Old Rupe is sitting in for Old Castwell this week. Castwell
got his feet tangled up, fell and broke some ribs. Sitting at the computer
doesn't make it. Hope he is back soon. ~ Publisher
I remember the martial arts TV show of the 80's where the student
is called Grasshopper by the mentor and is gradually shown the
lessons that the mentor studied a life time to really understand.
The student is respectful, quiet and attentive. As the result of this
the mentor devotes a lot of his elder years to instructing the student
in the correct way of the art.
Since I have taught a few students I can appreciate the parallel. I
have shown a few serious students a way of life that I spent a life
time to learn. A very few. If I would bother to devote a serious
portion of my remaining years to their education in the art then it
couldn't be a nasty thing for "Old Rupe." I won't spend a significant
portion of my later years trying to instruct a "smart-assed student"
in the art that I find so dear.
Those few remaining years are dear to me. I wish no problems
associated with those years. If it's not a pleasant thing it just won't
play. I want no student making me sorry I ever met him. If he want's
to learn what I know that's not a problem. I might spend 40 hours a
week trying to show what little I know, but I don't need a hassle
Remember I know my art. He doesn't. I have spent forty plus years
learning it and if he expects the answers in 10 sentences he's sadly
mistaken. If the student is not smart enough to understand how a
student should act and to be patient and listen to me explain my
sport as I see it then maybe he should buy a video. The bottom line
is don't ruin my sport just to try and understand it. I'll help you but
I won't ruin my life for you. What you see is all I will give you.
The grasshopper act plays even here.
My best students, some even became fanatics, were respectful quiet
people that didn't intrude on my life style. Maybe that's why I worked
so hard teaching them. I just don't need a student whose reason for
being there is to show me what a smart person he is. I'm disrupting
my life to accommodate you, don't make teaching you a chore. I may
find I have other commitments.
Fly fishermen are generally quiet reflective individuals who really
don't interact much with the rest of the world. I can count on two
hands the number of individuals I would want to spend a day on
the stream with. My social interaction is in general satisfied with
internet contacts where others are kept at a distance. When a
different personality type intrudes he has no clue why his act
doesn't play. We tend to group together in clubs and such searching
for a kindred soul.
Few find one.
Most clubs tend to be collections of individuals that pursue the sport
but that don't have enough in common as to view point, philosophy
and skill level to enjoy a beer together in the evening after fishing all
day. Most enjoy fishing alone and even if they don't many rivers
mandate the solitary fishing thing. Its nice to spend a day or two with
an individual every year or so but few associations or friendships
would stand three to four days on the water each week.
A student must therefor tread very softly so that his repeated presence
is a pleasant thing. The mentor will in general tolerate few of his peers
for any length of time, and will never tolerate a student that doesn't fit in.
Grasshopper, I like you best when you don't chirp too much. A quiet
grasshopper who seems to blend in can be around for quite a while.
It's hard to step on something you like.
Green can be a nice color. ~ Old Rupe