6.22.2012

Primary Friday: Back to the Books

This has been a great week of practice and an exhausting but enriching week of teaching. I've been subbing lots of Ashtanga classes for one of my favorite local teachers while she's been away, and while I've enjoyed filling in for her immensely, there is one thing I did not account for when I signed on for the job: teaching Ashtanga is much more physically demanding than other types of yoga.

Sure, it's true that, in Ashtanga, demonstration is rare. But demonstration of an awkward posture or tricky transition is nothing compared to physically adjusting sweaty students all day long. Yesterday, I did my practice in the morning, then taught a midday Mysore followed by a led class and yet another Mysore session in the afternoon. When I finally arrived home and took the dogs out for our evening walk, I realized my arms were absolutely spent. Good thing the pups were not too frisky, or I'd have turned us right around and gone back home.

Ashtangis in Austin are revving up for the impending week with Matthew Sweeney, which starts on Friday evening with three days of weekend workshops and continues into the next week with four days of crack-o-dawn Mysore. (6am. On the dot. Master Sweeney doesn't mess around.)

After next week, the yoga storm clears and, as it stands, I'll be left with very little on my schedule. July and August may indeed be lazy summer months. Looking ahead to autumn, however, things are likely to be shaken up. I've decided to go back to school. The application has been submitted. If all goes well, I'll be a full-time student in September.

I love school. Full-time academia is something I've always wanted to do but, having spent my early twenties stuck in an admittedly defunct but committed relationship that demanded my energies as the provider, I have never had the time or funds to do it well. Now that I am unattached and living very simply, I really think that I can make it work.

The thought of school excites me.  I have always been a sincere and self-motived student, in it for the education and not the certificate.  Don't believe me?  How's this:  I graduated with honors but did not attend my high school commencement ceremony.  A few years later, I earned my Associate's degree but did not apply for graduation until another year had passed.  I just didn't care.  That fancy, gilded piece of paper means nothing to me and I resent the goal-oriented education system our society has built that discourages meaningful, well-rounded scholarship and encourages fast-track "professional" degrees (to say nothing of the exorbitant costs for classes taught by teachers' aids that one can no longer hope to one day repay with a decent salary reflective of one's work).  I study to expand my mind, and I practice to enhance my craft.  That is all.

So wish me luck and godspeed through the application process.  I applied on a whim just a few weeks behind the deadline.  If I am accepted, I'll be caught up in a whirlwind of preparation.  If I am not accepted, I'll be applying elsewhere for the Spring semester.  Either way, it's back to school.

9 comments:

  1. Go for it. I applied at 36 and had my diploma with 40. (between bathelor and masters degree - old european system) was totally worth it, but took some considerable amount of time.

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  2. School is,indeed, a wonderful thing. Good luck with your application process and beginning classes (should that happen this fall). Do have any particular study in mind that you will be working towards?

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    1. Thanks, Brianna. I have my A.A. in Creative Writing, and I'll be pursuing a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative composition.

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    2. I finish my B.A. In English this summer :). I hope to pursue a M.A. In creative writing but we'll see.

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  3. I'm so happy that you are attending Matthew Sweeney's workshop. Yes, Master Sweeney doesn't mess around. And he doesn't mince words either: At his Minneapolis workshop last July (which I attended), he pulled aside a friend of mine who was constantly late for morning Mysore, and told her that he found her tardiness really annoying. So, be prepared :-)

    Congratulation on going back to school full-time! Just out of curiosity: Are you applying to attend UT Austin in the fall? I have so many wonderful memories of that one semester I spent there as an exchange student in the fall of '99.

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    1. Hi Nobel,

      Ha! Thanks for the warning about Sweeney. I will arrive early.

      The UT deadline for fall had passed by the time I decided to apply, but I have been thinking ahead to working toward an MFA in the Creative Writing program there.

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  4. You are a wonderful writer (and I was a professional journalist for many years, so believe me). I'm really excited for you. Writing (and other creative pursuites) and yoga go well together. I look forward to reading about your experiences.

    A faithful reader.

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  5. forgive misspelling of pursuits
    and hold on to that passion
    faithful reader

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  6. Congrats (on just taking the decision, whatever the outcome) and good luck!! Working the mind is a wonderful journey. You are a great writer - is there a creative writing blog in your future? :)

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