Thursday, May 10, 2012

Let's Get Physical (Or Not, If It Can Be Avoided)

So with enrollment at Western Kentucky University comes the physical education requirement.

Yes, that's right: you have to take PE. In my case, had my parents ever relented, I would've transferred and happily fulfilled that requirement with marching band. My sister passed Western's bowling class with flying colors. There's a wide variety of stuff that you can take to knock this out, but...most of these courses are not designed for middle-aged folk like me.

I've been doing a little armchair quarterbacking per Hopkins' enrollment down there and the latest thing is the PE class. I suggested, tongue-so-in-cheek that it was practically coming out my ear, that he take "organized drowning", a.k.a. swimming. Among the great many things that I know- and wish that I could forget in order to make room for important stuff- is that he can't swim. He reminded me of that, along with the fact that he found the prospect of donning swim apparel rather daunting, if not unkind to others who might be in that class (he said it, I didn't).

As I read it, I let out a quickly muffled whoop of laughter, because I know something y'all don't know: while I am pale, pasty, sunburns-immediately, descended-from-redheads fair, he makes me look like JLo by comparison. He's one of those brunettes whom Goths emulate with black hair dye and pale foundation. Anyone who gets within twenty yards of him at the pool will be summarily blinded by the glare. I'll give him credit; his self-deprecation and our combined sarcasm painted a Speedo joke that is never going to see the light of day.

Try to remember that this is someone about whom I care very deeply, but there are some things so obvious that you just can't give them a pass. Hopkins, quite frankly, glows in the dark.

So, swimming is out and we've been casting about for a class. The two that have really caught his eye are shockingly martial: archery, which is in conflict with a class offered at only one time and which he has to have for his major, and marksmanship. He grew up on a farm and although it has never been directly discussed, I'm fairly secure in the assumption that he's used a firearm before...although probably not a handgun. What evolved out of this was a little friendly competition: I was trained to use a handgun before my age reached double digits, and I have a concealed deadly weapons permit. I gathered from the roughly ten e-mails we exchanged on this score that he's certain that if I can learn to shoot, so can he. Anything you can do/I can do better/I can do anything/better than you...

The other thing that came out in the course of this is his sense of humor. His sister believes that he doesn't have one, but I've apparently witnessed a few things about him that others have missed (for example, I also know that he can and will, if motivated, sing). He imparted at one point that the only fencing at Western is in the Ag department...to which I replied, "And we all know that you're not going within two hundred yards of the Ag department on pain of death." He was seriously over farming and livestock well before he was able to escape from it.

It'll be interesting to see what he chooses. He thought Tai Chi looked a bit interesting, but put the kibosh on it when he found out that it crosslisted as a theatre class. Anyway, there are all kinds of options- just not really very many that appeal to him. I guess if he can't make up his mind, there's always online walking!

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