Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Trying out Tuesdays

Since our Tuesdays have been freeing up, and Drew had..."issues"...with RA (I don't understand his problem with RA completely, but whatever), I decided that we'd try out Tuesday classes instead, just to see if it worked out differently. SW had told me that it was typically a smaller class than the Monday and Wednesday classes, so it was worth a try so that way she could keep a closer eye on him...and no RA. (He doesn't work on Tuesdays.)

Sure enough, it was a smaller class. Compared to last Wednesday's class of about 20-24 kids, today was only about 9 kids. MUCH BETTER. One of the things that SW was getting after the kids about was "happy feet" (think of the movie with the penguin, where he couldn't keep his feet still for very long). She said she was not singling anyone out, but I know one of the main culprits was Drew. He's always wiggling around. He's gotten better over the years, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. I think what I most liked seeing today was that he was able to keep up with the older kids and higher belts today. He still travelled a little too much-- some of that "happy feet" at work, but it wasn't as bad as usual. I was just glad that he was keeping up for the full form as much as he was. I suspect that he won't do the whole form, and he'll still only do half (which means with help) at testing next week, but oh well. I think he MIGHT be capable of doing it, but then again, maybe he's not quite mature enough for it yet. Hard to say. I'll let SW make the call this time. During weapons, well, at least he didn't hit anyone with his SJB! SW had them working on 20 second freestyles. It's funny to watch the kids, because some use a "form" that SW sometimes teaches. Drew has always wanted to do his own thing, and some of the moves are still a little hard for him. I think he improvises pretty well, otherwise. But in his last improvisation, he did about 5-6 V-strike moves in a row-- FAST -- and it looked like it would hurt! But he was fine and proud of his achievement. It just made me laugh to watch it.

Things started to fall apart at board breaking. This is a year of new experiences, that's for sure. And it's a time for learning things the hard way, and learning how to mature. In board breaking, he decided to work on his roundkick break again. It just wasn't happening. He'd kick and kick, and JZ tried to help him figure out the problem, but it just wasn't happening. He walked away and came over to me (who had his gear bag) crying. He was upset and disappointed in himself, and frustrated. I told him after everyone else had a try, maybe he could asked SW or JZ to try again. He still wasn't hitting the mark. This upset him more. I, first, had to get him to calm down, because he was getting hysterical. Once I got him calmed a little more, I pointed out another boy in his class who was a black belt who wasn't getting his board broken today either. I explained that I don't break the board often too, he just doesn't see it because he isn't in class with me, but he could ask SV (who was there next to me, as her son is in Drew's class) or Ma'am, and they could tell him that it happens, and sometimes we have off days, and it's just like a game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I got him in his sparring gear, and he didn't seem too bad after that. He was a little grumpy when they had to bow out, but I didn't rush him out the door. I just gave him some hugs and assurances, and as he's telling me that he doesn't want to take TKD anymore, I reminded him that graduation is next week and he gets a new belt. (He often gets tournaments and graduation mixed up. As long as he gets something, he's happy.) Once I said that, he perked up a bit, and agreed to at least go through next week. He'll be fine. He was fine until the board break failure. If he had broken the board tonight, he would've been fine. There would be no issue.

I'm thinking after graduation, since we only have a week before having a week-long winter break at the TKD school, I'm going to give him that week before off too. Unless he WANTS to go, of course. But I think he needs another break. He needs to enjoy Christmas and be a kid with a few less things to worry about, like learning his form. If I can give him these mini breaks like this, I think it's less stress on him, and he will still learn. As we are often reminded, there is no timetable in getting your black belt, and Drew is certainly proof of that. I want him to feel success, even if he has to feel defeat first, like today's board breaking exercise, along the way.

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