Friday, September 28, 2012

Rank Exam #2

"Aaron, could you come here for a minute?"

I hate hearing those words.  They very rarely are portents of anything good.

I went over to see Clint and hear the fateful words.
"You didn't make it this time."

I like to be flip about it and say that it would have taken a miracle to pass that exam, and that I'd rather save that miracle for my silver cord or my gold cord.

I like to look at the positives, which was that my wrestling, which was my weakest point in my last exam, was my strongest point in this exam.

I like to make excuses too.  I spent all summer in knight camp, I hadn't trained in months, I was thinking about getting to work on time, I spent too long trying to check my form in the mirror, and a great many others. 

But the simple fact was that I wasn't ready. 

The biggest piece of feedback that I got was that my sword moved in a two foot wide circle, and that it needs to move in a three inch circle.

I waited a few days for the feedback form, and was more than a little crushed when I got it.  There are three grades listed on the feedback for each section:
1. Exceeded Expectations (EE)
2. Met Expectation (ME)
3. Did Not Meet Expectations (DME)

I exceeded expectations on my wrestling, and didn't meet the expectations on anything else. The feedback pointed out what was wrong, and to my frustration, there was a lot that I had been working on in the feedback that still hadn't improved.  The feedback is necessary to my growth within the Academie, within the art, and as a swordsman.

The last lesson I could take away was a fairly important one.  Failure is good.  It keeps me humble, and reminds me that I have a standard to live up to; that I need to continue my training; that I need to keep chasing that dream.

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