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RisenPhoenix Puts in the Work


RisenPhoenix

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So my life has been pretty damn interesting in the past week.

 

I had a batter of interviews, lots of angst about my finances dropping to critical levels, lots of making peace with moving away from my home and dojo and comfort zone to move to halfway across the country to a state that’s the polar opposite of mine, and then, when all hope seemed lost, a ridiculously amazing job offer just dropped into my lap like manna from heaven.  So I accepted the offer and then did the totally irresponsible thing and bought an expensive plane ticket to visit Company before I have to start work on Thursday.

 

Story behind the spoiler that is not (entirely) related to the challenge:

Spoiler

 

Now, GETTING to that offer was its own whirlwind.  I was forced into having two onsite interviews for different companies on the same day.  I didn’t get to do as much prep for these interviews so I went in blind (at least compared to my usual preparation levels).  Based on both of the job descriptions, I really didn’t fit the criteria that the people were looking for.  All in all, I went in fully expecting that these were a waste of time, and was already taking stock on how a cross country move was going to logistically work.

 

So imagine my surprise, when the recruiter for the first job almost instantly asked for a second onsite interview (I’m skipping the nightmare scenario I had to deal with due to the first company’s HR department ROYALLY dropping the ball… let’s just say no one knew I was there.) for the oddball position I was interviewing for – one that was more paperwork than lab work, but still interesting.  And then, Friday afternoon, the day I had decided to say “Screw the world” and introvert puddle to nothingness, I get the OTHER recruiter calling to ask how I thought things on the second interview went (“Well, good group, interesting work, yadda yadda), followed by saying they really liked me and wanted to offer me the job pending a job reference.  My jaw hit the floor. 

 

I send the references.  I then spend a great deal of time sending emails to all the references to give them a heads up.  I also spend a great deal of time sending out emails to the places I had interviewed with to let them know something good for me is pending in the pipeline, if they were still interested in me.  I get a moment’s pause, and the recruiter calls back again – this time with an official offer.  I work out how parking is dealt with (because the company is located in downtown Cambridge, where parking costs a pretty penny – they cover it though).  I work out how health insurance would work.  I then hear that I was submitted at a slightly lower rate than I was submitted to at the role from that first company (and the contract is shorter, so that’s a decent amount of money left on the table).  Still what I was making at the last gig, beggars can’t be choosers, but that alone made me say I wanted to wait to hear back from the other company, which said middle of next week they’d have an answer.

 

The recruiter asks if she could offer to the second company my immediate acceptance and withdrawal from all other roles if they could match that pay rate.  I agree.

 

Two hours later I get the confirmation.

 

And suddenly, RP has entered the world of The Employed again.


 

 

So this challenge is entirely a “How to balance work and life” Challenge again.  That includes making sure my food intake is reasonable, my workouts still happen, and my self care remains on point.

 

1)     Less Work is More Work

Clearly Aikido is still a massive priority to me.  What just had me geeking out is that according to Google, at peak traffic hours, I am roughly 10 minutes away from my dojo leaving work.  TEN.  And it is mostly along back roads that aren’t heavily traveled.  This is ridiculous.

Um, so, THAT particular tidbit aside – I’m going to aim for 5 hours of class a week still.  That’s likely Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday (all of these days have double classes), and gives me wiggle room to go light one day.  Being so close and almost required to drive past the dojo to get home means I could probably swing going every night, but let’s aim for slightly less for now.

 

Goal: Five hours of aikido classes a week.

 

2)     Working on an Empty Stomach

So I’m going to try my not-quite Intermittent Fasting routine for the job, for at least this month.  I want to play with batch cooked lunches that are actually warm, or at least warm for 2-3 meals a week.  Since I usually feel like warm meals are more calorically dense, I want to use IF as a way to counter that.  That said, I’m still going to be really working on being okay eating more (by adding a certain amount of calories based on my activity level that day), and being a bit more paleo/primal overall.

 

Not eating until 10 or so has been pretty normal for me, so I’m not too concerned.  Mostly I’ve had a bit of fruit early in the morning with coffee, which still is mostly okay on the IF front (Sisson says if you’re having less than 100 calories, it’s kinda hand waving a bit.  Not entirely a fast, but also not enough to do much to the IF benefits, and if it keeps you going, so much the better.)  So let’s give this a shot.

