After my return to Chicago in 1997, I finally settled down for a while and went to Columbia College in downtown. It was a liberal art school with concentrations in the arts, and performing arts. I kept my eyes open to Tai chi, though, I kept my self occupied with school. It wasn’t until one November day that I was at a coffee shop, once again, this time it was Kopi Cafe up in Andersonville. I was actually having going their with my friend Ariella while we were walking her dog. Her dog was an exquisite breed, an african hunting dog called a Basenji. The dog is beaut. Nonetheless we dropped in to get a shake and some coffee, where upon walking she ran into another of her friends. She was drinking some kind of shake and to our surprise strapped to her chair was a big broad sword. Ariella began chiding at her, mentioning the ballistics of her going postal, or even assaulting the cafe and taking off with the tip jar. She mentioned that that evening they were doing Tai chi a couple of blocks down at her school. My ears perked up! Tai chi. I haven’t practiced in month, about half a year! This was it! She mentioned that their school was in the back of some little Chinese herb shop, where they practice Yang style and also weapons. She finished her shake, and invited us to come along. Of course we followed, not just to be impressed by her sword, but also to find out where the place was so as not to get lost next time trying to look for the place. We got there, and well, it was like an old reliquary. An Chinese antique store or something. There were jars everywhere with strange herbs in them, and quickly we greeted at the door. He boyfriend was there and we talked for a bit. Some handed us a flyer of their schedule and we were invited to sit in on the demonstration. Ariella didn’t think it was a good idea since we walking the dog. We turned around went back to her place, and I was in the goods, knowing that now there was someone to practice.