Monday, March 12, 2012

The Start of a New Beginning? :)

My Saturday was filled with activities I've been wanting to do for quite some time. I had my first sewing lesson with a friend of mine. We found a groupon discount. I'm glad it was half off cuz it was definitely informative, and I doubt I would've understood the machine without that class. I just don't have the attention span with youtube and if I did by some miracle grasp it, it would've taken me forever!!!

At least now I'm armored with the knowledge to get started. In all honestly, I'm not sure if I'm willing to invest in a sewing machine yet but I've started on a task I've been telling myself I want to learn for years now. That's huge! As for the actual class.....It was definitely informative, but it's crazy to imagine that most people pay $60 for ONE lesson to learn how to thread, lear the settings, and be given a basic tutorial about fabrics. Half of which I could've gotten online and understood. If I knew someone with a sewing machine, I could've saved myself the trouble. Although that's exactly the kind of thinking that's made me procrastinate for so long. I certainly don't regret the $30 spent, just a little disappointed about what I got out of it. Fortunately I'm in the minority.

Interestingly enough this past week, I've been feeling constructively critical reviewing experiences I've had with aestheticians and the sorts in my head. With that mentality in mind, I'm not sure I experienced the full satisfaction others have experienced. The only negative reviews were regarding scheduling, which was an unnecessary nightmare thankfully for my friend (not me) cuz she was the one scheduling. The day and date didn't match, then only one of us got scheduled until it corrected, and there was a whole phone tag issue going on in the process.

As for the actual sewing class, it wasn't bad. I guess I just expected more. We didn't make totes the way I was led to believe we would. We went over by twenty minutes and we weren't even finished with the class, so I can't help but feel like we were stiffed. It makes me wonder if I want to take another class with her. She's definitely a clear communicator, articulate, receptive, attentive, helpful, and makes the class fun. But if we go over time, will we be denied a portion of our lesson? Organization isn't her strong suit, but it's hardly debilitating when it coems to the quality of teaching. I just tend to over think things.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't have the best technique, which, of course, is understandable since it's the first time I've even touched a sewing machine, but my friend was doing much better. I'm not saying I can't improve, but this will require more focus and discipline. It's certainly not a natural talent I possess. The instructor said it's the mind of the engineer that excels the most in this class. Do I have the mind of an engineer? I'm not certain. My ex mentioned I had some mentality but had difficulty executing it. He was surprised by my promise but inability to bring it out. Was it engineering? If so, maybe sewing can be the tool I need to do just that - bring it out. That'd be nice.

I'm so small and my frame is so unique. I'm short but I have a long midriff the way a tall person would. I also have long legs for a short person. I have the leg length of someone who's 5'5" and I'm only 5'2"... I'm so small that most companies don't accommodate my size. I can't wait until sale prices come around when the few stores that carry my size has my size in stock. Their protocol is to only order 3, one of them is always on display and sometimes if it doesn't sell, it's cheaper to return the products to the manufacturer. So I have to grab it ASAP! After spending years wearing clothes that don't flatter my figure, I now have a clear understanding of what's best for my body. But it's so difficult to find those styles cuz it's not a demanding size, style, or fit! Sewing would be the perfect solution! Not to mention there are a ton of crafts I want to do that I'm unable to do cuz I don't know how to sew! It's ridiculous!

As for the tote, I went to this website and read that a tote bag is created in this class. So I'm disappointed cuz we didn't have enough time for that. As I've already mentioned, the instructor is an excellent teacher. However if specific things are meant to be covered in the class, I feel it should be. If we go over our time, I find it unfair that we were unable to complete the full course and feel that it should've still been offered to us. After all how the class is organized and time management is the responsibility of the instructor. Being polite doesn't change that. I wasn't going to be a bitch and demand that we learn a tote, but I feel that we go the short end of the stick cuz think about the world of difference it would've made had we have been able to do that. We would've learned so much more, had way more practice, and be more confident in our abilities as a result!

