Attention-span deprived as they are, the kids in the park are my favorite of all the students I’ve taught so far.
Rewind: recently, I have had the opportunity to teach a children’s martial arts class at a park in Historic Filipinotown. I’m proud to be carrying on the tradition of park lessons in an ethnically diverse neighborhood. I did a lot of my learning at Garvey Ranch Park in Monterey Park. Also, one of my instructors used to do a class at the park in Chinatown (I studied with him in classes given at my university). I never got the chance to go to the Chinatown class—back then, I was terrified of venturing out of my small, school world. Which is a shame really, because every time I did, it was a rewarding experience.
The kids have energy and spirit to spare, and they love the exercises I give them. We have yet to throw a punch or a kick, and I can already tell that a few of them are on board for the long haul.
I ride the Metro train out there, which is another new experience for me. I’d only been on the Metro train once before, a few years back when Malik took me to the first May Day protest in downtown (thankfully we missed the stormtrooping LAPD incident, which came the following year). It takes me about an hour and a half to get to the park from my place, but it beats the hell out of sitting in traffic. My favorite is the blue line, because the fences and walls along it are laced with glyphs.
During class this past Tuesday, a baby girl kitten showed up, with no mommy in sight. Her right eye was swollen shut and gunky with dirt and puss, and she was covered from head to toe in fleas. However, she wanted to live, so the Hollywood Jedi and I rescued her. I brought her home, and I’ve been bottle feeding her for three days now.
Took her to the vet. I got a bag full of medicines and vitamins and everything else, along with a fat bill. She got a bath.
Lord Byron wasn’t too pleased at first. He arched his fuzzy white back and hissed at the mewling pet carrier rather enthusiastically. But eventually he came around, and has even begun grooming her. The bonding will have to wait though—she is under quarantine until: 1) the antibiotics have done their work, and 2) she learns to use the litter box. I have yet to see evidence of her even going potty, which I’m thinking about getting worried about, but either way I don’t want her learning on my clothes/rug/journals/comics.