 

Goal: Intermittent Fasting-ish during work week (last meal around 8:30 or 9, don’t eat meal until 10-12pm following day).  Still maintain ~2800 calories per day, plus 100-150 calories per aikido class, or +600 calories post-Lifting and post-Stadium.  Three warm lunch meals batched cooked by the end of the challenge per week.

 

3)     Work out that Iron

Speaking of lifting.  I’m dropping down to one lifting workout a week for this challenge.  I don’t want to try and shoehorn something that’s a distant second priority into my life while I’m trying to get my feet under me at a new job.  That said, I don’t want to totally lose what tiny gains I’ve made over the last couple months (even though I’m not really progressing right now because life keeps getting in the way of my regular lifting schedule).  So a single, whole body workout a week involving iron is needed.  If I’m trying to pull back a tiny bit on aikido, that’s actually pretty simple.

 

Goal: One lifting session a week, slightly longer than usual – three lifts, at least 2 accessory exercises.

 

4)     I Work best Alone

 

I need to focus on selfcare.  Like, seriously.  Just because I have entered a new phase where I’ll probably immeasurably less anxious and depressed than I have been for month does not mean I am allowed to forget about good selfcare habits.  So first off, I need to make sure I get to bed at a reasonable hour and get a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  I also need to make sure I remember that I’m going to need to be meeting and interacting with a lot of new people, so I need to be okay with countering that extroversion with my hermit cave tendencies.  But I also need to get out a bit now and then.  So trying to remember alone time, balanced with social and professional extroversion is going to be important.

 

Goal: Get to be between 10 and 11PM every night.  Read 30 minutes before bedtime.  At least 5 hours of complete me-time on the weekend (Batch cooking does not count.  Aikido does not count.  Running errands does not count.  This is time to revel in things I *want* to do, not tasks I *have* to do.  Sleeping in totally counts towards this.)

 

Time to get to Work.

 

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Challenge is up!  Won't really go into effect until Thursday, when the new job starts.  That, and I'm still in Texas until Tuesday night, anyway.  Sign the paperwork and errything gets official Wednesday at some point.  That said, I've already gotten an email from the hiring manager saying how excited she and the team are to have me on board.  That gave me warm fuzzies.

 

Also, there is at least one person who works at the company who is an Avatar fan.  His computer decal was an indication - a black Aang silhouette which was lit up with the iMac's apple to make it look like Aang was in the Avatar state.  It was awesome.  This person needs to be my friend.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Oh hey, I get to engage in goal 4 right now.

 

So Company is in an accelerated nursing program, which has her pretty much studying when she's awake and not working.  Today, a holiday, her classmates are having a review session.  I've met them all at this point, done the hung-out-with-them-all-while-they-study bit, usually at a coffee shop for several hours.  Company wanted/needed to go to this, and wanted me to come along.... but I said no.  I've had no days where I could sleep in and just relax for the day since I got the job offer (I drove Company to work yesterday and was up at 6AM for it), and since I have to get on the plane relatively early tomorrow morning, tomorrow is another non-sleep in day.  Then clearly I need to do Stairs.  And then my first day of Work Thursday.

 

So I said no.  I needed the rest/not running aroundness.  I want to read my book, and drink my coffee, and lounge.  And I just wouldn't be comfortable sitting for an indeterminate length of time at the shop.  It's too.... extroverty.  And I sorely need a bit of introversion before the job starts.  That, and I get to now eat her mother's pineapple waffles.  Woe is me.

 

But I need this and it's okay to recognize and address that need, even if it makes a significant other slightly disappointed. (Not mad, just sad since I leave tomorrow and we try to spend as much time together as possible.)

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Three cheers for the realm of the employed!

 

...actually, you know, I think I might be the evil twin. After all, I work in finance, which as we all know is essentially the root of all evil times infinity. You, on the other hand, are actually working in a scientific industry striving to do good and improve peoples' lives in the world. 

 

Well, there you have it, folks. QED. Kyellan is the evil twin.

 

..don't look so surprised. >:)

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"You are what you do. Choose again, and change." - Miles Vorkosigan

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Congratulations on the job!! (love the momo gif).  Certainly been a long time in coming, I'm glad you found work!!  Good luck with All the Science!!!!

 

21 minutes ago, Kyellan said:

Well, there you have it, folks. QED. Kyellan is the evil twin.

