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I'm not totally accepting "A is not B" - RonO's Ramblings

Jan. 21st, 2009 08:18 pm I'm not totally accepting "A is not B"

I suppose that, at least in part, because of coming off of the initial excitement about the new job and new location after 5 months, I'm starting to notice that some of my activities are not quite the same as what I had in the Chicago area, and it is bothering me more than it should.

For example, tonight at my second group class at the United Studios of Self Defense I was feeling frustrated in large part because the system, and some of the aspects of the class, were not what I was used to at the National Karate school in Bartlett. A lot of what is important to me about the class were very similar -- the tone of the instruction, the attitude of the instructor and the other students, the intensity of the work out. But the details of the art were being more frustrating to me tonight than on Saturday or Monday. I'm sure that the fact that I didn't keep up with any workout for the 5 months since my last class at National Karate had an effect.

In some ways it might have been easier if the arts were less similar, since I keep wanting to do the similar NK move. For example USSD's basic kick is a "front ball kick" from a horse stance, striking with the ball of the foot. However, the front kick at NK was always with the top of the foot. We also did "thrust kicks" with the back leg, but from a deep back stance. The stances are another thing I'm having trouble with. At NK, for everything, but some of the traditional stuff (form, marching basics, salutes) and a end of class or test burn out, we were in the "fighting" stance which is a L shaped stance looking over one leg and shoulder. At USSD there are a number of stances, and most basic stuff is done from the "horse" stance. NK used the horse stance (often more correctly called the horse riding stance, since that is what it resembles) to do punches for burn out.

One other aspect that is a bit different is that it seems that a lot of the real skill development is in the private lessons -- which you get one a week -- instead of in the group classes. This results in many fewer group classes (3 total at Oceanside for most levels each week, compared to at least 5 (for all belts) and up to 10 for brown belts (just below black)) as well as the need to schedule classes each week.

I've got a two week trial and will at least see it through with a class Saturday, three classes next week and one more private lesson. Based on the schedules of the other schools in the area -- and there are 3 more near the same intersection and one a mile or less down the road, actually closer to our house -- I suspect that the group versus private class thing may be common around here. If I decide that USSD isn't going to work, I want to make sure I find something else soon.

I've been having similar problems with the church. Don't get me wrong, I like the teaching that I'm getting, but the style of the teaching is enough different that I'm always meshing. Part of the problem may be that the Pastor Shawn Mitchel doesn't preach as often as Pastor Rob Bugh, and more different people fill in. (A few years ago when Rob's wife was dieing of cancer, he didn't preach as much, but Rob Reinow who is also a full time pastor at Wheaton Bible filled in most Sundays). I understand why this happens -- Pastor Shawn is the chaplain for the San Diego Chargers and often travels with them, and he had a very serious stroke last spring and is still recovering, and none of the other full time pastors are preaching pastors.

But, I'm more often feeling the differences during the music part of the worship. I appreciate and understand at least one part of the difference -- the racial make up of the church. New Venture is the most completely integrated church I've been associated with, so it blends the rock, pop and folk inspired modern praise style with the gospel music styles commonly found in African American churches. Since I'm used to having my worship led by a small group of singers with one leader, usually Pastor Brian Hogan playing his guitar, having the much larger choir with several different leaders takes some getting used to. There is also a noticeable difference in the way the music is played, even when it is the same song. Finally, I'm very used to how Brian does many songs -- familiar enough on ones that he did regularly that I was able to run lyrics at the men's retreat last year without rehearsal or confirmation of verse order -- so am more sensitive to changes in the verse order than I might otherwise be.

I'm sounding a bit down or nostalgic, but the differences are all bad. I won't say too much about the weather, lest I get accused (rightly) about boasting again. LosCon was clearly not Windycon without it bothering me. But then again Windycon n was usually not Windycon n-1; and Capricon was never Windycon.

Qualcomm isn't Motorola either. Of course, to a large extent Qualcomm is more like the Motorola of 5 to 7 years ago than the Motorola I left 6 months ago was to that earlier Motorola -- except most engineers have offices and we get free pop. My job isn't the same either, but for the most part it is better.

As an aside, I'll admit I think I liked the assignment I had the first 3.5 months better than the one I've had for the 1.5 months since. But that may be because I spent the first month of my current assignment doing nothing, and have spent the last couple of weeks trying to do something with very incomplete directions, logistical problems, and not as much tutoring as I'd like. In regards to the latter, each time I've asked for some help, before today at least, it has come down to "here, I think I fixed it for you."

I'll admit I'm not the only one. I'm sure from conversations we've had that robot_grrl would agree that she's been frustrated, or at least bothered by "Tri-City's Histology Department isn't Central DuPage's Histology Department."

I'm not sure that Derrick is nearly as bothered by the differences between his schools, but then again, what bothers him and what doesn't is often unlike the rest of us.

Sam and Rocket seem to mostly be bothered by the fact that life has changed too many times in the last few months. With luck, they'll only have one more upheaval, at least for a while.

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