Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb

Pakua Diary 2/19 and 2/26/04

Two reports in one.

Last Friday was a comedy of errors which resulted in a very short class. It seems Master Brian forgot to note that there is a 9AM Friday women's class, so they scheduled an 8:30 "Program" class instead. "Program" is short for Accelerated Program - by paying a huge amount of money and attending program classes daily, a student can jump a number of ranks in an extremely short period of time. The owner of our school, for example, started in Pakua last *March* and he's been a black belt for months. I do not approve. There are things which you can only learn through experience and *time*, and he hasn't. I'm guessing it's a source of income for the schools and the masters. One of my classmates, Riki, is ambitious to advance, and they are trying to push the program on her. However, she has five yeshiva tuitions to pay.

Rant over. Program classes are an hour long. I got there a little after 9, thinking I was late and finding three men on the mat when there should have been women. And then Instructor Dominique was wearing street clothes - jeans, a tight little t-shirt that said "hottie" and a little jacket over that. She'd left her uniform at home. Which meant she couldn't go on the mat. Even if we could. And then five minutes later, Riki shows up. And she's wearing her uniform jacket, but not pants. Just her skirt. She forgot the pants. And her skirt was a tight one, too. Dominque ends up wearing a new jacket and her *brother's* new pants, which are too long and big for her, and they dig through the lost and found to find pants to fit Riki. Not easy, since it's mostly kids who forget things.

And when all's said and done, we end up with a half hour to work. We do mostly rolls and falls.

I got there late, and fuming mad. The driver was straight from Russia, so didn't know the streets, and worse, didn't know the Roman Alphabet. This is vital in a place with lettered avenues - my school is on Avenue I.

And I didn't realize this. So I didn't keep watch. And he misses his right onto Ave I because he believes that the letter "H" is the letter "I". I look up when he says Ave I, and it's Ave H and he passes that to go to Glenwood (basically Ave G, but it has a name.) And so now we're two long blocks out of our way. And then he wants to go on Flatbush because E. 29th St he recognizes. But that doesn't do me a lot of good and I start screaming at him. We make it on to Nostrand and then Ave H comes again and he's about to turn but I scream at him to stop and to make the *next* right. And I scream at him (I'm ten minutes late at this point, and my cramps are bad and we've gone more than four blocks out of our way.) for making me late and finally he drops me in front of the school on what *he* calls "Ave One". Because it's a san serif "I". And maybe that's reasonable, but *no one* will ask for Ave One because there *is* no Ave One. There is a First Avenue in Manhattan. I was even there today. But it's called First Avenue, not Ave One. And people where he is will ask for Avenue I.

So I'm fuming mad when I finally get in the place. I take off my coat and shoes and run into the dojo and toss my hat into the corner and really run - until Instructor Dominique points out that I'm still wearing my skirt. Oops. I'm wearing my pants underneath, so I take it off and toss it in the corner. And on my second circuit of the dojo, I punch the punching thing. I normally don't run much, but I had to.

And then she has me lead the 24 - and it worked very well. Got me nice and calm and centered. And Penina (the only other student) led the kicks, and Dominique did punches. Then we did free techniques, and I finally learned the proper way of flipping. It involves lifting your opponent with your hips. And Penina is taller than I am and weighs nearly as much, and I had to be told I got her off the ground because I didn't feel it.

Cool, no?

Evaluation next week.

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