Tuesday, September 18, 2007

42; gym

For some unknowable reason gym from 5th through 8th grade was usually led by me. That's because every day would start exercises and stretching, and I led the class in jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups.

Perhaps I'm fretting too much about my lack of muscle these days. Let me rephrase that: I am fretting about my lack of muscle these days.

Granted, I wasn't very fit back then. I still would run a 10-minute mile. I was still always picked last for teams. Dodgeball target? Of the worst sort. That's probably why I led the stretching and warm-ups, since it was the only thing I could do to get a decent grade. Grading PE: Not a good idea. I'm all for PE, I think it's a good idea, would that it was pervasive in the upper levels of schooling. If you go to a liberal arts college you may have some core requirement, but basically you can get away scott-free through four years without physical exertion.

(Aside: Who was Scott, and why do we wish to be free of him? Sources seem to disagree. One says that a 'sceot' was an English tax, so if you were able to avoid the taxman you were 'sceot free'. The other is that the origin is 'scotch' which was a term for 'scratch', and so to get out without a scratch would be 'scotch free'. Apparently there are no Scotts involved, and I apologize to any who may have read this and felt offended that people wanted to escape their presence. People still might want to escape Scott's presence, but the catalyst for doing so will not be my writing, and likely instead will be the personal faults that Scott portrays in public. It's okay, we all have them. We can't all be perfect. Keep up the good work, Scott.)

And now you know a little less about the English language. Anyways, back in 5th-8th grade PE the sport of choice was basketball. Like everything else I was picked last for basketball. But I did have one talent: pivoting. Of course many people had this same-said talent, but since it was my only talent, and they could do other things like shoot and pass I made a big deal of my pivoting abilities. So did the coach. He was a good coach, awarded kids for putting in their effort and trying to do things, even if they couldn't catch, or shoot, or only would duck after the lacrosse ball was slung in their direction.

But I could pivot like nobody's business. The ball would be passed to me, I'd've swarmed by 7-foot fifth graders who were already shaving and dating girls and going on business retreats with the CEO, golfing in the afternoons with coach...Anywho, I could always squirm and pivot my way out of the crowd and pass the ball. Or try to. Trying was what coach cared about.

Not to boast, but I was also half-way decent at shot-put.

Regardless, in the real world: A Malaysian man was arrested for practicing dentistry without any training or schooling for the past 27 years. Count them: 27. One: If he was able to get away with it and maintain his patient base for three decades he must've been okay, even without training. Two: Want to get away with a crime? Go to Malaysia. Maybe forty years later the police will catch up to. This fellow had his own practice in the city, it's not like he was underground or moving and hiding to avoid detection.

Also: Earthquakes in Peru and floods in N. Korea. Prince Albert of Monaco (Sorry, another aside. How many times do you think he's asked if he's in a can? Or are we assuming the Monacan royalty is too classy for that?) was presented two nerpa seal pups from Putin. My former worries about the Russian leader? Melted, assuaged, pacified. How can someone who deals in seal pups not be a good guy? Obviously I was mistaken in thinking he's a shifty, sketchy snake.

And your guess to what a 'nerpa seal' is are as good as mine. Apparently they live just in Lake Baikal. Now don't we feel a little smarter knowing that?

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