Teaching again

Good class tonight. I've got two kids in the class who are super motivated. Another one joined today who is really good at following directions, and the little five-year-old showed up wearing a tiny kimono tonight. Yes, I know wrong culture...like I'M gonna be the big meanie and tell her. She was so cute in it.

One thing I've noticed is that the parents of special needs kids have been forced to learn something that all parents would benefit from knowing: Which is that learning happens in it's own time. A lot of times a parent will come to me and want to set expectations..."How long will it take him to get a Black Belt?", "When is he going to have his first test?", "How high should he be getting his front kicks now?"

I just want to give them my best Mr. Miagi look and say "Will happen when it happen. No sooner."

Or maybe quote that "Cake" lyric: "The more you try to shave the cat, the more the thing will bite and scratch." Is that inscrutable enough for a martial arts teacher?

Trying to force anyone into a mold of your vision for them is wrong and damaging...and most people can see that when it is another adult...but for some reason it's OK when it's your kid.

I guess because we ARE expected to do that for them, and we have to to some extent for them to get along in the world. We have to teach them to use the toilet, and wear pants, and say "Thank You."

But sometimes we need to learn when to back off and accept that some things just will be when they will be. The hardest part of the job is finding that line.

The parents of the special needs kids have learned to take what comes when it comes, and celebrate the victories, and be their (and the other parent's kids) best cheerleaders.
  • Current Music
    Cake - "Tougher Than It Is"

Dirty little old lady

The neighbor has hired a couple of gardeners. Im guessing they're in their mid twenties.

One of them is working with a post-holer.

You know, a tool for digging holes for posts.

It's gonna be a hot day. They already have their shirts off. I'm expecting that it's fairly likely that one of them is going to have to chug a large container of Gatoraid very soon.

Oh yeah, I'm going to the SPECIAL hell.
  • Current Music

qigong meditation

Is uncomfortable and painful and difficult no matter what position you do it in.

They SAY "find a comfortable position"...but after half an hour, any position you choose is painful. Terribly, terribly painful.

Except for the parts that are numb, of course.
  • Current Music
    "One Little Victory" - Rush

Teaching day today.

I love my job.

Eight children this term, six on the autism spectrum, one five-year-old sibling to a student with autism, and one kid with Downs Syndrome.

They are lovely, sweet, hard-working, good-natured kids. I instantly loved every one of them...but it's like hearding cats while being nibbled to death by ducks.

Also, I have an assistant provided through the program. She's a life-saver.
  • Current Music
    Dvorak New World Symphony

Blinding newsflash

Willfully ignorant, judgemental, mean-spirited bigots with big flappy mouths should be stabbed in the head with ninja swords.

Just in case my position on bigots somehow managed to come across as ambiguous.

One can't be too careful, you know.
  • Current Music
    Some Song by Bright Eyes. It's not that good.

Mother's Day

My kids gave me the best Mother's Day present ever!

Being reliable enough that I could go and have fun at Kung Fu without needing to worry about them. :-) Also hugs and Mother's Day kisses.

Sparring class was first. It was just me and Arsinia. SiFu started us out with running. Four times around the track. I passed Arsinia once, and almost passed her again (would have in one more turn around the track. SiFu ran today, and passed me once...but then had to stop and rest before going around again. (HA!) I was done with the stairs (four times up and down two flights of stairs)before either of them were done with the track.

I wondered why SiFu gave us such a light cardio assignment. I realized why when he started running.

Then there was the jump-roping. Two minutes.

Normally there are two minutes each of sit-ups, v-ups push-ups, pull-ups...lots of "ups". SiFu is a very up person.

We didn't do that, though....just suited up and started sparring. Arsinia is a really fierce fighter. She isn't afraid to hit or be hit, and what she lacks in finesse she makes up for in tenacity and ferocity. She's short and has a lot of uper-body stregth, so she likes to do san shou (traps, throws and take-downs) I let her take me down a couple of times, but then I decided I was tired of it, and started taking her down with me.

She has added reverse hook kicks to her sparring repetoir and when she stops telegraphing those, she is going to be much more dangerous than she is already.

I like having another girl in sparring class that isn't afraid to mix it up.
  • Current Music
    Within a Mile of Home - Flogging Molly


The other day Grasshopper lied to me. It wasn't a big lie. I asked him if he'd practiced his cello. I was at class, and he was supposed to practice while I was gone. He said he did. I could tell he hadn't, because I had been playing my cello earlier, and my music was still up on the stand, and Grasshoppers was nowhere to be seen. Also, his bow was loose. He almost always forgets to loosen his bow after practice. His cello was sitting in it's stand exactly where it had been when I left the house earlier.

"What did you practice?" I asked.

He listed off all the pieces he was supposed to work on.

"Did you do the repeats too?"

"Yep." He answered with all the false glibness he could muster.

"Did you practice that hard passage in 'Fancy Fiddles" extra?"

"Yep. ", he soldiered on, clearly wondering when the torture was going to end.

If I told my mom something that she didn't believe, she would have me put my hands up on the counter, and she would hit me ten times with something…most often a metal-handled fly-swatter or a wooden spoon (if you took your hands off the counter, she started over from the beginning). Then, she would ask me again. The process would be repeated until I confessed to lying…which I of course always did whether I had lied or not. Then, she would hit me ten times for lying. If, I confessed to lying about doing something wrong, she'd also hit me ten times for whatever that was. Eventually, of course, I didn't care if she hit me or not. I hardly felt the blows. Eventually, I grew amused by her inability to hurt me, and made a stubborn endurance game out of it where she would literally get tired of hitting me before I got tired of being hit.


"Good job." I said, "now you can go to bed knowing that you did everything that you were supposed to do today. I think that's the best feeling in the world, don't you?"

I got a disheartened nod for an answer.

"I'm so proud of you. Goodnight, and I'll see you in the morning."

"Goodnight", he said, and shuffled off to bed, not even bothering with the customary goodnight hug and kiss.

Ten minutes later, he was back, pulling his cello out of his stand. He put in twenty minutes of the most diligent practice I've heard in a while, gave me a hug, kissed me on the cheek, and went back to bed.


I loosened his bow for him, put the cello away in the stand, and went back to my book.

Beatings dull and lose their effectiveness the more they are used. The conscience - only gets stronger.
  • Current Music
    The sound of my husband typing on his computer.


My dear, sweet, darling husband comes home from Norway today! Happy me. I'm going to roast a chicken. It is maranating in buttermilk right now.

He is going to be happy when he sees the new carpeting in his office, and when I am done helping him put it back in order.

But first, the greeting with the kisses, and the eating of good food, and the massaging away of the tension and the sleeping off of jet-lag. Also, the telling of tales, the looking at of pictures, and the catching up of daily life.
  • Current Music
    "Weapons of Mass Distortion" - The Chrystal Method