Thursday, September 24, 2009

M.A.M Update...

I haven't given you an update since July, so I thought it was about time.

My husband and I have been back together for about 2 months now and things seem to be going well. He is really trying and so am I.

I asked him to give me a week after I broke it off with Forrest, the guy I was seeing for 3 months when we were separated. I broke it off with Forrest on a Sunday and my hubby moved back in that next Friday...not quite a week, but it felt right.

I still miss Forrest, but not so much in the romantic way anymore. I just miss him as a friend - a goofball, and as I've told you before - I mean that in a good way. I'm a goofball too. We just seemed to get each other's weird sense of humors. He called me about a week after the breakup and wanted me to see him "on the side". I told him I was not that person and would never be that person. When I was with him, I was with him only and now that my husband and I are back together, I am only with him. I have not heard from him directly since - 2-1/2 months. It was very hard at first, not talking to Forrest because we had talked almost every day or went out together. I will love Forrest forever - most of all because he gave me confidence in myself again. Remember I told you I started wearing shorts for the first time in about 25 years because of him? He made me feel good enough about myself to not feel like an idiot showing my legs. LOL He told me I was gorgeous all the time, which again, inspired confidence in me I have never had before. But back to my husband and I...
My husband asked all our friends over that Friday night and asked me to be married to him again in front of all of them and our kids. We put our wedding rings back on that night and he stayed his first night back home that night.
When we sat down to figure out what we were going to do to make our marriage work, we said we wanted to incorporate things we did with those we were with during our separation that we felt we had been missing before we split. One of those things was eating at home more. The woman he was seeing was a good cook and so am I but with our busy schedules and kids, we had kind of gotten away from eating at home much. Well, my interest in cooking has become a passion for cooking - especially cooking in cast iron...but that's another post entirely. We've always enjoyed eating out together and watching cooking shows, but it has become a very fun thing we can discuss and be interested in together. The thing I'm going to have to watch though, is my weight. I lost all that weight in "the divorce diet" and we have such great food all the time now, it's tough to not just relax and eat tons of it!
Another thing we said is that we wanted to "date" more. Get out without the kids - as adults having a good time together. I go with him to his pool league night on Wednesday nights now and it's like a date for married people. Our son also spends the night on one night of each weekend with my parents, which is good for all involved - my parents enjoy seeing him, he enjoys interacting with them and my husband and I get time alone as adults. I highly recommend this married couple dating thing. We really enjoy our time together. It helps you remember you are people and not just parents.
My husband and I have both realized that we almost lost our family and all that we've worked for the past 29 years and we are both grateful that we saved it just in the nick of time - 3 weeks short of our divorce becoming final. We are both more affectionate to each other. We text each other like teenagers, with suggestive texts such as "Will you take me for a ride on your big green tractor tonight?"...(You gotta know your country music to know what that means...BTW, have you ever listened to the words to that song? Jason Aldean is NOT talking to his girl about riding a John Deere in this song! If you get my drift...) I've even changed the ringtone on my cell for my husband exclusively to "Big Green Tractor". I know - Too Much Information...LOL!
I have gotten off track on my martial arts. During our separation, it was because of depression and just not being able to get "into" anything. Now, it is the complete opposite...I have so much going on, that I don't want to miss a minute of it for anything - not even my karate night. I've got my loving husband back home and more attentive than ever, my passion for cooking every night, helping my son with his homework - trying to keep him on track in that respect, and of course, the new seasons of Grey's Anatomy and Survivor! I have explained this all to my senseis (minus the Grey's and Survivor part) and they understand completely. I will get back to it - just need a little more time to get into a more stable routine.
But to sum it up, I'm very happy. This getting back together stuff can be alot of fun!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I don't know if you've heard about the 17 year old high school boy beaten by a bunch of boys on his Belleville, IL. school bus. But, here in St. Louis, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Belleville, it has dominated our news lately. (That is when we're not hearing about Michael Jackson's death...3 months ago!)
It happened about a week ago on a high school bus in Belleville, IL. A 17 year old white boy boarded the bus, looking for a seat. Nobody would let him sit down next to them. So, he finally gave up and sat next to a black boy who obviously objected becuase he and another black boy proceeded to grab him by the neck and punch him repeatedly in the head. On the video, at least one other student was heard yelling, "Kick his ass!" The rest of the students were heard whooping and hollering and encouraging the attackers. The bus driver was heard saying, "Cool it back there!" and other such lingo. But he did not pull over to give the boy aid.
One student finally stepped in and pulled the victim away, and in an interview after the incident said he did so because the boy is very quiet and was not trying to defend himself. He went on to say that the victim often has trouble getting a seat on the bus, but they usually let him sit down eventually without physical incident. They usually just tease the boy unmercifully.The bus driver drove on to school with a school nurse waiting for the boy. News reports said he was bruised but overall okay.
The following day, the two main attackers had been suspended for 10 days, a few others suspended for egging it all on, and the bus had a different driver, complete with a security guard.
Now here is my worry. My boy is only 11 but he is ADHD and has often been ostrasized by his peers. I'm sure there are lots of other kids who are in the same boat...or should I say bus?
Even though my 11 yo knows some karate, I would not think he would have the presence of mind to use it under this much duress should something awful like this happen to him.
I would personally have expected that bus driver to pull over and put a stop to this horrible situation. As a student, I remember our bus drivers pulling over just because we would not sit down...or because our voices were too loud...or someone was being teased.
There was even a copycat situation a few days later at a sister school to my son's school.
What are parents teaching their kids? What kind of behavior are parents allowing without actually condoning it? What kind of person with children in their care lets something like this happen without intervening? What is this world coming to?
Your thoughts?

