September 20th, 2010
Drank coffee and used my computer at Starbucks, making audience survey questions. Rode my bike there and back. My hill is crazy. Seriously. I probably burn 400 calories just in the hill climb within ¼ mile of my house.
Left for 봉산탈춤 Bongsan Talchum a little early, so I could hit one of the two acupuncturists nearby.
The acupuncture did make my knees feel a lot better (we did front and back, both sides with a heat lamp, as the photo from my cell phone shows), but then I probably undid the entire benefit during Bongsan Talchum class. We had a smaller group today, since one of the two big annual holidays starts in tomorrow, but we still got a good workout. 수미 Sumi the 11th grader was the person I talked to the most today. She got involved with traditional performing arts through learning Bongsan Talchum with a junior high school club. The club was taught (occasionally) by one of the most junior Bongsan Talchum members, who encouraged Sumi by praising her ability. Now, beginning to prepare to apply to the same university that 원중 Won Jung is applying for this year, she has also begun 장구 janggu drumming lessons, and is working on her own to improve her singing (원 중 is getting some singing instruction at this point). She has much more natural dance talent than 원 중 Won Jung, but she says that she’s still learning how to hold the drum sticks, so I guess she’s got a ways to go during this next year.
While the beginners were practicing with 김은주 Kim Eunju, at one point the conversation turned to the holiday (called 추석 it’s an autumn harvest holiday) and all the hassle and food preparation. For years I’ve been hearing Koreans complain about this, and frankly, I’m sick of it. Come on, people, you get to see your whole extended family, you get to feel connected to your bloodline and personal family history, you honor traditions, you eat delicious food, you get to laugh as you prepare it all~~~ there is a lot of positive in that equation. Not just if you’re a man (and not preparing food) but just to feel the closeness and love of your whole family. Stop complaining. Enjoy the holiday already.