Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Gym class can be H-E-double hockeysticks
…Jamie Stengle of the AP writes about how overweight youngsters are changing the ever-popular gym class.
…HA remembers gym like it was five minutes ago!
…Those bloomer-like navy shorts that tightened around the thighs with a o-ring or whatever those doohickeys are called.
…The white blouse you had to iron.
…The gruff, scary teachers who made you rub your nail polish off on the cement floors. (OK, that one might have just been a Midwestern or even an individual gym teacher deal.)
…But most of all? The laps, the rope climbing, the hard, winding stuff like field hockey that polished off larger members of the class in no time at all. Ha, ha, you’re fat, hey fatty.
…HA remembers modern dance class—a leotard, but let’s not even GO there. She had to do an interpretive dance—and she did a person with a stomach ache. Memory may lie, but she recalls the teacher being pretty unimpressed.
..In Stengle’s story, sweating is charmingly referred to as “burning butter.” The kids are taught things they can do all their lives. (Apparently, the utility of Dodge Ball wanes over time.)
…The focus is on individual activities. This, he kindly says, allows overweight kids to do things at their own pace—code for "not keep up if they can’t." Weight lifting, yoga, and martial arts are examples. HA also remembers square dancing, which for some perverse reason was considered “gym.”
…Another gym teacher organizes “treasure hunts” to make kids “move.” He just puts all the treasures half a mile away.
…HA is of two minds on this. She still has fleeting nightmares about climbing a rope. But having the rope there—as a challenge of life—was not all bad.
…At least, they still have gym. HA thought that had disappeared along with recess.