Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda.

When I decided to go back to school back at the end of last year, I met with the adult education (cue Hall and Oates) advisor and mentioned one of my biggest concerns about being a back-to-college adult.


I had visions of being a nearly 40-year old man, clad in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, straining to keep up with my 18 and 19-year old peers as they raced through some obscene obstacle course involving push-ups, pull-downs, wrestling and cartwheels. They’d point and laugh and I’d end up being picked last for some game involving a medicine ball.

It’s the stuff nightmares are made of.

When I met with the advisor, she advised me that in lieu of physical education classes, I could take a two credit health class to meet my P.E. requirements. I’m in that health class this semester.

I should have risked the medicine ball.

When I mentioned the collection of depressing students last week, I was referring to many in my Tuesday and Thursday morning health class. I’ll just come out and say it, this is a class of slackers. This is a group of young men and women that have little interest in living a healthy lifestyle. They’re in this class just for the health credit and are willing to go to 8 a.m. class to get through it. They look like the last vegetable they ate was courtesy of Gerber and their physical exercise is limited to their thumbs on their Wii. The teacher is also the men’s soccer coach and he is a lively, excited, motivating, physical fitness type of guy that I enjoy listening to. When he speaks about the benefits of watching your cholesterol, I’m ready to swear off McFood for the rest of my life. When he talks about the rush from aerobics, I’m ready to run a miracle mile.

The rest of the class isn’t so moved.

One of the requirements of the class is two write a one-and-a-half page article review about the health topic of your choice. It’s a piece of cake. I whipped mine out in an hour or two. There’s a few requirements: 1. It must be typed. 2. It must be turned in on the day we’re talking about that topic. 3. You must take a few moments to tell the class a little bit about your article and review. As I said, a piece of cake. Hell, you can even pull something off the web and write about that. I gave a presentation on nutrition last week, becoming quite animated when I told my classmates that the healthiest way to grocery shop is to play “ring-around-the-rosie” and shop around the perimeter because the processed stuff is on the inner aisles.

It’s amazing how many of my fellow students find this assignment to be difficult. During the break today, I overheard future-Woofster (my private little nickname for him) talking to Sniffles (a portly girl that seems to have a constant cold) about his paper. He was concerned because his computer wasn’t working so he had opted to write the paper in longhand, which was against the assignment requirements. Sniffles said, “Yeah, I was having a hard time typing the paper too because my computer was acting gay.”

When I hear something like this I arm myself quickly with witty retorts, because the “acts gay” thing gets on my nerves.

1. “Did chiffon leap out of the monitor?”
2. “Was iTunes stuck on Barbra?”
3. “Did the computer print on it’s screen Lions and tigers and bears oh my?”

Before I was able to inquire as to what made her computer “gay”, she quickly apologized to future-Woofster for using that term. My response was twofold. First of all, she didn’t need to be chastized, she already knows that her phrasing was inappropriate and secondly, future-Woofster bats on my team as he responded, “That’s o.k., I know what you mean.”

Nevertheless, when presentation time came around, future-Woofster had bolted from the classroom five minutes early so he wouldn’t have to give the presentation and risk turning in his paper written in longhand.

‘Tis a pity, I’m sure it would have been an easy A.


  1. I had to chuckle at your post, especially at the beginning. When I graduated form high school I went of to college to see my path to fame and fortune, spent my 4 years doing hard time, and came out with a B.A. I went off to do post grad work and ended in the work force. Seven years later (in my early 30’s) I started taking regular college courses on the side to preserve my sanity. I ended up taking a slew of computer courses and one day awoke to the realization that, not only could I have had a V-8, but I could have a second bachelor’s degree. I went to talk to the advisor. I was 37 at the time. The sticker: P.E.! But praise be to the gods of the weak and uncoordinated, the registrar ruled that since I already had my B.A. (which included a stint of many semesters in the gym), the P.E. requirement for the second degree was waived! WHA-HOO!

    You will need to keep us posted on “future-Woofster”. He sounds like a “person of interest”. 😉

  2. Funny. I went back to college at age 29 which, at the time, I thought was old. Those old PE fears welled up until I saw the PE course selections. I ended up taking bowling, ice skating, and swimming. And I actually had fun.

    It’s a small world, after all.

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