Re: On Teaching Writing and Aikido
What a lovely article. Thank you for sharing.
As a long-time writer and short-time Aikido student, I appreciate the parallels you have drawn. From my perspective, they are right on target. I've also been a student of the horse for most of my life, and your thoughts parallel my experiences there, as well.
I think many of us learn so much more from a teacher we trust to push us. We know they have our best interests in mind, and they show us that by the example they set.
These teachers know better than we do what we are capable of. They push us past those weak first drafts...of an essay, a kotegaeshi, or a walk-canter transition...because they know we have it in us to produce better work. They expect more of us, and we deliver.
Given a choice, I'll always pick the tough (but not abusive or incongruent) teachers who will not settle for mediocre in their teaching or in the students' results. When I fall, they support me in my struggles as I continue to learn, but they don't let me sit there very long. These teachers reach out a hand to help me up, not a hand to push me down.
These teachers help me reach past my comfort zone and give me the chance to grow and explore beyond those limits I might place on myself.
Yes, it's harder picking such a teacher. And it's oh, so worth it.
Great teachers--what a blessing.
Thanks again for writing this.
Kara L. Stewart