 

..don't look so surprised. >:)

Well with *that* profile picture ...XD (I tease).

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I feel you on the need to set boundaries and things like that. I've heard that kind of thing is healthy. I'm sure it is for other people. :D (other people being you and she).

 

Also, I think everyone else has missed the most important part, which is, pineapple waffles? And bakeries that serve peanut butter cookies topped with peanut butter and ganache?

 

What devilry is this? And where can I get some?

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4 hours ago, Kyellan said:

Three cheers for the realm of the employed!

 

...actually, you know, I think I might be the evil twin. After all, I work in finance, which as we all know is essentially the root of all evil times infinity. You, on the other hand, are actually working in a scientific industry striving to do good and improve peoples' lives in the world. 

 

Well, there you have it, folks. QED. Kyellan is the evil twin.

 

..don't look so surprised. >:)

 

Please, that's too obvious.  We're Grey Jedi.  No doubt about it.  And honestly, of the two of us, I definitely lean more Darkside and cynical than you're relatively upbeat manner. :P

 

2 hours ago, Kishi said:

I feel you on the need to set boundaries and things like that. I've heard that kind of thing is healthy. I'm sure it is for other people. :D (other people being you and she).

 

Also, I think everyone else has missed the most important part, which is, pineapple waffles? And bakeries that serve peanut butter cookies topped with peanut butter and ganache?

 

What devilry is this? And where can I get some?

 

The boundaries were good.  It was mildly amusing that both of us felt like we were abandoning the other, and therefore felt bad.  But I definitely needed the rest time, and she was glad I got it.  So it worked out.

 

And duuuuuuuuude.  Pineapple waffles were amazing.  Not hard to make, either.  Apparently just a mix of bisquick, a can of crushed pineapple, and a little extra coconut oil to compensate for the pineapple sugars.

 

Pineapple waffles + a touch of maple syrup?  Amazing.  And honestly, I'd up the pineapple to a can and a half or two cans crushed pineapple.  SO GOOD.  Also you could make them pancakes instead.  Also amazing.

 

 

 

Sadly, my trip to Company is ended.  I'm sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight to arrive.  I was supposed to take off in 15 minutes.  Newp, flight is delayed two hours (if not more), and therefore I won't leave until 3PM or later.  Ugh.  But on the plus side, I downloaded four posters from the new job's website, and I'm going to parse them and get a head start on what I need to brush up on.  And I'm trying this new method of notation - I bought a little moleskin notebook that I'm going to carry around.  I do a lot of "Oh, what if yadda yadda yadda" in my life, both professionally and personally.  So I'm going to see if I can use an unobtrusive notebook to jot things down (I could use my phone, but I like going a bit analog for this stuff.  Helps me remember better.)

 

Also, I was talking to @Flex Luthor about how much it would cost me to have him write up some different lifting programs for me, ones with one day of lifting a week, or two, or four, since those are my options I'm toying with.  And since Flex is a smart guy, I trust him to do awesome things.  Also it'd be much harder to handwave and drop lifting all together if I don't have a program staring at me in the face.  Plus if he gives me all three versions, it allows me a crazy amount of flexibility over time.

 

I'm feeling so oddly good and productive.  It's weird.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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I AM SO EXCITED AND HAPPY FOR YOU!!! Sorry I could not join you for victory stairs this morning! I want to buy you a celebration beer soon! 

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YAY!!!!!

 

giphy.gif

 

After all this time and countless interviews, I'm so happy you have a job.

 

On 5/30/2017 at 0:48 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

The boundaries were good.  It was mildly amusing that both of us felt like we were abandoning the other, and therefore felt bad.  But I definitely needed the rest time, and she was glad I got it.  So it worked out.

 

Good for both of you that you figured that out. Negotiation is key to a successful relationship.

 

On 5/30/2017 at 0:48 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

And I'm trying this new method of notation - I bought a little moleskin notebook that I'm going to carry around.  I do a lot of "Oh, what if yadda yadda yadda" in my life, both professionally and personally.  So I'm going to see if I can use an unobtrusive notebook to jot things down (I could use my phone, but I like going a bit analog for this stuff.  Helps me remember better.)

