goodness, life, martial arts, nerd

I go by many names…

Senior Ecuador and I hung out for three days straight over the winter break (Dec 30-Jan 1), first crashing at my place, then at his for New Year’s, during which we killed a delicious bottle of ruby port and watched Mechagodzilla. The next day, after grabbing breakfast at Literati, he worked on a gift for his brother (woodburning Zelda logo onto a box lid). That night we watched Escape from Los Angeles (no words). I’ve taken to calling him Roomie, and he, for his part, has given me a fine assortment of titles which the other members of the dojo have embraced with an endearing amount of enthusiasm: The Wolf Tamer (for my recent excursion to see a particularly vocal coyote outside my house: I threw on some jeans, sneakers, and brought a maglight and my bokuto. I got as close as I could to the sounds this amazing animal was making before every instinct in my body forced me to stop my approach), The Devourer (I was jealous of Senior Ecuador’s hashbrowns), and The Taker of Things (pretty sure this is also hashbrown-related, but I continue to live up to it).

san

I can’t understate how much I love these titles, and I wondered what someone who friended me on Facebook today would think of me. I skimmed through my photos and have decided that my life up to this point has been fantastic, and full of other, excellent titles:

Sensei– Teaching martial arts to kids means I had fun every day, learned how to handle kids (which was a skill I did NOT have before that job), and became an occasionally great teacher.

Beekeeper– I found a new common interest with my dad, got to wear an awesome cosmonaut outfit, and learned a shitload about bees (which are amazing, btw).

Grad student– How long have I been fantasizing about calling myself a grad student? Basically forever.

Thanksgiving attendee– Every year, the shot of my large, loud Italian family on the porch of the beach house. So much love.

Halloween enthusiast– The pumpkin carvings and dressing up, especially at work (especially at my office job where NO ONE else EVER shows up in costume, lol), plus all the pumpkin-related food-stuffs. It always makes me so happy.

Renaissance Faire attendee– And this year I might actually work the faire.  I could counted among the faire folk.  God.  Little dreams coming true, one at a time.

World traveler– Hawai’i to present my own work at a conference, Scotland and Ireland to celebrate getting into grad school, and much more to come (soon!). I’ve been saving up those vacation days, and grad school will be done in 5 weeks…

Friend/daughter/sister– My favorite photos are the unflattering ones, caught mid-laugh with giant grins plastered across everyone’s faces, particularly with Little Iron Friend, Diminutive Friend, and Dad.

So far, so good.

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family, goodness, life, manfolk, martial arts, school, work

The past two months

I can’t believe it’s been almost two months since I posted.  Unacceptable.  “Marjorie, pull yourself together!”

Things have been moving very quickly over the last few months.  I’ve started my last semester of grad school, which is bittersweet.  I’m ready to be done with school, but sad I won’t be able to tell people I’m a grad student, which I’v fantasized about doing since I was just a kid.  I’ll be done with classes in about six weeks, and I’ll walk at the graduation ceremony in early May.  My parents will be so proud, which makes me very happy.

give me a life in the country

I’ve applied to the JET program, which, if I’m accepted, will take me to Japan for a year to teach English.  I’ll essentially get paid to do accent reduction as a TA and live in the countryside, which sounds like a fucking dream.  I probably should’ve asked Boyfriend what he thought of that idea before I applied, but I didn’t because I want to go to Japan, and that’s that.  Turns out he’s totally into it, and will come visit/live with me for short stints if it works out.  Very exciting 🙂  I’m signed up for weekly, 2-hour Japanese classes; they start next Thursday.
UPDATE: 1/21/14
I just found out that I didn’t get into the JET program.  I’m totally crushed.  I can’t think of why they wouldn’t take me.  I didn’t even get an interview.  Ugh.  Ouch.
END OF UPDATE

taught my Master Tatsu. no, really.

I’ve taken up Shinkendo, which is very challenging but rewarding (and I passed my first test!  Woot!).  We’ve started learning bō, my favorite weapon, and I could not be more excited.  Bō speaks to me in a way the sword does not, it’s like having a dance partner; it does what it wants, all I can do is give suggestions.  We form an agreement (most of the time), and communicate well.  Perhaps more importantly, I’ve found some amazing people who have become good friends at the dojo, and I’ve had the chance to reconnect with an old friend from elementary school, and can’t wait to help that friendship grow.  I also started another blog, which is what I’ve been spending my time on instead of tigerlilytoph.com:

http://www.dojostuff.wordpress.com

It’s all about life in a martial arts studio, and how hilarious and stressful it can be.

