Should Be A Better Uniform Response

, , , , , | Learning | May 24, 2018

(I’m new in the country; my first day in high school as a freshman is literally my fourth day after arriving in the US. However, it’s February, the middle of the school year.)

Gym Teacher: “You must pay us [amount] to have us issue you a gym uniform.”

(It’s something between $10-19; I don’t remember. No one told my parents anything about this when they enrolled me at school, and it’s the first I’m hearing about it.)

Me: “I don’t have money on me.”

Gym Teacher: “Well, you can’t participate until you have a uniform. Sit over there on the floor, meanwhile.”

(I do. It’s very uncomfortable sitting on the floor, and makes me feel even more ostracized as a new foreign student. The next school day I bring money my parents gave me. It’s either a $50 or $100 bill; I don’t remember for sure. Being new in the US, I know squat about the local currency and its usage — and I have no idea what’s considered high bills.)

Gym Teacher: “We can’t accept this. This bill is too high and we don’t have change for you. You’ll have to bring us different money. Meanwhile, we can’t issue you a uniform until you pay us for it.”

Me: *thinking* “Gee, thanks so much for not bothering to tell me earlier. It’s not like you had no idea I’m new in the country, or like this high school doesn’t have hundreds of students who are obviously very recent immigrants, and you should have enough experience with that by now to have known to tell us things like that.”

(It took my parents several days to get me smaller bills, as they were very busy with other, actually important, things. Meanwhile, the gym teacher randomly changed her mind about my not participating without a uniform. Running about and playing ball games in jeans was extremely uncomfortable. When I finally had the “right” kind of money to hand over to them, I was told, “Sorry, since it’s the middle of the school year we only have a few things left, only in certain sizes.” So, at 5’3” and 9 pounds, I ended up paying good money to wear an XL size t-shirt for the rest of all my gym classes for all of my high-school years. And yes, it turns out this “gym uniform” they made such a fuss over was nothing more than a t-shirt with the high-school’s logo. I had to provide my own sweatpants, anyway.)

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