Monday, September 17, 2012

So True

I read this post from Jackie:


forced physical activity in school isn’t what helps kids be healthy

physical activity that is at their skill level and their comfort level is what keeps them healthy

forcing every kid, regardless of skill level, size, and muscle to do shit like run the mile in 6 minutes or less and criticizing them when they can’t do it is as fucking stupid as refusing to let kids have any physical activity in school at all"

Yeah, so true for me. The high school I went to required Physical Education for all sophomore students and all students were expected to pass with a C or better, or retake it.

Well, being the second shortest and smallest boy in my class, it's clear I wasn't up to this class in any manner because the teacher (Mr. McGuire, yeah strange you remember the names of some people you hated) set the minimum for the average boy in class, and being on extreme end of the curve, I was a dismal failure.

This is because I was just too short and small. I tried but at 4'11" and 95 lbs, it didn't matter how hard I tried and I succeeded for me, I failed any of the tests. It didn't matter the exercise or sport. It didn't matter the number of times I tried.

About halfway into the fall Mr. McGuire took me aside and said that if I tried out for the wresting team,  which he coached, he'd give me a passing grade no matter what I did in class. He said this because the team didn't have anyone in the lowest weight class. Yeah, you get the picture.

Well, I refused and he gave me a D for the year, but the school saw the reason and let it go. I went on, however, to play intramural basketball and played on the tennis practice squad. I played sports and did ok for me, but not necessarily for the "normal" curve.

And that's the real point here she's making. Using rules and standards for all students doesn't work and only opens the door to emotional or mental issues for those who fail and see failure as themselves and not the school.

In the end I hated physical activity, but later became a runner, hiker and occasional mountain biker. Now the pinched Siatic nerve has narrowed that to walking, but I learned through myself how much I need physical exercise.

The school didn't teach me that, nor did I learn it in school. Life taught me. Something school usually misses.

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