Office Job is still pretty dull, but better since Little Mole Boss was removed from her position as my boss.  She was a good boss (maybe the best I’ve had), but it’s nice to work with my co-workers more directly and speak frankly when we exchange ideas without fear of stepping on anyone’s toes.  I’m taking a more active role in the upcoming events our office is planning, which feels good.

I’ll upload a photo of our bees’ honey soon!

The bees are doing just swimmingly, and we might actually harvest some honey this season!  Soon!  We did a minor inspection and found a few bars dedicated to honey and nothing else.  I held up the comb in front of the setting sun, and it glowed amber and gold.  The comb broke open when I pulled it out (the bees built two bars of comb together, so it broke apart when I pulled one bar out), and the honey dripped out of the cells.  We tasted it right off the top of the hive.  It had a clean, light taste, ultra sweet and just beautiful to look at (surprisingly light in color).  I can’t wait to see what it looks like once we harvest a little bit.

Thanksgiving this year was good, but boozy for the cousins.  I love them, but omg they are annoying drunks, and they drink a lot, lol.  I’m such a lightweight, maybe I’m jealous? (hint: NOPE)  Next year we’ll have to divvy up the apartments by temulency rather than gender.  Diminutive Friend came up for Thanksgiving day to hang out and eat with the family.  She seemed grateful to have people to spend the holiday with since she couldn’t spend it with her family in New Orleans.  I love her so much.

Dad told me a while back that he’s unhappy at work, and since he’s unreceptive to changing jobs, I told him I expect him to find some way to change his attitude toward his job.  Instead of taking his job personally (and constantly checking his damn email), he’ll have to find a way to let it go.  We’ll see how that goes.  It strikes me that I’ve chosen a good path: teaching English as a foreign language is a job I will enjoy (assuming I can find one).  Frankly teaching just about anything at all would make me happy, and I’m lucky to have discovered this as early has I did.

My folks gave Boyfriend a subscription to Bon Apetit magazine for Xmas, which I’ve already reaped the benefits of with a delicious rosemary chicken and a butter-basted halibut.  He is an amazing person.  We’ve been together over 5.5 years, since April of 2008.  I find the idea of marrying him very, very intimidating, even though I would love to have him as a life partner, and he clearly feels the same.  Luckily, neither of us is in any rush to make it official, and I’ve never had a burning desire to wear diamonds.

I spent this past weekend at GameHaus with friends, and, like every Sunday, doing Shinkendo and enjoying my dojo family’s company.

I am so lucky.

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goodness, life, martial arts

The plan

Yesterday’s plan:

i will destroy you with celebratory sonar

i will destroy you with celebratory sonar

-Go home
-Find passport (scan, email to self)
-Write three papers
-Do pushups like a boss
-Practice victory yell

Yeah, this is my life.  I had a phone meeting yesterday with a new boss for that tutoring job I totally fucking landed recently (woot!).  I’ll be meeting my client for the first time today in El Segundo to evaluate his needs, which, fuck, yikes.  The JET Program application deadline is next Monday, so I’m aiming to ship everything out tomorrow (Wednesday).  I also have two papers to write for class, plus a short paper about why I wanna go to Japan for the JET application.

But I’m not letting all this amazing shit detract from having a good time.  I’ve been going to Shinkendo almost every day for the past couple weeks.  I tested for my first rank (ichimonji) last Tuesday, and I still feel all spewly about it.  Oppa-sensei proctored it, and I swear to god he was talking at twice his usual rate, and we definitely didn’t go over everything on the list of ichimonji stuff, but somehow still managed to hit on something I literally DID NOT KNOW AT ALL.  Ugh.  Makes me want to throw up rainbows.

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goodness, humor, martial arts

The beginning of a beautiful friendship

I went to lunch after yesterday’s Sunday class with Senior Ecuador, Dojo Happa, Oppa Sensei and his girlfriend, Slender (who is awesome, btw, and seems to be an endearing mixture of clever-minded and childish interests).  Oppa Sensei is loads of fun, and we all love hanging out with him.  He mentioned a Youtube series called Enter the Dojo, which is a spoof about a made-up deadliest martial art (Ameri-do-te, lol), and sent us a link via email last night.  I responded with this:

meme-tastic

meme-tastic

And a link to the ‘know your meme’ site to explain it to those who don’t live on the internet like I do.  Senior Ecuador (who is hilarious, btw) came back with this:

I saw the first episode…pretty funny Oppa-sensei! I will definitely watch more when I am not at work haha. 
And tigerlilytoph…that’s like my favorite meme. http://www.reddit.com/r/supershibe
So amaze. What coincidence.
.
Naturally, I could not help but burst out laughing while standing at my desk.  So I came back with:
.
So glad the boss wasn’t around to hear me burst out laughing at that.  Thanks, Senior Ecuador.  Very fun.  Much friendship.
.
So yeah, I like where this friendship is going 🙂
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goodness, life, martial arts, school

The rapid-fire beauty of October

This past October was insanely busy.  I wanted so badly to write a post about the pumpkin carving and all the pumpkin-themed food and drink I’ve been making and enjoying, and all the awesome friendships that have been developing for me lately.  October was amazing, actually.

