So we have another quick break and I thought I’d check back in…aka Master Pearson told me to post again to the blog.

Dinner:

Our attempt at Burmese food was not too shabby although everything came out somewhat bland…a surprise since we were using strong spices like tumeric and cumin.  We had a traditional style meal (sitting on the floor around the table) that was very pleasant.  The mood has been pretty lighthearted with an occasional reminder when it goes too far — quite a surprise considering most of us expected a different side of Master Pearson to show himself.

Note to selves — next time we should try the recipes ahead of time so that we can make any necessary adjustments.

One problem seems to be that we have a hard time sticking to the schedule.  We were behind before we ever started since it took Walsh and me over 45 minutes to cook (another reason why the recipes should be practiced prior to the program).

We’re well into classes now and we’ve done some pretty interesting things.  We’re learning some new forms and their practical applications (the five element forms — check out shinhokwan.org for more information).

In a different physical class we were working on doing techniques with proper focus and ma (judging distance).  Prior to our arrival, Master Pearson took some boards and pre-drilled holes of various sizes.  With different strikes we attempted to pass our hands cleanly though the holes in the boards.  Then we repeated the drill and sandwiched pieces of paper in between the boards.  The goal was to poke through the paper cleanly without hitting the surrounding board.  Some of us had..well…an easier time than others and needless to say there is not a small amount of blood on some of the boards (it was quite painful, especially if you hadn’t cut your nails like Master Pearson had suggested).

Finally, we have been given an unusual task which rears it’s ugly head at the end of each class.  Remember the roll of pennies were were supposed to bring (if not, refer to the post entitled Packing List)?  Each person has 100 pennies and we must practice picking them up one handed in different ways (first on a tile — very painful for your thumbs, and then by raising your hand quite high above a bowl containing the pennies and thrusting your hand into the bowl- sounds weird but actually it’s very difficult to pull out just one!).  The stakes are high since the last person to finish has to repeat the exercise while the rest of the group moves on to something more fun…it’s very lonely, just ask Walsh! In my own experience, I’ve learned that if you make even the slightest attempt to “cheat” and I use this term loosely (like accidentally pulling up two pennies or dropping some on the way down or not lifting your hand high enough), then the yelling ensues making it significantly more difficult to concentrate on the remaining pennies.

So that’s where we are right now…about to start another class.

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