First timersBill's Briefs Friday, September 30th, 2011
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
Too many seniors sit home and turn down invitations thinking, “Been there; done that.” But the future can hold many adventures. Don’t let them slip by. Forget the length of that future, it’s irrelevant. We are here. This is now. Do it!
I am amazed at what older people have never done. No, not climbing the pyramids or wrestling an alligator, I mean everyday things people have never quite gotten around to doing. Things like the zoo, the Midway, touring Old Town, a big game, our many wonderful museums etc. Things people from around the world come here to enjoy. Other suggestions are an Ethiopian, Persian or vegan restaurant, walking, hiking, bicycling with our gay groups, joining a bird walk, game night or any of the great events at our Center, and a wild thought, have an MCC member, Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish friend take you to a service or festival. You don’t have to join, just experience something new and maybe meaningful. Don’t you ever wonder what “they” do? Find out.
Anything you have never done before can be an adventure. If it doesn’t turn out well, so what? A bad experience makes a great, riotous story later.
There is also the surprise of an old-hat activity unexpectedly becoming new. For example, when teaching in Japan I often judged English speech contests, but one time students asked me to judge an “oral interpretation” contest where they would recite from a play, poem or speech. I had done it many times in the States. Been there, done that. Ho hum. I agreed.
The first was a young man who shouted his way through Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, an old favorite. Next, a young lady mournfully intoned “Four score and seven years ago …” What a shame to have chosen the same speech, I thought. Number three, “Four score and seven years ago..” Huh?! I whispered to another judge, “It’s the same thing.” “Yes” she replied cheerily, “They’ll all do it. That way they all start equal.” Thirty-nine times!
A nightmare. I tried to remember one person from another by making wild notes on my score cards, blue dress, one eyebrow, Miss Priss, green tie, hunk, acne, fat slut – anything to help.
At the merciful end, we judges first added up our scores to get a general idea of the ranking. Surprisingly we all agreed at once on the top three. The best by far was from a small country college, second from the University of Tokyo, the Yale/Harvard of Japan, and third from a well-known college. Well, that was easy and quick, I thought. However, I was in Japan. After a brief discussion all (minus one!) agreed on the “correct order.” The winner was from the University of Tokyo, second from the well-known college and third the country bumpkin. What a surprise and learning experience. So you see. You may think you’ve been there, done that, but you never know. Get out of the house. Go, do, live.
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