I invited a ton of people to the pumpkin carving and got about 50 people, including a bunch of foreign students who had never experienced Halloween pumpkin carving shenanigans of any kind.  Success!  Their pumpkins were awesome!  There was one Japanese woman who I befriended when she got lost on campus looking for her husband’s law school orientation who came to carve with her husband and a friend in tow.  They were amazed by the others’ pumpkins, and when I mentioned that I knew what sugoi means (amazing) due to watching so much anime, that’s all they could say, lol.  There were a bunch of different circles of friends there, and they all mingled well (although whenever my family comes, they tend to sequester themselves in the kitchen, which they did this time too… *sigh*).

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

the results of a successful visit to the pumpkin patch

The party was fantastic.  I made a huge pot of pumpkin drink and left it on the stove for people to enjoy.  It was empty by the end of the night.  There were two dozen carved pumpkins in all, I can’t believe I didn’t get any photos!  I was sick and too busy hosting and enjoying everyone’s company.  Of course there were a couple board games going on at once (Zombicide and Betrayal at House on the Hill).  A bunch of my friends from the dojo came and played Betrayal (and beat the haunt by cheating, lol).  It’s so great to hang out with them outside of the dojo, and apparently this is a new development.  Once most of them had left, Dojo Happa and I stood around chatting by the front door while a large group played Cards Against Humanity on the floor next to the piano.  We were chatting about how nice it is to see everyone outside the dojo, and he said, “Yeah, it’s awesome, we didn’t use to do that.  It’s because of you.  Oppa Sensei didn’t used to come out like this, now he comes to everything.  He was at the pumpkin patch, he came out tonight, he comes out to eat with us.  He’s not doing that to see me, it’s you!”  We laughed about my tendency to bring people together and make people laugh.  He seemed really appreciative, and it’s so nice to hear in so many words what I try so hard to do.  I really enjoy their company.  One of them (Senior Ecuador) invited a group of us to his parents’ house in the valley after the pumpkin patch to have a late lunch/early dinner of mostly Ecuadorian food with his folks, who could not have been nicer.  Earlier in the month, I had him over to get drunk and watch Hansel & Gretel, which wasn’t actually as bad as we expected.  He and Boyfriend actually kinda liked it, but they’re idiots, it was total trash 🙂

The founder of the martial arts style I’m studying now (Kaiso) had his 65th birthday party mid-month, and although it was expensive, it was a really fun time to see everyone dressed up and happy.  We had sushi and really good shabu shabu, and some amazing cake and green tea ice cream (which I got totally busted for scarfing down before we all had to leave in a rush to walk Kaiso to the valet and see him safely off).

I had a bunch of presentations and projects due within the last two weeks of the month, which coincided perfectly with the huge event my office hosts every year where thousands of people visit campus to participate in our programming, so that was pretty stressful, but I’m either getting awesome at handling stress, or getting better at handling my work load because October wasn’t nearly as emotionally/mentally draining as I thought it would be (though it felt super rushed all the time).  Also I was sick for the first time since I quit Karate Job.  Worst.  Timing.  Ever.

So... something to shoot for at next year's pumpkin carving

So… something to shoot for at next year’s pumpkin carving

A couple days after the pumpkin carving party, I went to a Danny Elfman Concert with Diminutive Friend and German Friend, which was amazing.  Although I’m not a huge fan of concerts, since there’s not much to come away with other than the music, which I already have access to and enjoy whenever I want.  Still, it was Danny Elfman’s first concert in something like two decades, so it was very exciting.  Loads of people in the crowd dressed up in what can only be described as a hodgepodge of steampunk, goth, circus, Halloween gear, and they all looked great.  And I kinda lost my shit when Danny Elfman came out and sang, “There are few who deny at what I do I am the best, for my talents are renowned far and wide…”  I knew he would sing that first!  And not just because it’s Jack’s first song in Nightmare Before Christmas, but because those lyrics are perfect for a comeback concert!

Then a couple days after that was Halloween!  I gave a presentation for one of my classes (in full costume, of course-Ren Faire gear this year), then zoomed downtown to an old professor’s class to defend my work (which he loved so much, he’s been using it as an example for current and future classes) and ended up giving my final presentation from his class all over again.  The students asked some really good questions, and I even managed to quote from the article he drew from most and essentially based the class upon, and I cited the page number of the quote.  So yeah, I’m a fucking amazing academic, thanks for asking.

