OK, so I got hit by a lightening bolt today, as some of my MA students whom I see during the regular work week began to line up their excuses for why they can't come to class tomorrow (it's Valentine's day, I would but I have to be somewhere for my Mom, I've got to paint the dog, etc. ad nauseum). They deliver these non-starters in a doleful manner, as if by coming to class they'd be doing me a favor. I think of the thousands of dollars and years of blood, sweat, and tears I--like most veterans of the arts--have spent to get the MA education I have gotten. So, I start wondering why the lack of commitment? Why the attrition I've seen since beginning teaching (only) three years ago? What's wrong? Then it hits me: not wrong, but right. There have been several discussion right here on MT about weeding out the wrong kind of characters to receive MA teaching--background checks, etc. I've always argued that the wrong types would weed themselves out, wouldn't have the dedication to stick with it anyway. And now here it is, my own point being proved to me. The people who aren't responsible enough even to attend regular classes for more than a few months, certainly aren't responsible enough to handle the power of the martial arts which comes from doing them long enough to become fairly proficient (maybe even dangerous). So while attrition is painful for an instructor (OK, for me anyway ), it's also the self-regulation that I've always believed in. Man, growth hurts. But it always feels great afterwards. Or am I just rationalizing?