Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Continuing Education

Last Thursday, I got a text message from a friend: “1010 WINS just mentioned Nude Week at your son’s college.”

1010 WINS is our local all-news radio station. “What about it?” I wrote back, trying to appear cool.

“I didn’t really hear the details. Just that it was happening," she wrote.

Initially I thought they must be reporting on the tradition, during finals, where naked people pass out donuts to those who are studying. This seemed a ludicrous tradition to me when I first heard about it, but it’s part of the college’s lore and I’d been indoctrinated to the event (at least anecdotally) so I just shrugged off the news piece.

But then the super sleuth in me realized that finals are a long way off.  It’s not even midterms yet. And no matter how slow a news day it is, 1010 WINS would not be reporting about a silly college tradition months in advance.

So I googled “Nude Week” and got a snootful.

Apparently, beginning Monday the university will host a week-long celebration of nudity which includes nude cabaret, nude open mic nights, nude yoga classes and bodypainting. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that this news left me shaking my head in wonderment.

Why Nude Week?  Nude donut passing isn’t enough? I’ve finally managed to shut up about the co-ed bathrooms and now this?

“If you were in college, and you saw a bunch of people prancing around naked, wouldn’t you just think it was funny?” asked another friend who had to listen to me go on about Nude Week for close to half an hour. “Really? Does this really offend your sensibilities?”

I mean, I’m not “anti-nude” – especially when it’s other people’s nudity. But I feel like there’s a time and place for it, and it seems like an entire week of it is way too much.

There’s so much attention that needs to be paid during the college search and application process, it’s just now dawning on me that I hadn’t given a moment’s thought to what it might actually be like once my kid is at a college.  I didn’t think it would be like a nudist camp.

I thought they would all be sitting around on lawns wearing heavy rimmed glasses and Doc Martens, talking about Kierkegaard.  I really did.

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