On Child Black Belts

One of my cousins has her kids enrolled in what appears to be a pee-wee karate class. In one of the photos it shows a kid proudly displaying his black belt. The kid looks to be no more than five or six years old. When I was broadening my martial horizons, I cross-trained in a fair number of styles. The one thing that always held true across all of them was that a black belt (or its equivalent) is representative of some mastery of that system; it means you can lead and teach a class yourself. There was a Shotokan school in Charlottesville that had a really excellent method for handling teaching kids. For 7 year old kids and younger, the kids got a colored belt with a long white stripe down the center. The kids moved up in ranks right up until they hit brown belt with a white stripe. Once they were older than 7, if they had progressed to brown/white belt than they moved directly to an orange belt (the progression in Shotokan is white, orange, green, purple, brown, black). If they came in older than 7 than they started at white belt and progressed as normal. If this were a game you would call that a very balanced leveling system. I liked it because it gave the kids a feeling of accomplishment without providing false expectations about their skills.

Spell Check

There’s a reason God invented the spell-checker. For instance when someone sends a message out to the entire company stating that “Whoever has been felching milk from the main kitchen needs to stop doing so,” this kind of thing can be avoided if spell check is run.

Admittedly the visuals have made me want to give up dairy for awhile…or avoid entering the main kitchen for that matter, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss.

RIP Beard

Man I had no idea how attached to facial hair one can become. I mean yes, it was obviously attached to me but I was clearly very attached to it. Due to an unfortunate trimming accident yesterday I had to shave off my beard. I’ve had a beard for at least the last year, possibly even longer. My face looks too small on me now and I’m unused to feeling the cold air on my face. I feel silly lamenting the temporary loss of my facial hair (and do not look forward to the itchiness of it growing back out) but I am content in the knowledge that my beard always grows back. Ah well…for the next month or so I will be beardless and then I can go back to my face feeling normal again.

Coming Soon to a Kendall Square Near You

I’ve told a few of you already but as I just officially gave my notice today I can announce to the LJ community. I received an official offer from Merrimack Pharmaceuticals today and waited a whopping 8 seconds to put in my notice. I start my new job with the new year, so January 3rd I’ll be working out of the 1 Kendall Square plaza. Those of you in that neck of the woods, we should grab food of the lunch variety some time 🙂

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