Said William Barclay, “endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
Ever since I came back from vacation it’s been pandemonium. Being at the school all day has made me feel almost that I live here, because, fact of the matter is, I spend more conscious hours here than anywhere else. I’ve been lacking sleep, and I’ve been mentally and physically exchausted.
In large part this has to do with the Taekwondo exam that I had on saturday– preparing for it the night before and actually participating took a lot of energy out of me, and those are hours of sleep that I have yet to recuperate. On the day of the exam itself, I misread the korean instructions for the exam time and showed up at 5pm to find that the exams were just starting; I thought that *warmups* started at 5, and that the exam started at 6.
On Monday, more TKD after 11 hours of work– and because we’d just finished exams, that gives Gwanjangnim more time to let us do non-poomsae training. That meant, on monday, volume kicking exercises to work on our cardio. And it wasn’t a 1 hour class like usual– we were there for a bit over two hours that night.
So all that physical exertion stacked up and by yesterday, I was just totally out of it. I woke up in the morning feeling like I had bricks on strings tied to my brain through my eyesockets. That’s strange imagery, I know, but as painful as it sounds that sort of approximates the encumberance I felt as my day went on.
But things are looking up. Yesterday, in the class with the most delinquents, one out of three of the bad boys wasn’t there, so I was finally given the opportunity to divide and conquer, turning the two remaining bad boys against eachother. They behaved better for the rest of the class once I managed to orchestrate a sense of betrayal between them. Basically, I said that “one of you is going to be punished for this thing that you’ve done.” Finger pointing ensued.
Is turning friends into ennemies an awful tactic? In some contexts yes. But I make it a point that they understand that it’s not their friendship that gets them in trouble– it’s their endorsement of class disruptions. It was my success for the day when the two students, tired of having no backup, remained mostly silent for the rest of the class and stayed focused on the work.
That was a plus.
The other plus is that on Monday, I got my blue belt. Oh, and a medal. Apparently I did quite well on the exam!