Afterward he and I went out for a drink and chatted for a couple hours about my life, what I’ve been doing, what I will do, and why I’m not staying in academia (he wants me to so badly).  Midway through our time at the bar, I thought, “This is what it must be like to have a mentor.  Someone who knows the framework of your life, and what you’re capable of, and then looks you in the eye and demands that you go further and continue to challenge your self.  This is amazing.”  It was also super intimidating, but he was satisfied at the end of the conversation that I was getting enough stimulation (I convinced him my friends are all geniuses who don’t get drunk for fun, and that Boyfriend has a great sense of humor and is fully capable of keeping up with me), and that my selflessness might not be such a crutch after all (“So explain this to me: You have this sense of giving, this selfless streak coursing through you, but your’e American, and Americans are selfish, so how does that work?  Where did that come from?”  We had a good laugh about that, but he was mostly serious).  I invited him to come see the beehive some time soon, and he seemed enthused.  He’s also stoked to write me a letter of recommendation, and he’s super fun to hang out with, so overall I’m feeling pretty lucky to have encountered him in my life.  We walked by the Mayan on the way back from the bar, and he seemed particularly tickled when I fist-bumped some guy dressed as Deadpool (and Deadpool enjoyed being recognized, of course).  Overall an amazing evening.

And now it’s November and I can finally relax.  I’m feeling less sick every day, I only have a couple more projects to do for school, there’s nothing crazy going on at work (aside from the non-existent job security, bleh), and Boyfriend’s three closest friends are randomly flying into town for four days toward the end of the month for no reason other than to bug him and have fun together.  They’re great people, I can’t wait to see them and watch Boyfriend disappear for a few days into that tight circle of friendship and love.

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badness, goodness, life, martial arts, school, work

Job security: Gone like a fart in the wind

Yesterday was Wednesday. As it turns out, Wednesdays can be a bit of a roller coaster.

Tuesday I went to work, then physical therapy, then stopped by home for a quick liverwurst sammich (delicious omg) before zooming over to a repair shop Hollywood to pay the bill for Dad’s car and park it on the street nearby before they closed (dad works too late). I went into the office to find a woman verbally abusing one of the employees. I shot her a stern look which she completely missed as she continued on her cuss-filled rant. “I took a fucking day off to come here, y’know what I mean? Why the fuck am I here?” The employee she was harassing could not have been more professional, and frankly I was shocked by them both. I decided that if she raised her voice or did anything remotely signaling a physical demonstration of her totally unjustified fury (throwing a pen, poking him, etc.), I would step in and redirect her wrath away from this poor man.

pretty sure I could've taken her

pretty sure I could’ve taken her

It never reached that point, and after a few minutes of her throwing her little tantrum she walked out while our friend was mid-sentence, recommending another body shop no less.
She blew right past me on her way out the door. I turned to the man and said, “Woah. Woah! I cannot believe she felt comfortable talking to you like that, I’m so sorry. You didn’t deserve any of that. Holy crap.” Once again, he was super polite, so I stayed and chatted with him and the other employees in the room about how crazy she was and how they should never have to put up with that kind of attitude. To their credit, they didn’t tear her down at all, and just commiserated that some people are just angry and there’s no fixing it. What an excellent group of people.

I went home to do some reading for school and couldn’t keep my eyes open. I slept for about a half hour on the couch downstairs before Boyfriend woke me up to go to Shinkendo for an hour, during which I screwed everything up and got worn out some more. I got a curry bun with a couple of the guys from the dojo afterward (and a green tea mochi ice cream for free because I made buddies with the guys behind the counter at the mochi spot in Little Tokyo, they’re so nice!). Then it was back home to eat a bit before heading over to my folks’ place to have a sleepover (Boyfriend came too, and drove separately). We sat with Dad and watched a bit of the America’s Cup (which he just loves). He showed us some really cool clips at the start of the previous day’s race (especially the part where the American team was super clever and fucked up the kiwi team. He literally cackled a few times, it was really fun), and relayed how exciting this year’s race was: we were down 6-1 at one point, but had since come back to win seven races in a row to match the kiwis 8-8 in a competition to win 9 races. Wednesday’s race would decide it all! Boyfriend and I went to sleep in the beds Sister and I had slept in as children, which he decided felt like sleeping in a hotel. Overall a fun day.

