When I registered for my required classes this fall, I was one credit short of full time. All the history classes I wanted to take I hadn't fulfilled the prerequisites for. I didn't want to take something that would eat up a bunch of time and be pointless, but I wasn't willing to give up full time status either. Then I remembered that I'd once taken a one-credit aerobics class, just because, and it was actually pretty fun.

So I scrolled through the list of exercise classes, and ended up registering for Pilates. I've always thought it sounded cool. But then I realized that the medieval England class I wanted to take was at the same time, and thought I'd try to get an override in to the class. So on Monday I went to that class to talk to the professor; today, because I'm still waiting for one person to drop the class so I can get in, I went to the Pilates class. And I'll be dropping that.

I had a bad feeling as soon as I saw the instructor -- anybody who wears full makeup, including heavy mascara, to teach an exercise class is probably not somebody I'm going to get along with. She gave me a weird look as I approached her; and when I explained I was trying to get into the other class, her response was to sneer "So you don't think you're staying in this class?" as if it's an unusual situation. She was also very dismissive of me in general when I was trying to ask questions.


There are a couple of other procedural things that bug me--like we're not allowed to wear our own shirts, we have to "rent" a green shirt from the department for the semester. Why? I have no idea. But I remember those green shirts; they're too thick for exercising, and they're so high at the neck they choke me.

Once she actually started the class, I couldn't hear half of what she was saying--we were in an echoing room the size of a basketball court, with forty people in it, an industrial fan on, and she turned on music.

But the biggest thing was that she didn't offer any modifications of poses for people who couldn't do them--and I don't think I was the only one. For example, the second exercise we did was basically a slow situp from flat on the floor and our arms above our heads. I can't do that. Nor was I the only one in class who could--but she gave me a dirty look when she saw me modifying it.

So I've spent the last hour or so since I got home trying to find another class to replace it with--almost anything with do. I'm not spending three days a week in that room, struggling to hear what someone who apparently dislikes me says and hurting myself because I'm getting no guidance on proper form. I'd rather take underwater armpit hair weaving.

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