Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Grandpa's car and other ways to move around

Grandpa has an old, small Peugeot. It's a cute little thing that moves surprisingly swiftly when needed. I have an old, not so small Skoda. It's not that cute and doesn't move that swiftly either. And today, it was totally and utterly in an uncooperative mood. Well, actually it was in that mood already a week ago on Sunday, so I didn't even bother to try to negotiate with it today.

But since I had to get to Parainen (I teach a dance class there) somehow, I had to borrow grandpa's car. Which is fine, although I hate to drive without having something to listen to. Like the radio. I'm addicted to music. Grandma & grandpa don't like to listen to anything while they are in the car, so the radio is old and broken. If I turn it on, I risk driving off the road at any second. It (the radio) does this thing where the volume goes through the roof all of a sudden and basically gives me a heart attack. So no radio. Oh well, radio is such a small luxury compared to the fact that I can get into grandpa's car without any problems, I can get out of the car without any problems and I can start the car without any problems - who gives a damn about a radio anyway??

Yet another car related matter. Dad had just bought a brand new SUV. Silver-colored Honda CR-V. Very nice. Very big and shiny. I can't wait to borrow it! :) I loved the old CR-V too, it was an automatic like this new one, too. I love not having to shift gears. Wonderful. I don't mind a stick shift either, but give me an automatic any day and I wouldn't even think twice about which I would choose. Although I must admit that I am somehow attached to my "Skodillac" and I'm sort of sad to think that it really doesn't have that much time on this Earth anymore. I've always thought that it's got the right attitude for car of a history student. After all, it has been made in a country that doesn't exist anymore. However, a new car is on my list of things to buy as soon as I can get a steady income...

So. Dance classes began today. What fun it was after a long break. I had a huge group in Parainen, there were 30 names on the list. Only 24 or so came to practice today, but I suspect the rest of them are coming next week. Yikes. That's a lot of people. But as always, the very first lesson of a beginners' oriental dance course is just so much fun. People seem to come to the course thinking it'll be very easy and that they won't have to sweat at all. How wrong they are... ;) Oriental dance can look deceivingly "light", but the amount of strength and coordination needed is quite surprising to many.

It's not like I require Riverdance-like precision from my students, that's not the point, but I think that one of the best things people can learn from oriental dance is the control of one's own body. I know it's one of the reasons I love it so much. I was an unsecure senior high school student when I began dancing and dancing gave me a lot of self-confidence and, well, posture. I so hope some of the teenage students I had in class today are going to feel a bit more comfortable in their bodies after this course. Or at least remember to stand up straight. There's nothing more annoying than beautiful young girls who look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame when they hang around with their friends. As a history teacher I probably can't do much about it, but in the dance rehearsals I'm in a bit more appropriate situation to tell everyone to tuck in their tummies and bottoms and lift up their chest. :)

I wonder how many students I have tomorrow in Lieto - I hope that the groups there will be as nice as this first one seemed to be. It always helps me motivate myself when I know the group is enthusiastic and happy. Because in just a few weeks time I'm going to be muttering about having to drive around to teach dancing. It takes all my time and I'm going to be tired and annoyed. But that's only before the class. Usually when I drive home, I'm all smiles and I feel great. The energy I get from the students - I feel like a vampire sucking it in. Some sort of natural high, I suppose. :) What I said about the relation between the performer and the audience earlier when I pondered the Riverdance show, applies quite well here too.

Oh, but now I need to get something to eat. All this dancing and writing about dancing made me hungry. :)

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