But Wednesday.

that good feeling where you're feeling solidly employed...

that good feeling where you’re feeling solidly employed…

I woke up at 5 to take Dad and a couple of family friends to the airport across town. He and a friend are going car camping to see some ancient Native American ruins, and I could not be more jealous. I headed back to his place to drop off his SUV and pick up my little Fiat before heading home to make breakfast (hash browns and eggs with Cholula and ketchup, yum). Then it was straight out to work where I was disappointed, twice.

There’s a huge event coming up that we’re having catered, so the caterer set up a tasting of all the food they’ll be serving. I was not invited to this tasting because the office can’t afford to pay me just one extra hour of work (which wouldn’t even be overtime). This was planned weeks ago. It’s not fun to be excluded from something I’m an integral part of planning, especially since I was in charge of getting estimates from a bunch of other catering companies, but my boss went with the most expensive one instead out of convenience and habit (but a single hour of extra work is out of the question).

On Monday, Little Mole Boss emailed me and one other coworker asking for a job description. I kept it vague, not wanting to bore her, and was corrected yesterday: You need to flesh this out, she said. Someone else will be looking at what you write and you need to make yourself sound important and necessary. Why on earth is that, Little Mole Boss?
Well.  Apparently there was a clerical error that made my salary come out of the wrong budget. Now that that mistake has been discovered, the necessity of my position is being called into question by people with whom I have never interacted, and who are so clueless about what my job entails that they need me to map out what I do for them.

[To be fair, very few people at this job know what our office does. It’s not a commonly-understood area, but we provide an awesome set of services that I think are integral to having a solid experience.]

Regardless, I’m having trouble warming up to the idea of someone at some distant desk evaluating the past three years worth of my work and potentially coming to the conclusion that I could just as well have not been there at all. THAT’S demoralizing. I can see why people get depressed after getting fired.

So I went home and made a bunch of pumpkin pancakes and ate them all. Then I attended a makeup class for about an hour (totally pointless) and applied to seven jobs, mostly ESL teacher positions from craigslist. I texted a friend at the dojo and asked if he’ll be at class so we can organize some kind of pity party afterward. He was supportive but wasn’t sure if he could make class, so whatever.

I just need to stay focused and remember that this is not my dream job, and if I leave, all it will do is give me more time to find a teaching position, apply to teach-abroad programs, and load up my coworkers with even more work (unfortunately).

I’m observing an ESL class right now, and it’s great to have my career validated; every time I teach, I remember: This is my natural state. This is where I belong.

Also, I am the greatest earthbender in the world.

is there anyone better at overcoming obstacles by being awesome?  I think not.

is there anyone better at overcoming obstacles by being awesome? I think not.

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humor, martial arts, work

All kids are drunk almost always

A new iteration of Facebook profile formatting reminded me today that I used to write “Notes” about little events in my life, and that I started this blog because I hated Facebook’s “Notes.”
Here’s one I started in January of 2010, and shared with all my coworkers at Karate Job.  Boyfriend recently noted that kids are basically tiny adults with a drinking problem.  Seriously.  The next time you see a kid walking around, playing with other kids, or just sitting staring at her hand, you’ll see the truth: All kids perfectly, unintentionally, and constantly mimic drunk adults.  See below for (way too much) proof.

In my time at Karate Job, many things have changed, but the one thing that has remained constant is the ridiculousness of the kids, and the weird nonsense that comes out of their mouths. I plan on adding to this as the hilarity ensues.
Sensei = me
kid = unnamed student

i made this

i made this

Sensei- Ooh, the Trust stone! Who can tell me what trust is?
kid- (raises hand)
Sensei- Yes? What do you think?
kid- Um… one time, I was with my brother, and he said that, um, there was no rock monster, and, um, but then, there was a rock monster, and my brother, it was him, and the rock monster, um,… it was.
Sensei-…Ok, good job, who else knows what trust is?

Sensei Richard was doing cow stretch, then cat stretch, mooing and meowing, chewing slowly and smiling when one kid looked at him and said, with a completely serious face, “Stop chewing like a cow.”

Sensei- What did you do this weekend?
kid- I went to a party, and you know who was there?!
Sensei- Who?
kid- Bob!!
Sensei- Wow, cool.
kid- Yeah!!
Sensei- Did you guys have fun?
kid- Yeah!! And then, you know what I did?
Sensei- What?
kid- I put my hand, in his mouth!!
Sensei- …What?
kid- Yeah!!
Sensei- …Is Bob a dog?
kid- No! He’s jello!
Sensei- …Jello?
kid- No! He’s MADE of jello!
Sensei- … Ok, time for an obstacle course.

kid- Vrooooooooommmmm!!!
Sensei- Wow, are you a car?
kid- I’m a Ferrari!

kid- The cheetahs are sleeping!
(whispered as he sat in a circle for Animal Cards)

Sensei- Ooooh, the ant card, ants have good patience, and good teamwork. What do you think about the ant?
kid- Um… if… if there’s a… a giant spider… theeeeeeeen… um… it would stomp on us.
Sensei- Uh, yeah, but spiders aren’t that big, so I think we’re ok.
kid- Oh. Ok.

