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Once an expert, always an expert? - Page 3

post #61 of 65
Thread Starter 
Shucks, guys, I post a simple question and leave for boating for three days and come back to a surprisingly learned discussion.

I thank you.

Pierre, you are right, this thread started out of my concern that I was giving opinions and advice while "being over the hill" so to speak. I simply wondered if my knowledge of skiing was sufficient even though I may no longer be able to perform these maneuvers with vigor, though I once could.

Roto, I have been a member of ISIA for about 25 years though the oval badge has no meaning to most instructors, much less to the broad public.

Yuki, when Sigi was working in her family's fields picking potatos or raking hay, she wore that flimsy, loose dress with stringy straps and just long enough to cover her briefs, the only other piece of clothing.

Her family got always some free labor in the form of three or four silly boys who volunteered to work the furrows behing her (me among them). Washing up in the lake is a whole other story.

Bob, I went through the "associate" and "full" school of certification with USSA, then the "full" with PSIA (and there were pittifully few of us, my number was 325) and I believe that PSIA, in order to become a viable teaching organization which services all skier in the US, HAD to do something more than certify 3-4 instructors per division each Fall and Spring.

When they then added teh "registered" label, it meant nothing to the public who wanted a certified instructor to teach them. Adding "certified" to all three levels assured the public that someone tested and certified them, though paying the dues is all the level 1 were required at first.

Snowdancer, theoretically, the workshop/clinics every two years are there to update all certified instructor in the present teaching methodology, but since there are no test, attendance alone re-qualifies the candidate for re-certification. There is a broad division among instructors about retesting, the younger ones usually want skiing tests and the older ones want teaching tests.

Matteo, stay where you are! Level 3 certification isn't all that easy over here, believe me. The difference is in what ski instruction is in different countries. In Austria this March I talked to a wiry, leathery ski instructor about 60, who says he instructs, guides and in the snowless seasons carries "American ladies in high heels" (his words, not mine) up the mountains. He made enough money over the years to build a nice Pension/restaurant.

Robin, I don't know when you went through CSIA level 3 exam, but when I went through it the examiner seemed very reluctant to let anybody into their exclusive club.

post #62 of 65
Matteo, a truly fascinating and enlightening story. I can now finally understand the student/teacher dynamics that upset me so much in Bormio.

You spoke of a "Cosa nostra" attitude that gives no information or feedback. In Bormio, instructors were not open to discussing why I felt completely uncomfortable with what they were trying to teach me. Heck, as I said in my Bormio post, they would not even ride the lifts with the students.

Although no one should ever doubt that I give my ski instructors the utmost respect, the Maestro attitude is a little bit much!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #63 of 65

Since I never responded to the original post...! Skiing couldn't be where it is today without what has come before. There is no movement or technique that has been completely left behind in my opinion. Rotation, counter-rotation, stemming, some version of each of those movements/techniques and all others remains part of expert skiing today (in some form) though they may have become much less "active", more subtle, refined, been renamed or whatever.

My point is that past experise does apply today. Fundamentals haven't changed MUCH. Expertise does require maintenance from the expert, though. It does not continue on its own.
post #64 of 65
Thread Starter 
Nah, Pierre, it's too late today, let's just say that it involved a lot of jumping up and down and diving

post #65 of 65
While in Norway I did a lot of cross-country skiing. Etiquette there is to yield to an overtaking skier when they sing out "Loype!" (that o should have a slash). My father was a frequent XC racer and even he commented on how so many "old" men would fly by leaving many younger in their wakes. I never tired of watching their flowing movements as they flew across the snow.
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