Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, August 19, 2011

Things I'm Digging: Unintentionally Amusing Continuing Education Class Titles

(Editor's note: I wrote this post before I decided to swear off TCU continued education forever - or at least for the foreseeable future. The Big Kid took two overpriced three-hours-a-day-for-one-week classes this summer. The first go-round, his class took an extended break to walk down to the campus bookstore to procure snacks, instead of remaining in the classroom and building robots like they were supposed to. The second go-round, he was sent home early on Thursday because of a nose bleed ("We can't have blood in the classroom for liability reasons") and informed us when he came home on Friday that the instructor had knocked off early to have lunch with his wife. And then, the cherry on top of our extended ed experience: the Little Kid came home from LEGO Nanobots class with an incident report (accompanied by a business card with contact information for the head of campus risk management), informing us that he had been punched in the eye. Spouse knew immediately who the offender was - same kid who kicked and punched his mother in front of God and country at pickup time on Wednesday. Apparently, TCU has a zero-tolerance policy against blood loss but not the sort of violent behavior that could lead to it. So, yeah, stick a fork in us, we're done. Nevertheless, the catalog was funny.)

Perusing the TCU extended ed catalog that came in the mail today.  Contemplating signing up for the Photoshop class, various photography classes and, possibly, Adult Guitar.  But then the concept of "Adult Guitar" gives me the giggles.  What's adult about it?  Do you only learn music from porn movies?  The "bom chicka wow-wow" chord progression?

And then - as tends to happen with me - everything that I read from that point forward seems downright hilarious.

"eBay is a Global Bazaar!"  Seriously, we're just discovering this?

"Waltz Out of the Box."  Is this a class for mimes?

"Dancing for the Rhythmically Challenged."  Here's the synopsis:

Never danced?  Always a "watcher," never a dancer?  Join our pre-beginner dance class and learn the basics of partner dancing.  This fun-filled energetic class is designed for the individual who has never danced and is baffled by dance music and dance movement.  Whether it's an upcoming wedding, office event or an opportunity to succeed at a lifelong challenge, you (and your future dance partners) will find partner dancing an easy and fun experience.  So bring both of your left feet and join the rest of the rhythmically challenged and learn to dance with ease and style.

Pre-beginner?  That's, like, WALKING, right?   Ignoring the corny "left feet" comment and focusing on the notion of being "baffled" by music and the idea of moving to music.  Seriously?  Okay, admittedly I'm biased - walking and dancing came to me pretty much simultaneously, so I have a hard time accepting the concept that some people can't even muster a semblance of dancing.  It's the same type of skepticism that I exhibit when people say they "can't cook."  Are you illiterate?  Because if you can read, and process words and what they mean, and follow basic instructions, then I promise you that you can cook something.  Most things, actually. 

But I digress.

"Expert Bible Study for Amateurs."  Offered by the Divinity School?  Or the Oxymoronic Studies Department?

"Strengthen Your Business by Using Your Strengths."  Definitely an offering of the University's Redundancy Department of Redundancy.  At the end of the class, they award you a certificate of completion certificate.

"Aviation 101:  A Short Course."  This one scares the hell out of me and makes me not want to leave my house.  Wait - small aircraft sometimes crash into houses, don't they?  Crapola.  Got nowhere to run to, baby, and nowhere to hide . . . .

"If I've Told Him Once, I've Told Him a Thousand Times."  I had high hopes for this course.  I imagined women meeting at a bar, sharing tales of spousal woe - not really learning anything, just kvetching.  Like a group therapy sesh.  Turns out it's a seminar on parenting strategies.  Thanks, but I'll take a pass.  My mother-in-law didn't correct her boy child's "quirks," meaning that now I get to deal with them.  So why would I want to do the dirty work for my future daughters-in-law, depriving myself of the satisfaction of paying it forward and watching them suffer?

"Creating a Plan for the Rest of Your Life."  That's pretty . . . ambitious.  But, apparently, entirely doable in four two-hour blocks.

"Aging at Home."  What the what?  Oh, it's about age-proofing your home so that you can remain in it until you die.  Well, I guess that's useful.  But I can't help but be amused by the last sentence of the course description:  "Finally, plan to update your home without total destruction and make it safe, accessible and comfortable."  Because totally destroying your home is considered in some quarters to be a viable Plan B?

"Quit Smoking in the Japanese Garden."  I initially read this as an admonishment, and I got sort of defensive - because I don't smoke anywhere, and certainly never in the Japanese Garden.

See? I am my own form of cheap amusement.

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