Tuesday, March 1, 2011

WHAT did you say?!?!?

Remember that Bill Cosby show "Kids Say the Darndest Things?" If I recall, it was supposed to be about the cute things that kids say. Turns out, kids say some pretty nasty things. Sometimes intentional, and sometimes without realizing they've offended.

Last night in class, I decided that my green belt youth were performing their ho sin sul with little to no enthusiasm. Already, my level of annoyance is reaching "Who thought Jar-Jar Binks was a good addition to the script?" type levels. So I pull aside one of the moms in class who assists with teaching. I tell her that I'm going to grab her for a one-step and I want her to put on the ground as forcefully as possible. She looks at me briefly, excitement mixed with slight confusion. "I'm serious," I say, "I want you to bury my ass in the mat."

She complied. In fact, she planted me so vigorously that I have mat burn across the side of my head. All of the kids were duly impressed with this example of how hard work and intensity will pay off in self-defense.

All of the kids, that is, except for one.

"Wow! I can't believe you let yourself get beat up by a GIRL!"

Now, my anger was approaching "Hey guys, let's go catch the sequel to the Matrix; it's going to ROCK!" levels. As Samuel Jackson eloquently stated in Pulp Fiction, I was a mushroom cloud laying-MFer.

Kids say the darndest things.

I quickly informed him that not only was he NOT funny, but he'd just insulted every girl in the class many of whom worked far harder than him, and that he owed them all an apology. They begrudgingly accepted, but I think he was scared of his next - most likely female -- partner. I don't know if it was the fact that I was truly angry and practically on top of him telling him this, or if it was because my head was bleeding, but he seemed quite scared.

After class, I thought that perhaps I was too hard on him, that I let my anger with the situation overflow into what could have been a positive learning experience where we'd all hug it out under a double rainbow and unicorns would fart gold wrapped chocolate candies. I also thought I could have just ignored it rather than give him any sort of attention. In retrospect, I'm glad I came down on him.

In this case, I think ignoring him would have given his comments a tacit endorsement, as would laughing it off. And quite frankly, I have too many girls in my class to abandon them.

This has been part of my latest set of pet peeves in class: kids who laugh at other kids when they mess up, fall over during a kick, do the wrong move in a form, etc. It's probably an even bigger pet-peeve than not giving 100%.
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