 

There is a lot to be said for the analog method. People are more likely to give you credit for taking notes rather than getting peeved that you are paying attention to your phone. Plus the notebook does not lose data if you drop it. ;) 

 

On 5/30/2017 at 0:48 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

I'm feeling so oddly good and productive.  It's weird.

 

Awesome! 

 

I like your goals for starting up a new chapter in your life. How convenient that your new job is close to the dojo. :D  I hope that the work and people are excellent at your new place of employment.

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Day one Complete!  And they haven't fired me yet!

 

Pretty solid first day at the new job.  Some minor tech things, plus getting used to using a Mac instead of a Windows-based computer.  Lots of trying to figure out what projects are out there that I'll be jumping in on, what things are going to need me to focus and work on, and how best to keep myself organized.  Spent the afternoon in the lab shadowing someone running an experiment, and it seems pretty straight forward.  So that's good.  I just need to dive into papers and figure things out, which is time consuming and tricky, but doable.  I suspect I'll be doing a chunk of reading this weekend to make sure I'm up to speed as fast as possible.

 

My other awesome discovery for the day - it takes less than 10 minutes for me to get to the dojo from where I work.  I actually took a wrong turn today getting to the dojo, and STILL managed to get there in under 10 minutes.  HOLY CRAP.  I will have to legitimately convince myself to NOT go to the dojo I'm so close (and have to drive by it to get home anyway).  So that's kind of awesome.

 

Challenge wise, I'm very glad that I decided to go IF today - because Thursday is apparently company lunch day, and today it was tacos.  I ate a lot of tacos.  Really, I had a small flour tortilla and a bit of rice, but everything was Paleo-approved.  It did make me think that I might have to shift how I approach food, though.  I think I might do IF from Thursday to Sunday, and then count calories/go Paleo on Monday to Wednesday.  One thing that makes it hard in my schedule for IF is that because of aikido I typically get home/finished cooking just at the end of that window - with no food.  Like right now I'm still starving and I will have something else to eat - even though I broke my fast around noon, noon thirty today.  But I guess a 14 hourish fast isn't terrible, either.  Lots of wait and see before something gets figured out for sure.

 

Lifting may or may not happen tomorrow.  Not entirely sure.  I'm thinking a rest is in order, because Stairs destroyed my legs on Wednesday, and then I went and did aikido on top of that.  Plus Sunday I'm helping my Sensei move out of his apartment, so I suspect I should be well rested for that.

 

Otherwise.... who knows what's happening in my life.  Just trying to get my feet under me, at this point.  Hopefully that happens sooner, rather than later.

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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One thing I'm learning is that there's no right or wrong way when it comes to diet. There's just underlying principles - eat what your body can handle, and eat enough for whatever the goal is. You'll be just fine no matter what you choose here.

 

You're still finding your feet, but I'm sure you'll land there. :)

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Just a rant, feel free to skip. 

 

So essentially i was just told I don't know how to maneuver around dojo politics and that I should "check my privilege", because I exclaimed in a group about my employment situation and how happy I was to be able to pay dues again after several months of not being able to. I was *also* accused of not telling Sensei and the board. 

 

All of this was done by someone junior to me (albeit one closer to a peer level at this point, but still junior to me). And yes, there are certain people I wouldn't tell about my non-paying because they haven't been around long enough to warrant that information or have proven too tone deaf and likely to abuse the power. Also the whole utilizing the social justice warrior definition of privilege pissed me off. I wasn't allowed this because I of <insert traits here>. I was given a pass because I fell on hard financial times, and between the choice of losing me as a regular attendee and $100 of income a month, the benefit of my continued attendance was higher. And to top it all off, there are MULTIPLE cases in the dojo of people who were in a similar situation and will tell you as such. Add in the fact that the whole "regular, , dedicated, helpful student gets given a break" isn't uncommon for multiple arts and schools, this is a nonissue. 

 

It doesnt help that this person has kind of been getting a bit of a bit of an ego lately. And I suspect coming from a more for-profit dojo art means the "*gasp* YOU DIDN'T PAY" is a bit larger of an issue. 

 

So it just pissed me off. I know a helluva lot more politics about this place than you. I've had to maneuver them for a while, and know where I have capital and don't, and who has what capital. Sit the fuck down. 

 

Okay. I'm done. I feel better. 

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:

So essentially i was just told I don't know how to maneuver around dojo politics and that I should "check my privilege", because I exclaimed in a group about my employment situation and how happy I was to be able to pay dues again after several months of not being able to. I was *also* accused of not telling Sensei and the board. 