(All the kids are running around the lava pit)
Sensei- Ok, now do a bear crawl! Who can growl like a bear?
(All the kids growl)
Sensei- Now who can hop like a frog?
(All of them hop around)
Sensei- Now who can hop like a bunny?
(Immediately, half the kids put their hands up to their heads and make bunny ears with their first two fingers, as if that is the only thing that distinguishes frogs and rabbits)

DRUNK

DRUNK

Sensei- Hi everyone! Ok, let’s bow and say ‘osu’ as you come in. Hi, how are you?
kid- I’m good! Osu!
Sensei- Awesome! Let’s have your card, and start running! Hi, how are you doing?
kid- Awesome, Sensei! Osu!
Sensei- Woah, cool! Start running! Hi, how are you?
kid- I have pink eye! Osu! [holds out card]
Sensei- …Um… What?
kid- I have pink eye! They put drops in my eyes! Osu! [holds out card]
Sensei- …Ok, cool… Where are your parents?
[turns out he HAD pinkeye, but was cured of it recently]

Sensei- Ok everyone, feet together, make a butterfly, flap your wings!
kid- Hey Sensei!
Sensei- What do we do when we want to talk?
kid- [hand shoots up] Um, Sensei! Sensei!
Sensei- Yes? Thank you for raising your hand.
kid- We were reading a book about bugs outside, and one of the bugs, they-
Sensei- Can you tell me about it after class?
kid- Ya but this one bug, it-
Sensei- Can you tell me about it after class?
kid- Ok, but this one bug-
Sensei- Tell me about it after class, ok? It’s karate time now.
kid- Ok, but this one bug-
Sensei- Tell me about it after class. We’re not talking about that right now, ok?
kid- Ok, but the bug-
Sensei- [name], can you listen to me please? What did I just say?
kid- Ok, but the bug-
Sensei- What did I just say?
kid- After class, ya, but this one bug-
Sensei- No, what did I just say? Did I say we should talk about that now?
kid- No, but-
Sensei- Tell me after class, not now.
kid- Ok, but it’s just this one bug-
Sensei- [name], come here please.
kid- [pause] What?
Sensei- I asked you to come here please.
kid- Oh. I couldn’t hear you all the way over here.
Sensei- Yes you can.

Sensei- Ooh, look, the “otter” card! This is sensei’s favorite card!
kid- Yeah?
Sensei- Yeah, because the otter is very playful.
kid- Yeah. Y’know what? He likes to play games.
Sensei- Yeah, he does.
kid- But he doesn’t always know when it’s his turn.
Sensei- …What?
kid- Because, because it’s, um it’s my turn, his turn, my turn, [faster] his turn my-turn-his-turn-myturn-histurn-myturn-histurn… and then… histurn histurn histurn histurn.
Sensei- …Ok, time to meditate.

kid 1- My sister, she’s 16, she karate’s me all the time. And I karate her back.
kid 2- (under his breath to some other kids) He doesn’t understand martial arts.

Sensei- Ooh, the antelope card!
kid- I like deer.
Sensei- Yeah, me too. I saw a deer once when I was camping.
kid- I saw a bear once!
Sensei- Really?
kid- Yeah, I was, um, in the forest… um… and my parents wanted to be there with me, but I’m really careful.
Sensei- Uh huh…
kid- And um, then, I saw a bear, and I ran as fast as I could, but he couldn’t catch me.
Sensei- Yeah? So you were in the forest… alone?
kid- Yeah, I’m really careful around bears.

[I use those foam noodles to make a bridge for the kids to duck under and run around the dojo, then I put them on the floor for them to jump over. I usually wiggle them around and say , “Who can jump over the ssssssssssnake?”]
A new kid in the class comes to a screeching halt when it’s his turn to jump over the snake.
Sensei- Hey there, jump over! Jump over the snake, you can do it!
kid- [pause] Um… is it a nice snake?
Sensei- Uh, yep, it sure is. His name is Howard. Can you say hi to Howard?
kid- [waves at the noodle] Hi, Howard.
Sensei- Great job, now jump over Howard!
[kid jumps over the noodle no problem]

time to fucking meditate

time to fucking meditate

Sensei- Keep running guys!
kid- [panting] It’s so refreshing to get a good workout!

kid- [running around the dojo to warm up] Sensei! [raises hand]
Sensei- Yes?
kid- [comes to a complete stop right in front of me] I lost my racetrack,… but I can find it later.
Sensei- …Ok, good. Keep running.
kid- Ok!

