Fishducky recently blogged about her Husband, Bud, being an officer in the army after going through ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp) in college.
My first year in college I learned that ROTC was required for two years. Even if you had no intention of serving in the army, freshman and sophomores were required to take ROTC.
I had no idea. I did not like the idea.
I had enough trouble with calculus for dummies, a required course in religion and a foreign language; all subjects liberal arts students had to take and that I never expected to use. I really did not want to learn to march, salute and shoot. Remember “Animal House?”
It turned out that before entering college my doctor gave me a physical exam which showed I had a heart murmur. The college physician gave me a test and could not find a heart murmur, and none has ever been detected since. Still he gave me a choice of skipping ROTC and taking gym instead.
I opted for gym.
Our gym class enrollees were all ROTC rejects. We took archery, which I sucked at, constantly ripping my arm with the bow string, golf, basketball and football. I was a decent athlete in high school; I should have excelled in this group of diabetics, fat people and cripples.
I was ok, but the best athlete in the group was a kid with one and a half arms, the result of a thalidomide pregnancy. How this kid could shoot an arrow, swing a golf club, and catch a football with one arm and a flipper was amazing. His basketball skills were incredible. He could fire up a swish from anywhere on the court and dribbled circles around the defense.
I never learned to shoot an arrow, I am still only an average golfer, in football I could block but not catch and throw. As a basketball player I perfected the air-ball.
I didn’t learn to march, salute, or shoot a gun, but I sure did learn to respect the incredible things a handicapped person can do when he sets his mind to it.
Probably one of the best lessons I learned in college.