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You Can’t Even Escape Essays In Physical Education!

, , , | Learning | May 13, 2020

Due to an ongoing sickness, I miss more than half of the whole year’s PE classes. While I am obviously excused and not written down for skipping class or anything, my teacher still pulls me aside a few weeks before we get our final marks.

Teacher: “Listen. With the little time you’ve been in class, I can’t properly grade you. The school requires a certain amount of participation in class, and we don’t have homework or exams to get points in PE, either, so right now you’re at about 20%. That’s a failing grade.”

Me: “Uh, okay. Is there any other way I can make up points for missing class?”

Teacher: “I really can’t think of anything sensible. All I can do is give you a topic to write a paper on, and enter it as participation into the system.”

Me: “I can do that; I like writing papers. What topic?”

Teacher: “Uh, volleyball.”

Me: “Just… volleyball?”

Teacher: “Yeah.”

Me: “Like, the history of it? Professional volleyball? What?”

Teacher: “Just volleyball.”

Me: “You mean how to play?”

Teacher: “Yes, sure, let’s do that.”

I wrote a five-page paper about How To Play Volleyball, which meant I basically copy-pasted the rules of volleyball and drew some diagrams of the field and player positions. My teacher loved it and actually used it as a guideline in future classes doing volleyball.

The year after, I missed most of PE again because of my sickness, and I was given yet another topic to do a paper on — basketball this time. Rinse and repeat for my entire high school career. No one at the school ever thought about maybe excusing me from PE entirely, since it was a required class and there was no option for me to have any other class as a replacement.

I ended up graduating with a rather mediocre but acceptable grade in PE, having barely done any sports at all. I kind of feel like the school’s grading system never considered how to actually grade physical classes.

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