As an ESL teacher I get an interesting world view. I have heard many interesting things, wild things and unbelievable things. One that affects the topic of this blog is what my students consider hobbies. Since my definition is broad I shouldn't judge anyone's definition, at least not harshly.
Some students have told me that listening to music is their hobby. based on the fact that they listen to MP3 files, I tend to disagree. If listening to music is your hobby I think you would have some of the best equipment possible and the best recordings available. Granted, I am no expert, but since I have heard the hollow sounds leak out of the ears of several of my fellow commuters, I can't believe that those are the best recordings. We can have computers with terabytes of memory, so we should be able to have some incredible digital recordings. Some of my students do indeed have top of the line headphones, but does that make it a hobby? Listening to music is certainly relaxing and enjoyable, but is it a hobby? I would have to say no, but might be persuaded to raise my acceptance level to undecided on a particularly good day.
The other "hobby" (I have to use quotation marks because I can in no way agree that this is a hobby) that my students regularly admit to is,,,,,,, wait for this one,,,,, sleeping. I really don't know what to say about this one. If I use my previous criteria, that would have to be one dynamite bed for this to be declared a hobby. The most recent student to argue this one was quite passionate, and quite articulate. She loved sleeping, spending as much as 14 hours one day (hopefully after finishing her homework). She said it felt good.
If I sleep more than normal my body gets sore--or is that just because I am old?
Lastly, several students said that shopping was their hobby. I can't say as I have any passion for this, but I could see how they might see it as a hobby. They don't buy something every time they go, they go into the same shops they've already been to, and they do a lot of research, spend a lot of time and money, and put a lot of energy into it. My inner self says to firmly put my foot down and say no, this is not a hobby. The truth is, I can't. I can't understand shopping as a hobby, but that doesn't mean it isn't.
As for my readers, I would love your opinions on this.