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Giving You A Sporting Chance

| Learning | October 2, 2016

(I have always hated gym class, less for actual content and more because every teacher I’ve ever had has run it horribly. In freshman year, my high school gym credit consisted of me standing in a gym for forty minutes three times a week while the school jocks hogged the ball in every sport, with me standing still, bored to tears, so I’m pretty sour on the whole thing. At the end of my freshman year I’m transferring to another school and I’m talking about classes with the counselor. I don’t actually get to make my schedule, I just give input.)

Me: “At this point I don’t really care which class you fit me in. I’d like to take music or art, though, since we don’t have much of that at my school. I just don’t want to take gym class.”

Counselor: “Okay.”

Me: “I’m serious. I have my gym credit and I’m not doing that again, so don’t you dare try to put me in one.”

Counselor: “Don’t worry, I promise you won’t have to take gym class.”

Me: “Great. Thank you.”

(School ends, summer goes by, and before I know it, it’s the first day of school. Schedules are handed out in homeroom, and when I get mine, it says the first class after lunch is called “Today’s Sports,” in the gym.)

Me: “I don’t think this is my schedule.”

Homeroom Teacher: “It has your name on it.”

Me: “Then it’s wrong.”

Homeroom Teacher: “Well, you can talk to your counselor later. Right now, get out your journal and answer the question on the board.”

(I try to see the counselor, but nothing comes of it before lunch ends and I go to the gymnasium where the gym teacher gives us a standard “welcome to class” introduction.)

Gym Teacher: “For the rest of the day we’re going to be splitting into two teams and just play a friendly game of basketball.”

Me: “There’s been a mistake. I’m not supposed to be in this class.”

Gym Teacher: “You’re on my list.”

Me: “One of the things they agreed to when I was transferring to this school was that I would not take gym class again. I was promised I wouldn’t have to.”

Gym Teacher: “Well, you’re here so you might as well participate.”

Me: “No. I’m sitting out.”

Gym Teacher: “If you sit out, you’ll get a 0.”

Me: “I already passed gym with an A+.”

(The teacher tries several more times to get me to participate, but I refuse and he eventually gives up. I sit against the wall and read. This goes on for several more days before I finally meet with the counselor about my schedule.)

Counselor: “What’s wrong? It says here you haven’t been participating in one of your classes.”

Me: “The one thing I said I wanted for my schedule this year was to NOT take gym class. You signed me up for gym class.”

Counselor: “No, I didn’t.”

Me: “Yes, you did!” *I point to the class on my schedule* “See?”

Counselor: “That’s not gym class. That’s Today’s Sports.”

Me: “It’s the same thing!”

Counselor: “No, it isn’t. Gym class is for health credit. This is for your elective credit.”

Me: “That’s not even CLOSE to the point!”

Counselor: “I don’t understand what the problem is.”

Me: “The problem is I refuse to take this class.”

Counselor: “You’ll get a 0 if you don’t participate.”

Me: “I don’t care.”

(She relented and transferred me to music class, which to my surprise was taught by the music director for my church. I had three great years of classes with her, and come my senior year there I only needed to take two more classes to graduate, leaving six empty slots I could have used to make up the 0 elective if they really hadn’t transferred me. I was, and still am, much happier getting my exercise solo, with friends, or at least people who don’t muscle me out with a teacher who doesn’t care and just passes everyone.)

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