Yesterday we were talking about outer space, and I mentioned black holes. None of the kids knew what a black hole was. I described it as “something that’s super tiny that can eat anything and everything up.” Then I told them that after something is eaten up, we lose track of it. No one on Earth has any idea where it goes. The kids could not believe what I had just said. A couple of them literally thought I was lying. I said, “Really! It’s a huge mystery. Even the smartest people in the world don’t know where it goes after it gets eaten up by a black hole.” Then I did what my dad used to do: I made them try to think up an answer all by themselves. I asked, “Where do you guys think it goes?” They were all quiet for a few seconds, until one boy said, ” Maybe it goes into the future.”
Wow. Just… wow. I couldn’t believe he said that. How awesome is that kid’s brain that the future is the first thing he things of. Not a place, a TIME. HAHAHAHA!! Amazing!

Sensei- Alright, everone reach for your toes!
kid- Sensei? It smells like bacon in here.
Sensei- Uh, that’s ok… Who knows where bacon comes from?
[silence]
Sensei- C’mon guys, who knows what animal bacon comes from?
kid- Bacon monster?
Sensei- Haha, no you silly boy! What animal does bacon come from?
kid 2- A crocodile made out of bacon?

My first day working at a different KK location, we were stretching and a new boy was lookin’ pretty worried.
Sensei- Hey buddy, everything ok?
kid- Um… I think I have to go to the bathroom…
Sensei- Ah, ok quick, let’s go!
The kid takes two steps, then stops and clamps his legs shut. His crotch is already visibly wet. He looks down, then back up to me with an extremely worried expression on his face and says, “I think I’m LEAKING!”
I picked him up by the armpits, took him to the door to use the bathroom. Not a drop on the mat! lol

(a kid – let’s call him Jack – kept looking over his shoulder to see his dad, who was quietly reading outside. Dad got up, and the kid couldn’t stop looking around for him)
Sensei- Hey buddy, I’m over here. Dad’s just around the corner talking to Mr. Kevin at the desk. See his stuff is still on the chair, he didn’t leave.
kid- Oh. Ok. (keeps looking)
Sensei- Jack, it’s ok, he’ll be right back. It’s karate time, try to focus, buddy.
kid- But what if he doesn’t come back?
Sensei- I guess you’ll have to come home with me and have a Sensei sleepover. We’ll do Sensei stuff all the time. Y’know what Senseis do at home?
kid- What?
Sensei- EAT ICE CREAM. All the time. Non-stop. Just ice cream, om nom nom!
kid- *heh, heh*
kid 2- You’re gonna get FAT.
Sensei- Haha, wow, yep, I guess it’s a good thing your dad’s here, Jack.

In the lobby chatting with a parent, the younger sibling of the student trips over a chair and makes a huge CRASH BANG BANG BANG. She puts the char upright, crawls back up to her feet and announces, “Good!… I’m ok!”

kid- I had coffee today!
Sensei- Decaffeinated?
kid- [shakes head] Caffeine, I love caffeine. [jumps up and down]
Sensei- You had caffeinated coffee?
kid- [stops jumping, nods furiously] I put 5 sugars in it [holds up fingers]. BIG ones.

(after tripping over something in the obstacle course)
kid- I’m ok, I’m tough. I hurted my toe really bad, but I’m BRAVE.

(we picked the deer card in Sensei Circle)
Sensei- Ooh, who knows what this is? It’s a deer!
kid 1- A reindeer!
Sensei- Almost, yeah, good idea. It’s LIKE a reindeer.
kid 2- [with a dead serious face] It lives at Christmas.
Sensei- Wow, um, yeah, I guess that’s true. It lives all the time though.
kid 2- Right.

(sliding on his stomach through a castle obstacle)
kid- Sensei! Sensei look! I’m a penguin!
Sensei- Wow, you sure are! Good job!

(a little girl was grabbing her crotch as she ran around the dojo. Let’s call her Emily)
Sensei- Hey Emily, c’mere. Are you ok? Do you have to go potty?
Emily- [looking worried] No…
Sensei- No? Ok. Are you ok? What’s up, sweetie?
Emily- I hurt myself when I was bear crawling.
Sensei- …Really?
Emily- Yeah, I kicked myself. [still clutching crotch]
Sensei- …Okaaaaay… Do you want to sit down, or do you want to keep going?
Emily- I think I should keep going.
Sensei- Ok, good idea, go for it.
[Emily continues to hold her crotch with one hand and run]

I set up a new obstacle with a heavy ball, and told the kids it was really special so they would pay special attention. When one boy went through it, he put the ball over his head with great effort and said, “Rrrgh! So… special!”