Friday, September 11, 2009

When Your Student Just Doesn't Get It...

Okay, the other day I asked for some teaching tips for the kids with which I worked a few weeks ago. I was sick last week so I couldn't help teach, but I did last night. Ended up with a different group of children. They were a much easier group to work with - until...
A green belt and I were working with 5 kids. The green belt could see how much trouble one little girl was having - holding up the rest of the kids because we had to guide her step by step on every single move we made. So, she asked me if I wanted to take that girl and another promising little boy who just had not learned the entire kata yet or if I wanted the kids who already knew it. I could see the look in her eyes, hoping I'd take the two kids.
This little girl just doesn't seem to "get it". And I don't know what could be the cause of it. She is extremely - make that EXTREMELY - shy. She barely speaks. When you talk to her, she doesn't seem to understand what you're saying. That in and of itself is not as much the problem as the fact that she seems "directionally challenged" - if there is such a condition. When I showed her how to do our "Basic Number 1" kata, I had to break it down step-by-step and explain each step over and over. Again, I expect that with any newcomer (which she is not). But when I stand right next to her and do it with her, showing her each detail of each move, she still doesn't grasp it. The biggest problem seems to be her confusion in direction of movement. When I show her the direction to turn in the kata, giving her tidbits to help remind her which way to go, it does not register with her. When I take her shoulders and start the correct direction of movement, as soon as I let go, she goes the other way. I just don't understand it. I am almost wondering if she may be dyslexic. Could that be it? Have any of you ever tried to teach someone like this?
As I said, this is not a new student. She has been with us about 2 sessions I think. Granted, we have plenty of instructors for most classes, but even working with her one-on-one doesn't seem to improve her excecution of katas or even basic kicks and punches. And the time it takes away from the other students is not fair either.
I might talk to her mother next week and just mention that she doesn't seem to be getting it and maybe if she'd practice at home, it might help. I will probably ask our sensei to say something as I'm just a yellow belt helping with the kids' class. And one of our senseis is a special education teacher. She knows how to talk to parents when their children are just not getting it.
Anyway, if any of you have had students that just don't seem to get it no matter how many times you show them, guide them, tell them, etc. please tell me how you handled it.