His outlook hasn’t changed; his perspective hasn’t broadened – at least not in a way that’s visible to me. Such was my thought two thirds of the way through Saturday’s upper sash class when Sifu responded to a humorous comment of mine with rigidity and scolding.
It all started when Siheng Steve came downstairs to tell Sifu that the beginners’ class was over and the upper sashes could take the top floor. Sifu asked for the time and was surprised to find there were only twenty minutes left in the class. As we all dashed for the stairs and a quick water break, he chuckled and said aloud: “Oh, there’s a clock down here now.”
Two black sashes walking near him laughed a little as well, and I said: “Don’t worry, Sifu; we weren’t going to tell you.”
“Good. You shouldn’t,” he answered sternly, with a tweak of annoyance, in a tone turned humorless.
Pointing out to Sifu something that he doesn’t already know is apparently a no-no, even something as innocuous as a long-overdue addition of a clock to the downstairs training area.
For the love of God, WHY? I found myself screaming inside my own head shortly before our very short water break concluded. Most people would just say, “Thanks for letting me know.”
But Sifu’s not everyone. That’s exactly his point. And I’m still trying to interact with him as if we’re all family.
The only time I ever feel like a slow learner is in finding the proper way to deal with the people in my life. I like to think I eventually get it right. But maybe that’s just hope talking.