Thursday, November 21, 2013


The year is in one of its splendid moments of changing glory.  When I came to my lesson today, Fukunari-sensei told me about her recent trip to see the leaves.  She said she and her husband arrived at 8:30am to find many many people already there.  Such is the beauty of fall.  Along the same lines, I told her that tomorrow some friends of mine and I are headed to Kyoto to see the fall leaves.  It will be busy there as well, probably even more so.

I've recently been impressed with a lesson I've been learning from her teaching, the importance and comfort of showing her what I don't understand.  My whole life I've always wanted my teachers to think I understand.  Only now, after three college degrees have I figured out how wrong I was about learning!  It's not that I want to wallow in my ignorance, but there is something very relieving about trusting to someone my shortcomings, about telling her that I don't know a word, that a concept doesn't make sense.  Somehow I trust that she will be able to explain it, despite our opposing language comprehensions.  Nor do I ever feel judged regarding my intelligence, my memory, or my work ethic.

Perhaps it is my own newfound stability as a non-student in an adult life, but it has made me reflect on an important quality of the relationship between the teacher and student.  Very happy to be learning from her.

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