Yes, I'm being critical and I know this to be especially true since everyone raves about her on yelp, but that doesn't change my point. This experience won't stop me from recommending people, but I might search a little more for a different instructor, rather than going straight back to her without hesitation, which I would've done if we had gotten a chance to do our tote. It's experiences like these that remind me of where I'm from cuz where I grew up, there's a standard for EXACTLY what gets covered. We don't even have to demand it. My how different things operate at different places. And maybe that's just it. My critical side is resurfacing cuz my standards are returning, rather than the tolerance I've built over the years.

You'll see another example of my standards as I proceed to discuss my yoga experience. I joined a yoga membership cuz I'm able to get the first month free. However I still pay for a month. It's like I'm paying last month's fee, and it's unlimited classes for less than $100. That's very affordable. To tell you to the truth, the petty jealous side of me finds it unfair that I haven't been able to score those $35 unlimited yoga for a month specials. I always seem to miss them. Sigh...but waiting around til a good deal comes by is no deal cuz my health is important. So I bit the bullet and joined a yoga membership.

I guess it's to be expected that when you join without testing out the instructors, you may be in for a surprise. But the cost of testing out the instructors would've been more or as expensive as a full month. Besides I wanted to get the free month. That's how they hook you! They also gave me a $25 credit, so I purchased an Ayurveda Cookbook which I appreciate. It has a generous selection of recipes, but it also thoroughly covers Ayurvedic health. The balance between both information and in such detail is promising.

As for the yoga instructor...that's a different story. I took a level 1/2 class which I was suggested given my exposure. I've taken a few kundalini classes and a couple other ones at Fitness 24. I don't remember the name, but I indicated that they focused on alignment, postures, and flexibility. The class I took is considered to be more cardio intensive, and I was informed of that. I guess with level 2 students being in the class, I can't be too surprised by the advancement. But I find the recommendation to be inappropriate and unwise.

I had assumed the instructor would be doing the poses with us, so I positioned myself in the front of the class and was asked to move to the back so I can follow people. I'm glad the instructor recognized that I was new and gave me that recommendation, though. What I didn't like was that the poses were instructed with details on what exactly we should be doing. Perhaps that's acceptable for a level 2 class, but I don't think it's safe in a level 1 class which I feel should be taken into account.

Now to be fair, this class may have the same set of students in which case it could be appropriate to go with this speed EXCEPT there was someone next to me who wasn't even posing on the correct leg! Someone all the way in the front was horribly imbalanced and unable to do the eagle pose. That's a difficult pose! As I observed others in the room, I noticed that not everyone's arms were lengthened the same, hands were either open or closed, posture was off, and there was such a variety in technique. I believe if the class were taught properly, there would be more congruency cuz yoga should be done correctly, not according to each person's preference! Furthermore, the instructor was playing the drums in class which may seem like a good idea again in theory, but that made the instructor unavailable to correct anyone. That's probably why there were so many apparent mistakes.

I'm not saying a yoga class taught by an instructor playing the drums in it of itself is a bad idea, BUT if that's going to be done, it should be done with a scrupulous eye and better judgment ie a class filled with qualified students who don't require alignment correction, repositioning, etc. It was apparent that there were students who didn't belong in that class who were there. It may not sound fun to exclude people, but I think that's the responsibility of competent yoga instructors. I believe either be there to assist your students who clearly need it or limit drumming to a class where students don't require more explicit instructions. At the end of class I asked the instructor how I did and he said I did fine. He walked by people around me and corrected them (although not thoroughly enough since I'm observing all this), but he never corrected me. He said he thought I did fine.

I've done ballet for years, so technique has always been a priority for me. Even if I could do something well, I understood the technique and would rather do the little I can do rather than a sloppy performance. So I'm not surprised by the instructor's assessment, but either way it isn't good. Either I'm the self-righteous newb running her mouth about something I don't understand as I make mistakes or I'm right. Neither sound good. More focus and priority should be directed to the students and less activities that take away from that ie drumming or more appropriate placement. One or the other... However I do like that I began a journey pursuing two interests I've had for a while now.

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