Slow Learner

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.


About T. D. Davis

4 responses to “Slow Learner

  • 1jaded1

    This incited a slow burn. Does the cold, hard ground really care about Sifu’s arrogance when it accepts him? He is a person like the rest of us. Shame on him…yes, I said it.

  • Ann Koplow

    Thanks for this post.

    I wanted to say this: sometimes when I think people are responding judgmentally and coldly to me…. maybe they are and maybe they aren’t. And sometimes I wonder about how important other people’s reactions seem to me.

    I’m commenting this way, I believe, because of the blog post I wrote today, called “It’s nothing personal.”

    Personally, I appreciate the way you think and the way you write.

  • T. D. Davis

    That means a lot coming from you, and the feeling is very mutual.

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