Tuesday, January 11, 2005


. Robbie really likes the teacher of the Ninja Kids class, Joe Houtz. I think it's because he treats Robbie as an equal, doesn't talk down to him. I like him, too.

Mr. Houtz (teachers all seem to be Mr. or Ms. here) is maybe a bit older than I am, tall and slender with a goatee, wire-rimmed glasses, and an earring--good anti-establishment signs in this somewhat miltaristic art. Plus that thing about taking dance . . . this is all good, I think.

He teaches with passion and patience. I read once a description of patience that it is not just "waiting around." Patience comes from having faith in an outcome that isn't yet visible. That's what I see in Mr. Houtz: he has faith that we will learn.

He helped me work on combination kicking today--an enjoyable lesson because of his easy-going manner and clear way of explaining things. He will also show me moves more than once so I can see and try it out for myself. It still seems odd and counterintuitive that I am learning hand-to-hand combat, for heaven's sake, but Mr. Houtz doesn't seem to think it's odd. So, OK. I'll keep trying.

This shall be a lesson unto me when I teach my own students.

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