Monday, January 16, 2012

Critais Move: Platypus Nostalgia

After a string of posts about video games, the inhibited part of me is feeling self-conscious about any pretensions I have to adulthood and being a serious scholar.  That leads me to another discussion I had this weekend with the Game Guru and his wife who both possess 1337 combat skills (No, really, you should see what they can do with a Cutco knife).  We were reminiscing about all our extra-circular activities while growing up and I suddenly realized that my life aged 7 to 18 contained a whole lot more than I thought.

So, what was I doing back then?  In between beating "Secret of Mana," "Final Fantasy II," "Chrono Trigger," "Super Mario RPG," "A Link to the Past," and "Ocarina of Time" I also found time for:

1. Knife Throwing
2. Archery
3. Wilderness Survival
4. Fishing
5. Shooting (Dad didn't allow hunting)
6. Amateur Entemology (I still wince at the opening discription of Eustace in VotDT)
7. Drawing (occasionally, though perspective and shading still thwart me)
8.Painting (very rarely these days)
9. Table Top Gaming and RPGs (haven't done this since grad school)
10. Chorus (I still like singing in church)
11. Saxophone and Guitar (neither of which I can do any more)
12. Drama and Acting lessons (I now teach drama)
13. Amateur Film-making
14. Dabbling in wood-working and sculpting (never got very far)
15. Writing (still do this religiously)
16. Taking Courses in Apologetics (I teach Ethics)
17. Trying to Learn French (I can read it but I can't speak it)
18. Reading Voraciously (often the wrong books, but not always)
19. Several Missions Trips to Mexico
20. Learning the Basics of Golf (despite continued effort in college I never got anywhere)

Our teachers challenged us to be Renaissance Men and we took that challenge seriously.  Many of my friends and classmates were more accomplished than I was and that scares me sometimes.  Looking at this list scares me a bit too until I remember that I didn't achieve much of a competence in any of these pursuits and that my skills in most of them have atrophied to the point of decadence.  Still, I managed all this and still had time to keep a 3.8 GPA and play video games.

What's the point then?  Not bragging.  I'm already wincing at the thought that someone will take this that way (I've met many people that can out-think me and are more cultured than I am; I had a privileged upbringing: that's all).  The point is that being a gamer didn't keep me glued to the t.v. set 24/7 or from getting out there and enjoying life.  I'm betting that's true for many others as well.     

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