Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ki and the classroom teacher

Here is piece I wrote in 2003, while I was living in Japan.

The bell rings at Niiharu Middle School.

I gather my books and trek upstairs to my classroom.

Inside I hear the students...laughing, talking about various things, playing jokes on each other, and generally making a hell of a lot of noise.

I open the door, and my spirit enters the room.

With my spirit, the feeling of structure enters the room. The Sensei is here. The most compliant students race to their desks.

My spirit thus far fills half the room. There are pockets of resistance to my will.

"Good Morning" I boom, silencing 95 percent of the spirits.

The room is now mine. I impose the structure, the format, and the rules for learning. I am the game master.

I hear two unfocused spirits rise up in the sea of students. They are talking about their hair. Simply focusing my attention on them, the KI of the room shifts from me to them. All eyes in the room divert their direction. Under a wave of curious eyes they fall silent.

My teaching partner begins. She teaches a painfully boring lecture. The previously enegized spirit of the room dwindles and sputters. I begin to stare out the window, daydreaming of other things.

Catching myself, it is my turn again. With a clap and a shout I reenergize the room. This time I give the students more power. We are balanced. They shout out questions and laugh and joke with me.

Class is over. I go to the elementary school to teach a special class.

40 six year olds tackle me when I come in the door. I don't understand their childish Japanese. Their faces are covered in snot and filth. Their energy is uncontainable. They scream and shout. They steal my things and run around the room with them. I am not used to this tremendous raw energy. It is solely focused on me.

I pull out a container of special bubbles made from a glue from my pocket. The lovely little bubbles won't pop when touched. Neat. I fill the room full of bubbles. The energy of the child river now fires in all directions as they give bubbles chase. I smile to myself thinking I had just performed the ninja disappearing technique. While the children hunt for their fragile prizes, I gather my energy and figure out a plan to refocus them when they regroup.

Ki works in interesting ways. Motion, intent, and focus all dance together. Now that I recognize these energies and the way they play with the mind, I can now affect them in ways...only a Sensei...a school teacher can.

Walk In Peace

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