The Wade King Rec center: as a Genre
Paul Heilker is the author of “On Genres as a Way of Being” and writes about genres in all aspects of life. Heilker explains that genre is a part of any object, place or idea of being: “Like any technology, genres both assume things about and require things of their users.” (Heilker). By this, Heilker means that genre is a socially constructed idea and any genre has expectations of the people interacting with it. The Wade King Rec Center, for example, as a genre has many expectations of its users, one of the most obvious and overlying being to exercise.
· The rec center is full of other people working out and exercising in different ways. If you are not exercising, you stand out and are not fitting into the rec center as a genre.
· Everyone at the rec center that is exercising is wearing the appropriate clothing for doing so. If you walk in wearing jeans and a nice blouse, you will be incredibly out of place and again, out of the rec center as a genre.
· The rec center is big and has many different areas that offer different ways to work out such as a weight room, Zumba/ yoga classrooms, the pool, and the track. This means you are not retrained to any one activity in the rec center as a genre overall.
· The rec center is similar to most gyms as in what to expect in a gym, however, the people are mostly students or staff members so the social dynamic expects you to act as the others do. Not much socializing.
· The rec center has some new and some old technology as far as what to expect for any age. Weights and certain weightlifting and cardio machines have not changed for years like the treadmill or elliptical. However these are equipped with touch screens and many different workouts to choose from. It may be confusing for someone technologically challenged. This is the part that has changed from years past and expects the user to know how to work new technological aspects of the rec.
· The locker rooms are unaccommodating for those that do not own a locker. There are only a few “day use” lockers and they can be almost all full depending on how busy the gym is. This makes the access to the gym itself can be limited for some users and differs from the welcoming feel they try to fit the gym into.
· The gym is a public place itself which means it is run and even belongs to people other than oneself. This means that not only must you act a certain way because of the public setting, but you must accept that the gym will never be entirely one persons or one groups. It is impersonal as Heilker also explains of the desk.
· The rec center, being a big building with many multiples of one machine or room, accommodates for many people. (although treadmills get filled UP on a Tuesday). This further shows the public setting and that it is meant for lots of people at once to use it.
· The rec center has windows in some places, allowing visual of the rest of the campus, however depending on the placement of machine or yourself in the rec you may not have this visual and you probably will not have visual access of much of the rest of the rec center. For example on the elliptical, you will not see the pool.
· The rec center as a building is huge and has a modern feel to it. With the architecture, technology, art, and mostly young students frequenting it, you must recognize that this place is one that likes to “keep up with the times” as much as it can as a place.