Underneath my yellow skin

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School versus learning

I love learning.

I hated school.

I don’t think these are contradictory statements, and  Ithink many people would agree with me. I get a frisson of electricity up my spine when I learn something new. Or am learning something new. These days, this is mostly with Taiji because that’s what I’m studying. when I taught myself the Fam Form after getting out of the hospital, it was such a triumph. I need to tidy up a few of my forms, though.

In addition, I’ve added the Taiji weight-lifing set to my daily routine, but I knew that already because I did it before. I have smoothed it out a bit more and know why it’s done the way it is, but it’s not new.

Taiji is interesting in that there is a time where there is a lot of learning–like at the beginning. My teacher taught me the Solo (Long) form, and it was so much information at one time. She believed that when she first taught the form, she didn’t go too much in details. She gave the basics behind why we do things the way we do, but she didn’t load me down on all the theories and history in the first year. She wanted to give a broad base upon which to build the rest, and it took off a lot of the pressure. Also, it was hard to focus on more than one thing at a time.

So, when you’re a complete newb, you just concentrate on the postures (now called movements). As long as you get the basic shape of it, you’re doing fine. I have a classmate who likes to correct other people and tell them how to do things–and he’s incorrect more often than not. He’s been doing it ever since he started about four years ago (right before the pandemic).

Side note: That’s sexism at work. My teacher is a woman and I, the student who has studied with her the longest, am female-presenting. Also, I would not presume to assume that I know better than my actual teacher. It’s amazing to me how confident a mediocre white man can be in our society. I know why it is, but it’s maddening, in any case.

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