Monday’s write-up about the lengthy-overdue elimination of the swim take a look at at my alma mater created some thoughtful responses.
Gavin Ferriby suggested that the requirement may well have originated in the “muscular Christianity” movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He pointed out that swimming was thought of notably masculine at the time, and that actual physical strength in guys was more and more equated with Christian advantage. (At the time, my alma mater would have been all male.) I have to admit, I hadn’t assumed of that. The timing appears to be about appropriate, but no matter if it was part of a spiritual movement is missing to heritage.
Michael Burke wrote in with a jarring reminiscence:
“At Virginia Military Institute, all cadets still choose a semester swimming class (section of 3 a long time full of necessary PE)—I took it in 1969—in those all-male days, it was finished in the nude. That altered my senior calendar year. I can assurance you that fifty naked 18-yr previous gentlemen in a pool was most likely as awkward as your expertise.”
Glad to say my test in 1986 was not quite that.
Another Williams grad from around the time I was there wrote in to acknowledge that he signed up for the remedial swim course relatively than using a swim examination he understood he would fail, only to discover that approximately all of the college students in the remedial swim course have been either Black or Hispanic. If that was correct in the ’80s, it is hanging that it took right until 2022 to ditch the necessity.
A couple of wrote in defending the necessity, noting that drowning is a sizeable lead to of loss of life. It is, of class, but it is the only hazard that has its personal graduation prerequisite.
Thanks to my sensible and worldly readers for adding context!
The travel gods stay angry and proceed to desire sacrifice.
Previous thirty day period I attended the AACC conference in New York City, exactly where I contracted COVID. I experienced hoped that an infection would sate the travel gods’ appetite for a although. But no.
Past week I had an engagement near Cleveland, so I booked flights out of Newark. The flight there was a little bit delayed but practically nothing awful, and I considered the engagement went truly well. Afterward I returned to the Cleveland airport, seeking ahead to wrapping up a very good working day.
At that point, I imagine, the vacation gods smelled hubris. They exacted their revenge.
My return flight, scheduled for about 8:00 p.m., was delayed numerous situations before eventually becoming canceled. I had to scramble to locate a nearby resort and managed to catch the last shuttle just before they stopped running. I received a textual content from the airline expressing they experienced rebooked me on to an early-early morning flight the up coming working day, so I established the alarm on my phone for dark o’clock and created the best of it.
I woke at 4:45 to a textual content saying the early morning flight was also canceled. Other airlines experienced nothing reasonable—mostly 10-hour marathons with routes like “Cleveland to Newark via Atlanta,” which appeared like tempting destiny. Amtrak experienced actually nothing. So I rented a auto.
Learners of geography will promptly determine out that driving from Cleveland again to Newark entails traversing Pennsylvania the prolonged way. The incredibly, extremely lengthy way. Complicating matters fairly, I had a late-early morning Zoom contact that I actually did not want to pass up. Experienced I built it residence the evening I was intended to, that would not have been an situation, but pushing the return again a day created a new conflict. How to do a Zoom contact from Route 80 in central Pennsylvania?
Listed here, a shout-out to the manager of the Fairfield Inn in DuBois, Pa. I established up base camp in the breakfast place of the lodge (this was about 11). He seemed bemused adequate to permit it take place. From there I fired up the iPad, did the Zoom and acquired back again on the street. I really don’t know how very well I arrived across, but beneath the conditions, I was proud of it.
Alright, vacation gods, you have created your point. Can the subsequent trip remember to be uneventful?
On Thursday The Boy FaceTimed me from Virginia to attract on my know-how of out of date technology: “I just picked up some old-college speakers for no cost! What do I do with these wires?”
I fought the urge to ask if he picked up the hand crank to power them.