Seminar Reflections from Paola Pappalardo, IKR

Paolo Pappalardo, nidan, IKR

The most striking aspect to my experience at the seminar was the wonderful education that the hanshi provided. Each hanshi was unbelievable in the care that he took in helping myself and the others to understand as much as each of us could at our own level of experience. Their stamina was extremely impressive. Everyone was commenting how they could maintain their level of energy throughout the day. The venue was quite good. However, sometimes it was difficult to be able to watch the overall training without getting in the way. This is where UC Davis was very nice because of the available seating above and around the shajo area. The space available to us at USC was just right for the number of people there. It took a little while to find our own space to put our equipment but once we did, it worked nicely.

The dorm was exceptionally nice. I enjoyed having the efficiency apartment so that I could relax and talk with others in the smaller private common area. It was also nice that the registration desk was in the dorm as after 9 hours on the road, it was good to sign in and go directly to my room to freshen up. The registration process was well organized and made the overall experience smooth. The registration package and particularly, the satchel were welcome.

The overall experience of the cafeteria was nice. The layout and furniture was pleasing but they might not have been able to serve us at their best because of the few numbers. The selection of food might have been broader if there were more students on campus. They did have a trouble keeping up with coffee and coffee cups.

The AKR meeting was very comfortable and it was a pleasure to talk with those that I had met before along with getting to know Blackwell sensei. This was my first experience with him. The meeting flowed smoothly and a great deal of ground was covered in a short period of time. I hope that my abstention from some voting did not appear that I was not interested in participating. As a proxy, I wanted to ensure that I accurately reflected the thoughts of the Indiana Kyudo Renmei. I also appreciated the openness that you showed me when I offered to share some of my own experiences on security with Curran sensei. I look forward to working with her and helping the AKR.

I believe that if I were to offer a suggestion for future seminars, it would be some training for all of us in solid safety procedures. Sometimes the communication between the 3 shajo was not as strong as it could have been. Review of these kinds of procedures would not only be useful during the seminar, I would make sure to bring those lessons back with me for our own training.