Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Hands-on Education

To say that this past week has been "educational" is quite the understatement. Thanks to one boss being on vacation and the other deciding to snap his ankle in half, I've been holding down the fort at work.

It went quite well, if I do say so myself.

I have learned that I can keep track of the attendance records of 50+ new starts not only on paper but in my head. I found out that I actually make some program directors try not to cringe when I walk into their offices holding my list of students on extern or of possible re-enters for next term. I discovered that all I need is a white board to help me keep track of returning students for the next five months. I uncovered the administrator within and learned how to say things like "this is unacceptable" in a tactful yet firm manner -- and get results. I even managed to delegate once in a while, despite some odd genetic tendency to avoid it at all costs.

All in all, when the bosses come back next week, they'll find that the school is still standing and that the student population remains intact.

I also learned, this past Tuesday night, that I still can't figure out my left from my right when it comes to karate. "Form 1," which my six-year-old has mastered, still escapes me. Don't ask me what the Korean name for it is, for I can neither pronounce it not spell it. When I do manage to say it, it comes out sounding like young emu. I still can't count to ten in Korean. The ability to tell the difference between ahp cha ki (front kick) and yup cha ki (side kick) eludes me until someone shows me. Again. While I can write an entire course on medical terminology, remembering that mok is my neck and moo roop refers to my knee is apparently a challenge above and beyond my talents.

it is possible that this all goes back to my generally non-existent athletic abilities paired with a completely un-deserved sense skill. I always think I can do something. I think I can hit a golf ball. I think I can hit a softball. I think I can shoot hoops. You see, I have a tendency to watch others and then, unreasonably and illogically, think to myself "how hard can that be?"

As I invariably find out, it is much harder than I ever suspected.

However, I'm not totally hopeless... and perhaps that is where the sense of "I can do that" comes from. I am a very good at street hockey. Pucks stay on the ground (usually) and are easier to hit than softballs, which insist on being airborn when I'm supposed to hit them. My whole concept of hockey is "get the puck in the net," and I do that reasonably well.

Had we had volleyball in high school, I would have played. While the volleyball isn't on the ground like a puck, I don't have to worry about swinging a bat or about aiming at some impossibly small basketball hoop. All I have to do is aim at the large space above the volleyball net -- or, I admit it, the face of the person on the other side of the net.

But as for karate? Right up there with softball, baby. A total testament to my lack of coordination. It's a nice stress reliever, but I'll never be a contender. (And I'm okay with that!)

I'll stick to tracking 500+ students and 20+ teachers on a daily basis.
Much easier than that left v.s right stuff.

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