Saturday, November 05, 2005

Beginning and Ending

Themes kept coming up at the beginning of class, then returning at the end.

We writers call this a "framing device."

Life of a Cop
Before Class:
When I arrived, Brian pulls up in his little red jeep. I'm glad to see him--sometimes he can't get away on Saturdays. We chat for a while.
"Things quiet today?" I ask.
"Just as I left there was a call for the college," he says. "Someone about cut her hand off with a power saw in your shop."
"Yikes," I say. "Probably working on scenes for the play."

After class:
"Have a good day at work," I say to Brian as he leaves. "Some day I gotta talk to you about my neighborhood. We keep hearing things are getting bad in places."
"Did you hear about that accident on 380?" Brian asks. "Guy got hit by a truck. Got hit here" he gestures to where we're standing, "and the body ends up, oh, about where the flags are."
"Yeesh. You really see the bad side of human nature in your job." I'm sure I am NOT cut out for law enforcement.

TKD Girls and Guys
Before class:
I enter the changing room to find Stephanie and Alyssa sitting on the counter.
"So when did you get your braces tightened?" asks Stephanie.
They look in on my blog now and then. They're probably reading this one!
"Thursday," I say.
We talk about braces for a while, and then the topic turns to boys, a favorite topic of 12 and 13-year old girls.
Alyssa wants to know why boys are "so simple and yet so confusing."
I remember those days!
"Boys mature more slowly than girls," I say, taking on my taekwondoMOM role. I remember the Halloween party: girls looking pretty, even "hot" in their costumes, boys of the same age dressed in scary costumes, clueless.
"Wait until you're in college. Then the boys become much more interesting."

After class:
I ask Alyssa, who is a junior belt, if she could sign my board. She agrees, but seems preoccupied with a phone. Turns out it's Justin's phone, and that's his bag they're going through. They laugh and tease Justin. They're having a hard time concentrating on my forms.

Justin sits on one of the chairs at the back of the room. He puts up with the teasing without much fuss. "Justin's our friend," says Alyssa. Nice for them to have a boy who's a friend when they're trying to figure out boys.

Black Belts/Bad Blood
Before class:
Justin and I were talking before class about his recent Xanga post. He'd written about the black belts--people he'd respected--had left the school to start a new school. He misses these friends and colleagues.

"So what's the deal with the bad blood between them and Master Hughes?" I ask. "Why is there so much animosity when a former student leaves to start a new school? Seems like it would be normal for them to do that."

Justin explains that there "are a lot of different stories about that." Apparently, the people who left were mad that Master Hughes would not allow full-contact sparring. One part of the story, anyway. They started the new school as a way to get back at him. "Their goal was to be 'better than Master Hughes' students," says Justin.

I'm always so sorry to hear about those kinds of splits, "breakups" without forgiveness or reconciliation.

After class:
Ms. Pryor gives a little talk about "respecting people who are different from you." I listen intently. She's talked about this before.

"If people do forms different from the way you do, that's just the way they do forms. It's important for you to have compassion for others. The world will be much better, and it can start here, with you."

I like that thought.

Next post, I'll write about 3-step sparring. I like it . . . yet I find it difficult, even counterintuitive. . . I'm hoping I'll eventually learn it. . .

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