Is it just me or does disabling one's brain-mouth filter like the person you described did seem like a bad idea in a martial arts dojo?

 

Somewhere along the way Mouthy McMoutherson is going to be told to stuff it, good on you for exercising self control.

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Yeah, sounds to me like the other guy doesn't really get how this works. The value of a student in a dojo isn't just about the dues. Especially in a situation like yours where you have multiple students. You are valuable as a teaching aide, and also as someone who's demonstrated dedication to the art. If your teacher considers your presence as being valuable enough that he won't press you for dues, that's his business, and his choice to make. It's not for the other - a student, I might add - to determine what the business of your dojo should be.

 

Hopefully this doesn't wind up being another goober. Maybe you should come up with a fun nickname in the meantime, just to distinguish. Social Justice Goober?

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Pretty much. On one hand, I totally understand the whole "Don't trumpet you haven't been paying dues" thing. Because there ARE people who would abuse that knowledge. But I haven't *really* done that - just said I can pay dues again, which can be read many different ways. 

 

I think what bothers me the most is the subtle accusation that the instructors *didn't* know. Hell, I had to be yelled at and threatened by people to make sure I wouldn't pay. And when I saw one of the senior board members (who is usually on people to pay dues) on Thursday the first words out of my mouth were about how happy I was to be able to pay the dojo dues again. 

 

Their attitude has been bothering me recently across the board. And I think I found the reason. They are essentially the disciple of ONE instructor at the dojo. Sad instructor is amazing and has a lot to teach, but the person learning seems to have taken to thinking any way which is different than how HE does it is wrong. Or at least not good enough. And is very vocal about their opinions on the matter.

 

There are ten instructors at my dojo, all with a different aikido style. None are bad. Just some work better than others based on body type. I mean, I straight up do not like the heir instructor's style of aikido - because it just does not work well with my body. On the other hand, the two other senior instructors I tend to pull a lot from, because their styles fit my body really well. 

 

And on to of that, they really don't let their partner work on what their partner wants to work on. I'm all for calling people on things that I notice because I'm working on them. I'm not going to force them to work on that if they are busy focusing on another part. This person has been trying to get me to work on tiny details (that are good to work on), while I'm trying to get my body to agree with just moving correctly at all. Yes, those would be great things to work on (and not exactly things I'm not unaware of, I know most of the things I need to work on), but if I keep entering on the wrong side, how about you just let me focus on getting the technique down first without making judgements grunts in the meantime. 

 

This was just really driven home today as i was working with a black belt where we had a dialogue because the technique was atypical. Had I worked with this other person all I'd get would be grunts about how I wasn't doing it perfectly. That isn't helpful. It's annoying and pretentious. 

 

Yea. I'm ranting a lot today. Sorry. 

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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On 6/1/2017 at 8:15 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

Day one Complete!  And they haven't fired me yet!

 

Woot!!  Glad to hear that man!!  I'm so happy for you finally getting the job!  You've been at it for long enough it had to happen.  

 

Following, of course.  

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On 6/3/2017 at 5:09 PM, RisenPhoenix said:

Yea. I'm ranting a lot today. Sorry. 

 

Man, sometimes I'm glad to be at a very very very small school. :D Fewer bullshit politics that way, for sure!

 

Feel free to rant away. That's what this space is for!

 

When we get together, we should spend some time talking about teaching. I've got some "new" (~6 months) brethren at the kwoon, and at 2.5 years or so, I'm starting to be able to see where they may be going wrong and mistakes they're making, but I've never been all that good at communicating those things. I think I could possibly learn a few things from you in that regard, given how long you've been working your art and where you're at.

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Boy, that sounded frustrating. What would this junior person know about how the dojo is managed?

 

I know that our chief instructor has said multiple times that people who are in financial difficulties should talk to her. On O-Sensei memorial we went around the room and each person said something about how aikido has been meaningful in their life. One of the people said how much he appreciated being part of the community and being able to keep practicing when he was unemployed and could not pay dues.

 

You are absolutely right, other dojos have the same practice as yours. We need good people to train together. Money is necessary to pay the bills, but good people are essential to having a healthy dojo. Sounds like the person who was questioning you might not be someone who would be worth keeping around without the money. :P 

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