Sunday, November 22, 2009

NYC - Statue of Liberty - Photos


Spiral staircase inside the Statue of Liberty








Great day in NYC! The weather was 58 degrees which is a big difference from last year.

Regular posting to resume in a few weeks. Next week will be my busiest week at work all year. Thanks again to all those who read and comment on my blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Long Time - No Post

Wow....it has been a while since I posted. First, I had a computer problem which turned out to be a burned out CPU fan. The other reason for my lack of posting is the long hours I am spending at work. I work for a company that manufactures Christmas Tree lot items. Ninety percent of our sales for the year happen in the month of November.

So what has been going on....


Work...

My daughter and I went to see a Miley Cyrus concert in Philadelphia.

My daughter finished her soccer season. It was a miserable season. More on this topic later.

....and more work. Even though I am exhausted, I am very glad I have a job.

Next week, we are going to NYC for the day. We are going to visit the Statue of Liberty. Even though we booked our trip months ago....we only have tickets for the pedestal museum. I wonder how far in advance we need to book in order to go inside the statue?

Karate practice has been going very well. We are working on kata, bunkai and sparring in the dojo. Sparring is the only activity that makes me worry about my knee. I find this weird because it is not how I hurt my knee.

I have not been to Tai Chi class for several weeks. :(

Thank you to all the readers and to those who leave comments on this blog.

Thanks again,
Michele

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Once A Black Belt...Always A Black Belt?

I have been thinking a lot about the subject of being a black belt. Last week in the dojo, my husband had an excellent discussion with a 1st kyu student about the process of being a black belt. Yes, there is a test, a list of requirements and long hours needed in the dojo. But, there is something more. It is the hard to describe, intangible quality that he referred to as "becoming" a black belt. It is something you know...when you see it.

I think of students who passed through our dojo and earned the rank of black belt. Some students continue to train, learn and teach. They have become my training partners and together we continue to learn and explore.

Other students quit a few weeks or perhaps months after receiving their belt. I imagine their belt hanging on a display like a prized trophy. It was something they wanted to acquire not become.

I believe there is another group. The students trained, earned their black belt but for some reason (family, work, school, injury) can no longer actively train. Even though they do not walk through the dojo door on a weekly basis, I still consider them part of the dojo. They "became" a black belt. The lessons learned in karate class became part of who they are and shaped the person they became. These students could step on the floor at any time and be a black belt. Sure...they may need to re-learn the patterns or the drills but the essence of their training and study is still part of them.

What do you think....once a black belt...always a black belt? If the training stops... should the rank stop with it? Or does it depend on the person and if they actually became a black belt rather than acquire one?