Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

I Have Been Translated: Gee Whiz

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on November 15, 2010


Mi paciente Arthur lágrimas en los ojos me contó la historia de Dan Jansen. At the 1988 Winter Olympics, Jansen was a favorite for the 500 and 1000 meter speed skating races. En el 1988 Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno, Jansen fue uno de los favoritos para los 500 y 1.000 metros carreras de patinaje de velocidad. However, in the early hours of the day of the race, he received a phone call saying that Jane, his sister, was dying of leukemia. Sin embargo, en las primeras horas del día de la carrera, recibió una llamada telefónica diciendo que Jane, su hermana se estaba muriendo de leucemia. Later that morning, she passed away. Más tarde esa mañana, ella falleció. He fell in the race. Cayó en la carrera. A few days later, he fell again. Unos días más tarde, cayó otra vez. In the 1992 Winter Olympics, he lost again. En los Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno 1992, perdió otra vez. Finally, in 1994 he won the Olympic gold medal and he dedicated his medal to his late sister Jane. Por último, en 1994 ganó la medalla de oro olímpica y dedicó su medalla a su difunta hermana Jane.

This is a story of triumph after adversity; this is a story of tenacity. Esta es una historia de triunfo después de la adversidad, lo que es una historia de tenacidad. For Arthur, this was a story of deep sibling love. Para Arturo, se trataba de una historia de amor entre hermanos de profundidad. As Arthur put it, in his family, if he died while his sister was competing in the olympics, the reaction would have been “there goes Arthur, making things difficult again.” I laughed, but I also knew it was not funny. Como Arthur decirlo, en su familia, si murió mientras que su hermana estaba compitiendo en los Juegos Olímpicos, la reacción habría sido “ahí va Arturo, haciendo las cosas difíciles de nuevo.” Yo me reí, pero también sabía que no era gracioso. Arthur wanted to mean something to his sister in the way that Jane seemed to mean to Dan Jansen. Arthur quería decir algo a su hermana en la forma en que Jane parecía significar a Dan Jansen.

     I thought about this later, realizing that I am unclear about why this matters so much to Arthur. Pensé en esto más adelante, al darse cuenta de que tengo muy claro por qué esto es importante tanto a Arthur. What is it about his sibling that matters so much? Lo que se trata de su hermano que es tan importante? I have read a great deal about why children of all ages, spend their lives trying to get love from their parents. He leído mucho acerca de por qué los niños de todas las edades, se pasan la vida tratando de conseguir el amor de sus padres. This makes sense. Esto tiene sentido. The parents brought the child into the world. Los padres llevaron al niño en el mundo. The parents were a touchstone for the developing child to feel good about himself. Los padres fueron la piedra de toque para el desarrollo del niño a sentirse bien consigo mismo. Mom and dad are responsible for building a child’s self-esteem. Mamá y papá son los responsables de la construcción de un niño autoestima. Yet, what is the role of the sibling in self-esteem development? Sin embargo, ¿cuál es el papel del hermano en el desarrollo de la autoestima? Typically, siblings compete for attention from the parents, and hence there is built in conflict. Normalmente, los hermanos compiten por la atención de los padres, y por lo tanto no se construye en el conflicto. Typically, the parents die first and the siblings are left, sometimes with close ties, sometimes not. Por lo general, los padres mueren primero y los hermanos se quedan, a veces con estrechos lazos a veces no.

I wonder why Arthur was so touched by Dan Jansen’s story. Me pregunto por qué Arturo se sintió tan conmovida por la historia de Dan Jansen. Was it that he could not perform knowing that he lost his sister? ¿Es que no podía realizar a sabiendas de que él perdió a su hermana? Was that he came back from adversity to triumph? Fue que llegó a la adversidad para triunfar? Was it that in Arthur’s mind, Dan loved his sister in a way that Arthur will never experience, and somehow, that has a great deal of meaning for Arthur? ¿Fue eso en mente de Arturo, Dan amaba a su hermana en una forma que Arthur nunca la experiencia, y de alguna manera, que tiene un gran significado para Arturo? I have questions, but no answers. Tengo preguntas, pero ninguna respuesta. I will continue to wonder. Voy a seguir maravilla.

7 Responses to “I Have Been Translated: Gee Whiz”

  1. Shelly said

    Who translated this and why did you repost it?

  2. Ashley said

    Classic! It was worth translating for sure.

  3. This bilingual entry is a little schizophrenic but it fits the sibling relationship as explained. I think Dan’s feelings were very complex: survival guilt, unresolved rivalry, love, etc. He was probably punishing himself and thus falling and losing.

    After I have dealt with my sister’s betrayal, confronted her and be done with her, I still have nightmares. I believe that sibling relationships are so complex and so full of contradictory sentiments that it is not easy to overcome either the love, the hatred or the rivalry. As I told you, my blog ( has helped me a lot to analyze my feelings because I am verbalizing them and dealing with them as I go along. Without the blog, I am afraid that I would have channeled them in many negative ways and handicapped myself.

    • Thanks Duped. I can see how the blog helps you sort out your internal experience. The internet has had unintended mental health benefits for many folks. Sure, in the days past, you could have written in a diary, but the idea that you can express yourself, and get feedback from others, enters you, and all of u,s into a new world of connectedness which helps you, and again, all of us, cope with our struggles.

      • It is so so true. To tell you the truth, a year and a half ago I wouldn’t have believed I could do a blog and talk about my feelings to unknown persons. I was so pleased with my life and my relationships that I thought I would never need that kind of exposure, but my anger, frustration and hurt have been so deep that I just need to vent and bring them into the open by sharing them with the world out there.

        To read blogs like yours has also been very helpful.

        Many thanks for sharing.


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