I missed a little more than three weeks of class this summer due to being out of town. I did not practice nearly enough on my own, hence, I have not quite "mastered" my belt. My 9 year old son, on the other hand, came back from the same vacations as me and rather easily passed onto green belt. I am still purple, but trying.
This week I have been putting a little more practice into my belt routines with the hope that I might be able to complete the test and move into my green belt curriculum. But this evening, I overheard the professor talking with his assistants about who was left to test, naming 4 other students. One of the assistants mentioned my name and I heard the professor say "oh, but he is in his own place".
I wonder what he meant by that. In fact, I have not been to class as consistently as others and also, it is very true that I struggle more with some of the karate moves than others. On the other hand, I have been proactive in trying to catch up and was somewhat eager to show them that I indeed know the purple belt curriculum.
Luckily for me, I am a confident, adult learner without many stakes in whether I "pass" or not into the other belt on some predetermined time line. I continue to love my class, love the art, and love the instructors, to the point, in fact, that I sometimes feel I let them down.
I never did ask the professor what he meant by his statement. Perhaps I should take it literally: I am a little behind in terms of class attendance. Or perhaps I should take it that I am not always the best learner I can be in this class.
I ponder this as I start my new year teaching my 7th and 8th graders.