Monday, August 25, 2008

The second test

Some weeks after that first "test," I stumbled through my second. Almost literally.

It was a simple thing, really.

We do some exercises in class in a line. Then we do some with partners, in two lines, facing each other.

I know this.
I had done this, many times, as a student.

But this one day, in the middle of class, he asked me to have the class form ranks for the partner exercises, and for the life of me, I could not remember what to SAY to get them to do that.

"Okay, now you guys over here, come over this way and then you guys go over there and then turn around, no, not all of you, just this group, and spread out and..." was not going to cut it.

Funny how you can hear commands given over and over, and know how to respond to them appropriately, but not really be conscious of what they ARE before they happen.

Saw this same thing happen to someone on the show "The Academy," the reality show that is about training to be a deputy sheriff. Some poor woman, having been in training for weeks, was told to give the commands for something, and she blanked.

She got yelled at, embarrassed, and harassed, to the point of tears, all in that stupid, pseudo "military" hogwash of proving who is in charge, and that all the new people are lower than low, as if that's going to improve either morale or performance.

I didn't.

He just stepped in, took the reins, and the class went on. It is possible- even probable- that he and I are the only ones who knew I messed up.

We had a little talk after class.
I started paying more attention to the transitions, both verbal and non-verbal, in the class.

Since then, I have had the pleasure of having a couple of assistants have the same difficulty, and guiding them through it.

The trouble with expanding your comfort zone is that inevitably, something will come along that is way outside the new lines.

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