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Well, I did it!

I did a fabulous day filled with fabulous 90Β° turns, both from a standstill and moving, as well as a bunch of fabulous other maneuvers.

I went a bit wonky on the sharp u-turn part, where you can’t put down a foot on the test, but I did everything else wonderfully, and passed the exam, with commendations from the teacher.

Have you ever known someone who was really good at something, but who was only just starting out?…. and the person was so good that you wanted to see him/her pursue it further, because you could just see how amazing that person could be at it?… I’ve had that every so often with students, and I encourage them to stick with whatever it is, because I can see the natural inclination of awesomeness at the subject matter within them, and I want the world to benefit from that awesomeness, as well as the student….

Well, today, I got to be that person, that student. (!!!)

After the class, the coach was telling me how I was such a good and natural rider, and that a bike just seemed to suit me, I did so well with it, and, what’s more, that he felt I really would do well getting a motorcycle instead of getting a scooter (the scooter having been mentioned this morning at the start of the class)…

He was actually disappointed to discover that I already owned the scooter, because that meant I wouldn’t be getting a bike anytime soon.

And, truly, I was really a bit honored by his compliments.

He said that, while he tried to give the guys in the class a fair time, he put me first on just about every exercise – and I noticed how he would use one of their bikes to do the demonstration, and then line it up in a different spot, so that person wouldn’t go first in the group, and he would encourage me to go near the front…. then, after one round or so, when e would stop us briefly to talk, or have use move to a new location, he always had me as first in lone – because I was the best in the class.

Wow.

I mean, I felt this way a bit myself, that I was doing best overall, but I had no idea it was something worth sharing with me nor that there was such a difference in performance levels, and that mine was quite so high….

It was a really cool feeling… especially when I got the paper to show that I can have the M endorsement on my license now and forever more… that part was really cool for me. πŸ˜€

Watch out, World – I’m coming in bright red, European travel gear again!

(And I am thrilled!)

Post-a-day 2019

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90Β° into the future

Last week, my only struggle in the motorcycle training course was making a 90Β° turn while looking in the designated direction.

Funnily enough, I was so paranoid about messing up the turn and dropping the bike or something while I was looking left (for a left turn) and couldn’t see directly in front of the bike anymore, that I always ended up cutting over the inner cones… aka I was scared of hitting the outside ‘wall’ of baby cones, that I made the turn even tighter than it needed to be..,

Seriously, Banana?

Apparently so… haha

And so, tomorrow is the final day of the course… I have already passed the knowledge test/exam for the M endorsement on my license (M for motorcycle, even though I own a Vespa, not a motorcycle – a very powerful Vespa, of course), and I have passed the first few stages of the riding portion of the licensing exam, the skills test.

Tomorrow, I have the rest of the skills to learn and to do well, including that 90Β° turn that is genuinely the only skill that has me concerned… everything else is so natural for me, and I have done probably all of it before (we had dirt bikes when I was a kid)… just not a 90Β° turn while looking so far to the side (it makes sense, of course, in terms of safety regarding not having other cars show up out of nowhere, but I always want to watch the road a bit more than they like for the test, even on my bicycle [Yes, I checked how I do the turns on my bicycle this past week, and I do a back-and-forth head turn thing on my sharp turns.]).

Therefore, I am thinking longingly of a set of fabulous 90Β° turns in my near future (tomorrow morning, to be exact), and safe, genius diving for myself.

So, here’s to a wonderful night’s rest, and beautiful day tomorrow, and passing my licensing skills test tomorrow morning: Cheers! πŸ˜‰

Post-a-day 2019

Yoga, again

I sat for my yoga teacher exam yesterday.

Today, I received a message from the course teacher, informing me that I passed with a 93% grade on the exam.

Woohoo!

She even threw in a little thumbs up icon at the end of the message.

So, now all I have to do is to teach a practice class next week, and then attend as a regular student twelve more yoga classes… and then I will be certified as a yoga teacher.

This weekend, I need to figure out how to get those yoga classes completed before the end of the month… being on a tight budget doesn’t really allow for a sudden burst of spending like that, so I have to figure out trades and discount classes, and just find a way to make it all happen.

Which, I am confident, I can and will do… I just have to do it, and I have just about two and a half weeks to make it happen.

So, let’s do this.

Yay!

Post-a-day 2019

Copycat, copy the cat

A friend is helping me prepare for my goodbye speeches at my schools. I wanted to do them in Japanese, and I wanted them to be good.  Yes, I could rumble my way through some Japanese and be mostly understood without much prep.  However, I want the speeches to be better than that, seeing as they will be each given during a whole ceremony thing at each school.  Not the time I want to be casual with my words.  Also, almost no one would understand the English anyway, if I gave the speeches in English.

All of that, however, is merely the precursor to this next bit…

This friend who is helping me, she’s helping me by recording herself giving the speech.  Why?  Because I want to hear a native speaker give the speech.  As we were discussing this, I mentioned that I do better copycatting someone’s speaking when I have never heard a certain word or phrase already spoken.  (If I have heard it already, then I usually have already learned the appropriate natural way of saying it, and can produce it on my own, without aural prompting or guidance.)

When I mentioned this to my friend, her reply caught me off guard.

copying is the basic way for learning πŸ‘πŸ»

What?

And yes, it is so utterly and beautifully true.  As babies, we copy our parents and family members in order to learn to talk and walk and eat and do basically everything that we do successfully.  The same applies as we learn new behaviors theighout our whole lives, and it definitely includes learning to speak a new(foreign) language properly.

And yet, schools have this huge concept of ‘copying is cheating, and cheating is bad, so copying is bad.’

I once found myself in a meeting with fellow faculty who were arguing/fussing about preventing cheating in the school, while I was wondering what the whole big deal with cheating was on the first place. It’s not that I was (or currently am) approving of cheating – I was (and still am) simply wondering what the reasoning was behind this terror-inducing aversion to cheating.  It just kind of felt like a sort of blind belief situation, with no real background to support it validly.  It may very well be completely valid – I have just never sat down a brainstormed enough to find out if it is or isn’t.  And I was wondering in that meeting if anyone else had done that.  (Though I found it highly unlikely, so I didn’t bother asking – it would have just stirred up trouble.)

And here, tonight, my friend says that copying is like the basis for learning.  And with only a brief bit of thought, this idea, this concept, seems to make sense, and much more than the ‘no cheating’ one ever has.  

After a bit of discussion in this new topic with my friend, I discovered that the word in Japanese for “to learn” comes from the word for “to copy”.  I was in momentary disbelief, and then complete unsurprise – of course Japanese has that.  I can so see that, it makes such easy sense with the Japanese culture.

It turns out that the old word for “to copy” is 真似ぢ(manebu) (and the current is ηœŸδΌΌγ‚‹(maneru)).  The word for “to learn” is  ε­¦γΆ(manabu).

Put more visually simple:

学ぢ(manabu/ to learn)
真似ぢ(manebu/ to copy)
ηœŸδΌΌγ‚‹(maneru/ to copy) (old word)

(And manebu is the old word for maneru, but the have the same meaning.)
Wow.  Just wow.

I certainly plan to ponder this topic much, much more.  This concludes my thoughts so far, however.

Post-a-day 2017