Years ago I took a course right here in the Med. And nearly dropped out because before getting anywhere near the sexy James Bond stage of tanks, weight belts and clinging wetsuits, the seemingly simple task of removing one’s dive mask while underwater must be performed.
Sounds simple but for moi-self it presented a tremendous stumbling block because we humans instinctively draw in a breath through the nose when our masks are removed while down below.
My instructor at the time told me to cut the sh*t out when I said I was quitting. All my diving mates seemed to effortlessly pull off the mask removal bit but I was the loser and I wanted to cut my losses and get out. Mr. Instructor said “no way” and sent me home to practice in the bathtub with a borrowed mask and snorkel.
So I practiced. And practiced. And practiced. And inhaled liters of water and felt an idiot in the bathtub or in the sea when I tried it out in public.
HOWEVER, I triumphed and continued with the course and got over the fear of mask removal AND was one of three classmates – out of ten – to successfully complete the entire course.
Japanese classes at the moment suck: I’m lost and absolutely THE straggler lagging behind.
So much for family/friends’ compliments throughout the years: “You have an ear for languages.” No. The young and slick uniformed military guy who shows up each week without having done homework and effortlessly spills forth perfectly formed Kanji sentences has an ear. The girl earning her PhD in computerized education methods and studying Japanese because she had a good time in Tokyo is talented.
I’m sitting there hoping that if I practice in the bathtub enough, I’ll be able to form a sentence without wearing a mask.