Upon seeing that we had drawn the bat card:
“I saw… a bat… with dinosaurs… and I was the fairy… and mom was the dinosaur.”

Sensei: Hey June, you did an amazing job in class today!
kid: Can I have a high five?
Sensei: How about a hug?
kid: [super excited] Oooh! Ok!

After the death of Osama bin Laden:
kid: Sensei! The criminal… He got shot with a missile.
Sensei: Wow, really?
kid: [nods] Yep.

[after laying down rope between obstacles]
Sensei: Uh oh, don’t step on the snakes, guys! Jump!
kid: Oh no! Are they poisonous?
Sensei: Nope, they’re venomous!
kid: …oh. They’re not poisonous?
Sensei: Nope, snakes aren’t poisonous. They’re venomous. Everyone say, “venomous!”
kids: VENOMOUS!

Normally shy little Japanese boy (age 4ish) hands me the biggest piece as we’re cleaning up the obstacle course.
Sensei: Wow, you got the big one, you must be pretty strong today.
kid: I’m all man!
Sensei: …What?
kid: [gets shy and starts drifting away]
Sensei: What did you say? Say that again.
kid: [bashfully] I’m all man! [runs away]

kid: Sensei! Did you know, that the bad guy, they shot him, with a missile. [in reference to Osama bin Laden’s death]
Sensei: That’s right, thank you.

Sensei: Ooh, the squirrel card. What is the squirrel holding?
kid 1: Acorn!
Sensei: That’s right! Very smart, an acorn. What does the acorn grow into? A mighty…?
kid 1: Nut tree?
kid 2: Squirrel?

I set up an obstacle course where the kids had to switch hands doing a hammer fist Right/Left/Right/Left. One kid kept using his right hand. The kid in front of him noticed and demonstrated using his left hand, saying, “Look. See what hand I’m using? Like that.”

kid: Sensei guess what!
Sensei: What?
kid: Um… My birthday is next year!
Sensei: Oh, that’s cool… I think all our birthdays are next year.

A girl fell while running across the balance beams, and instead of stopping or helping her up, the boy behind her just stepped over her as she started to get up, and kept running.

[kid raises hand in Animal Card Circle]
Sensei: Yes? Thank you for raising your hand.
kid: I have so many puppets.
Sensei: …Yeah?
kid: Yeah, but they’re not real.

A new student runs around the lava pit with the other kids, when suddenly he turns around, comes to a screeching halt, holds up his hand and yells, “STOP!”
Sensei: Hey, don’t stop, keep going!
The kid laughs and keeps running.

Sensei: Why do we meditate?
kid: It makes our anger go away, and makes our body awesome, and it makes us cool.
[When I told this kid’s mom about this, she said that he meditated when his friends overwhelmed him.]

Sensei: Ooh, the skunk card. What does the skunk do?
kid: He’s stinky.
Sensei: Yes, the skunk is stinky, but what does he do?
kid: He throws stuff.
Sensei: Uh, close, he sprays stuff. What does he spray?
kid: [big smile] Garbage.

Sensei: Ooh, the horse card. What is the horse good at?
kid: Running fast!
Sensei: That’s right, a horse can run faster than a person.
kid: …unless you run on the horse.

A special needs kid who said everything on his mind sat down with the other kids while I built an obstacle course. He looked outside and said, “Exit.” The room was totally silent otherwise, so cute.

Sensei: Eyes closed guys, meditation time.
kid: [blinking]
Sensei: Eyes closed, buddy.
kid: [still blinking] I can’t close my eyes.
Sensei: Yes you can.
kid: [closes eyes] Oh.

kid: Sensei! Sensei I fell! But I’m ok! I’m ok Sensei!

Sensei: Everybody frog jump! What sound does a frog make?
kid: [super loud] wih-BIT?!! wih-BIT?!! wih-BIT?!!

kid: I have five guys. They’re robbers or something.
Sensei: Yeah? Does your mom know about them?
kid: [nods] My mom knows, my sister knows… Usually I have two, but I just have one now.
Sensei: One robber?
kid: No, robbers aren’t real!

Sensei: Ooh, the skunk card! Who knows what the skunk does?
kid: He gets scared!
Sensei: That’s true, sometimes skunks get scared. Then what happens?
kid: Then, he has bad, bad, bad… gas.

Sensei: Ok guys, show me some strong kiais!
kid: Sensei, see THIS kiai… KI-YAAAAAAAAAAAAI!!!

UPDATE: May 6, 2013
Buzzfeed threw together a bunch of gifs (this thing) with an almost identical title to this post a week after I posted!  Copycats!

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