Is there a lifeguard to watch over me?

Once again another prime example that higher education does not equal ‘smarts.’ 

After years and years and quite a few re-starts to my college education I recently decided to give it another try.  I made an appointment with the academic consular and went in with high hopes.  I have re-started so many times I am bound to be close to another degree (Associate’s).  Upon review we found out that I qualified for a 2nd degree (already graduated with 1 in 1993).  I just needed to fill out the application.  But as we were doing so we found that the Physical Education (PE) credit that I took was no longer valid.  Through a loop-hole we found that since I started that degree program while that class was still a valid one I was able to apply it towards my degree.  Good news. 

But wait?  This degree?  What about future degrees?  Nope, that class no longer fulfills the PE requirements.  You will have to take another PE course if you want to apply for another degree.

“Ok, can I test out of ‘Swimming’?  I have more then enough qualifications for that.” 

“You will have to check with the instructor but from the looks of it, I don’t see why you can’t.” 

A few emails later I was finally presented with the head instructor for the pool classes at the college.  I presented her with the following info:

1. 1990 Fall semester – I took Life guarding at the college to renew my certificates while I was actively working as a lifeguard at a local health club.

2. 1991 Spring semester – I took the Water Safety Instructor (WSI) course at the college to renew my swim instructor certification.

3. 1992 Spring semester – I taught the WSI course employed by the college to get my WSI Trainer certification

4. 1990 – 1996 I worked as a lifeguard, water aerobics instructor, swim instructor, Red Cross Safety officer, and managed a set of pools and lifeguard staff at the same health club.

5. 2010 – After years out of the pool I jumped back into competition with the US Masters program (old farts in swim suits).  I qualified for the National meet, top 100 in the country.  I swam in 2 events after qualifying in 3.  I placed top 35 in both. 

6. 2010-2012 – participated in 5 more Masters swim meets placing either 1st or 2nd in all my events.

With all of this I am bragging but to say the least; I’m qualified to say “I can swim.”

So as a review: I was qualified enough to work for the college I was attending to teach the class to teach people how to teach people how to swim. 

I presented the case to the instructor asking if I could register for the course, pay for the course, and come in the 1st day and basically ‘prove that I could swim.’  Then I would just get the credit for a ‘Beginning Swimming’ course fulfilling my PE requirement and getting my 3rd degree.  This way the college gets what it wants (tuition), I get what I want (PE credit), and I don’t waste anyone else’s time watching over me in the pool and taking time away from someone in the course who might actually need it. 


After another series of back and forth it was suggested that I take it up with the Dean of PE.   

Presented them with the same info from above.  “Congrats on your accomplishments.  I don’t see a problem with this proposal but ultimately it is up to the instructor.” 


All the way up to the Vice Dean of the college.  “Congrats on your accomplishments.  I don’t see a problem with this proposal but ultimately it is up to the instructor.” 


Normally I am pretty darn persistant and would have pushed this all the way up to the Dean of the college myself but after some time reflecting on this I thought better of it. 

I had half a mind to register for the course and show up the 1st day with flippers, a diver’s mask, a snorkel, a floatie duckie ring around my waist and floaties on my arms.  Stand there and watch the instructor for 5 minutes then jump in pool and bust out a Michael Phelps type performance jump out at the end and say “Wow, you are a great instructor.  I learned so much today.  Thank you.”  And then walk out and never come back. 

But ultimately common sense prevailed and I thought as funny as it would be it wasn’t worth the time or money. Especially since my employer is paying for the courses to finish my degree. 

Golf for Beginners here I come.  FORE!!!

I guess if I hit into any water hazzards I will be safe.  Haha.


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