Friday, October 23, 2009

The incomplete circle of goals, success, and progress.

So it's midterm season, and I'm doing quite well so far. However, one of the main downers was last weekend when I went to competition. I didn't do badly in the round-robin matches, but my elimination round, I was practically a target dummy to my opponent and for the first time in my fencing career, defeated in less than 3 minutes.

So one of the first things that I was thinking about was just how well I applied, the different styles I learned. It works on slow people, and on dumb people that react. However, what about average people and the intelligent adversaries? We never tried things out on them, in other words we never tried things out in reality.

I realized that and was quite concerned with a more general theme where my colleagues are content with the results we got from just the people we tried it on, and just the people we were around. One of them even blinds himself to saying he's expanding it by teaching it to people in the club. I applaud his effort, but he fails to be capable of having things spread beyond him. I'll ask him later, why he doesn't compete. Why doesn't he show the larger community that actually counts and will make a difference in changing the face of fencing? I believe he stopped being competitive was because he mentioned that the competitive community is stubborn, and arrogant and not accepting. Which isn't true considering things are still changing in the community.

So I was disappointed about our lack of progress and blindness to what progress really is. We set the goals, we succeeded in achieving them, so in conclusions we made some progress. That's great, but we stopped now.

So my busy life continued, and next up came archery. 1 of the members there, she's been practicing since the start of the club, but has only begun to consistently hit the target. She was happy, we all cheered/teased. Today though I was giving pointers on things to look out for. Something to check when she's next in practice. She didn't quite understand. So when I did finish explaining it was relatively labourous. I tried something different then. Trying to get her to understand, the variability that skews an archer's aim. If she understands the difficulties, she can understand what can be fixed. What she can work on, without relying on the coach to give her a foreign concept to learn and work at.

She got royally pissed at me for being tedius, and that I should "you tell the student THIS IS wrong, you do it that way." I personally don't teach this way because

a) it insults the students frequently and not everyone can take it.
b) it spoon feeds the learning material. The student will never learn unless the coach is there.
c) Kind of a corallary to b), is that the student will never learn to think independently.

We moved on from that subject, and I warned her not to get comfortable with her achievement on monday. She can be happy, but she has to remember to not stop and keep going. It was a warning, and she took it as my assumption that she is. So she became angry again, and with all the dramatics to follow. I was consistently trying to correct her misunderstanding and apologize for my incoherence.

She became very emotional, and I gave up on trying to reason with her.

Different case, similar problem,

We set goals, we progress and achieve them, shouldn't we look towards more progress, better and higher achievements besides our immediate little world?

Like that Desjardin commercial. "Just because something's invented, does it mean we stop there? No, we knew we could do better. "