Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Learning to see

Master Fuzzy is definitely on the/my case. He stopped me while I was cleaning today to show me (again) how to throw a reverse punch, which I am having the hell of a time learning to do correctly.

In fact, I am having the hell of a time learning to do anything correctly. I really hate being such a consistent idiot.

Later, he had a long-ish talk with me later about my really severe mind/body disconnect: how I seem to have a terrible time actually getting my body to do what both my instructors and I want it to do. I told him I knew and that it was driving me insane that it took me so long to get things: that I had to be taught the same technique or move over and over. He says the connection will get stronger. I hope to God it starts to at least get better soon, because we're all getting damn frustrated over my inability to pick things up more quickly.

He also pointed out how submissive my body language is, and he is, as usual, absolutely right. This makes me so ashamed. How in the hell have I internalized this crap? The ducking of the head, the avoidance of eye contact, the swiveling of my body away from others, the clasping my hands in front of me to demonstrate that I'm no threat? When and how did I learn to do this?

I suspect the answer is that I kinda learned it everywhere without even noticing. After all, as Master Fuzzy points out, it's classic girl posturing. As he also points out, it's classic victim posturing.

It's true that I'm not as bad about this out of the dojang as opposed to inside it, where I'm feeling desperately intimidated most of the time. (I think I'm less intimidated by the possibility of physical harm than I am of the likelihood of disapproval.) But since a senior student pointed out my chronic inability to make eye contact, my constant "glazing over" as I withdraw into myself to avoid looking outward, I have noticed that I do this fairly often in everyday life, too.

This makes me feel ill.

Even more than I want to train my body to learn more quickly, I want to unlearn moving--and seeing--like a victim. I wonder how much of the world around me I have missed, simply because I was looking away.