous challenges and stumbling blocks.
While the story is about David, it conveys the message that one can transform the impossible into the possible with enough determination.

Summary of the Story

The storey ‘David Hartman’s Impossible Dream’ is about the protagonist David Hartman. He had had vision problems since he was a child. He became completely blind at the age of eight. He was unsurprised by the incident. Fred Hartman, his father, was a bank officer, and Idamae Hartman, his mother, was a cashier. Almost every night, his mother read stories to him to stimulate his imagination. He had a sister, Barbara, who assisted him in becoming self-sufficient. His parents raised him with great care. They always encouraged and supported David in whatever he did or desired.

David asked his father at the age of ten, “Can I play baseball?” His father was a practical man who never gave a negative response. “Well, let us try it and see,” the father stated. The father rolled the ball towards David along the ground. David gradually learned to bat and catch the ball as a result of the whistling sound the ball made as it passed through the grass. It inspired David and instilled in him the confidence to act and live normally. The Hartman family was also determined to assist David in becoming self-sufficient. His mother was gracious and aided him in every way possible. His sister was a taskmaster who constantly reminded him that he could act and live normally as a human being.

When he was thirteen years old, he declared his intention to become a physician, a psychiatrist. David began his career preparations. He was admitted to a common school, Havertown’s high school, after leaving the blind school. He rarely used his white stick at school. At school, he excelled. He earned respectable grades, was chosen for the wrestling team, and was also elected vice-president of the student council. Everyone admired his success but questioned his ability to be a doctor. Only his family was aware that no one could sway David from his resolve.

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At college, everyone attempted to persuade him to pursue what he was capable of. Ralph Cavaliere, his biology professor, advised him to pursue subjects such as history or psychology. David responded with another persuasive argument, claiming that everyone has some sort of disability, just as he does. Only he cannot see otherwise he is not unique from others. He further said “……I believe the ones are the most handicapped are those who don’t want to do anything special or challenging with their lives. I want to be a psychiatrist…..helping rehabilitate people with problems similar to my own……..I am counting on people like you to get me ready!” After this Professor Ralph never discouraged him.

He met Cheryl Walker at college and the two became friends. David maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his four years of college. David applied for admission to ten medical colleges. By April, nine colleges had communicated their rejection. Cheri and David both expressed disappointment. At Temple University, Dr. M. Prince Brigham persuasively argued that David was attempting the impossible and that we should support him and see how far he can go. As a result, he was admitted.

Throughout his medical education, he encountered numerous obstacles. He was required to identify various organs in the subject of Anatomy. He was able to locate and identify large organs, but had to remove his rubber gloves for smaller organs. From childhood, he had developed a sense of touch. His fingers became numb as a result of contact with the preservative chemicals. He encountered another difficulty while studying histology. He was expected to conduct microscopic examinations of tissue structures. He relied on his teachers and friends for this. His classmates described the shapes to him, and his teachers drew figures in Braille. To assist him, the RFB association (Recording for the Blind) recorded thirty volumes relating to his medical science studies.

Cheri and he married in the spring of the first year. In the second year, he faced additional obstacles. He had six lectures per day. He recorded the lectures and transcribed them at home by replaying them. Each lecture took two hours to prepare notes and summaries, totaling twelve hours of homework per day. Professor Brigham stepped in to assist him, allowing him to take notes in class by whispering and recording them onto a tape during lectures.

He was required to deal with patients in his third year. Even so, there were still doubts about David’s ability to pull it off. They had reservations about his ability to read X-rays, rashes, mouth, ear, eyes, and skin of patients. David was an effective stethoscope user due to his excellent listening ability and sense of touch. He adhered to the trick taught by one of his teachers in this regard. As his teacher Dr John Martin frequently stated, “if given a chance to talk about themselves, patients are often very good judges of what’s wrong with them……” As he neared the end of his course, he began to doubt his ability to do all of this in a real-world situation. However, his senior friend admitted that they, too, have reservations about this, despite the fact that they are endowed with all the senses and organs. David’s confidence was restored as a result of this.

David Hartman received his medical degree on May 27, 1976. Dr. Martin stated during his convocation, “Hartman is not normal—he is super normal.” David had demonstrated that he is no different than anyone else through his tenacity, diligence, and perseverance. David was presented with the founder’s award on the twenty-fifth anniversary of RFB. President John Castles described it as “a triumph of the human spirit.” He added, “We feel renewed faith in all people’s infinite possibilities.” David attributed all credit for his father’s words “you’ll never know unless you try” in his response to the praise and honour. The words empowered him to struggle and fight against all obstacles and odds that stood in his way.

Theme of the Story

David Hartman’s inspirational and heartwarming storey sends a message that every human being is born with limitless potential. The only requirement is that he/she determine. As David’s father stated, “you’ll never know unless you try.” Another recurring theme in the storey is the importance of believing in one’s abilities. As John Castles puts it, “……renewed faith in the infinite possibilities of all people.” Human beings are born with an infinite number of possibilities. David Hartman is a role model for those who wish to overcome obstacles and difficulties in their path to success.

Character of David Hartman

David Hartman is the story’s most memorable character. He had lens defects since childhood and struggled with his vision from an early age. He lost his sight completely when he was eight years old. He could not stop dreaming despite his blindness. He is a disabled child but has never considered it a hindrance to his progress. His parents raised him with great care. They always encouraged and supported David in whatever he did or desired.

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David is a strong-willed young man. He has always been eager to take on new challenges and learn new skills. David asked his father at the age of ten, “Can I play baseball?” His father was a practical man who never gave a negative response. “Well, let us try it and see,” the father stated. The father rolled the ball towards David along the ground. David gradually learned to bat and catch the ball as a result of the whistling sound the ball made as it passed through the grass. It inspired David and instilled in him the confidence to act and live normally. The Hartman family was also determined to assist David in becoming self-sufficient.

David, despite his blindness, was able to see the dreams. When he was thirteen years old, he aspired to be a doctor, a psychiatrist, to assist individuals like himself in rehabilitating. “You’ll never know unless you try,” his father advised. David began his career preparations. He was admitted to a common school, Havertown’s high school, after leaving the blind school. He rarely used his white stick at school. At school, he excelled. He earned respectable grades, was chosen for the wrestling team, and was also elected vice-president of the student council. His Biology Professor attempted to persuade him to change his specialisation to another subject. David’s response to the Professor reveals his perspective on life. He stated that everyone has some form of disability, just as he does. Only he is blind to the fact that he is not unique. He continued, “……I believe the most handicapped individuals are those who do not wish to do anything unusual or challenging with their lives.” I aspire to be a psychiatrist, assisting people with similar problems to my own in their rehabilitation. I am counting on people like you to prepare me!” After being rejected by nine colleges, he was finally admitted to Temple University. He encountered numerous obstacles while completing his course. He overcame all obstacles with the assistance of his professors, friends, classmates, Chery, and the qualities he possessed. He possessed an excellent listening ability, which aided him in diagnosing, operating the stethoscope, and conversing with patients. His highly developed sense of touch aided him in making diagnoses and studying anatomy papers. Throughout his childhood, his mother read stories to him, which cultivated his imagination. It aided him in histology studies, where he envisioned the shapes and structures of the cells. Finally, he overcomes all obstacles and becomes a doctor. His strong willpower, determination, perseverance, consistency, and highly developed senses all contribute to his success. He never abandoned an idea without putting it to the test or giving it a try. He was always reminded of his father’s words, “you’ll never know unless you try.”

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