Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Death to Recess and the P.E. Nazis

Remember recess? It was the favorite part of my day. Kickball, jumprope, swings, and you got to chase and be chased by BOYS.

Then they killed recess.

It was a cold and calculated coup brought about by the P.E. Nazis. Recess was fun, P.E. was torture. The P.E. Nazis like it that way. P.E. Nazis were probably once the playground bullies. The self-appointed captains of the kickball teams, the ones who liked the feeling of choosing the most athletic kids first and humiliating the kids who they had to pick last...

But the best part of recess? We could say, screw them, let's go jump rope! If you didn't want to play kickball, you didn't have to.

So the playground bullies grew up to get a degree in physical education and they became the P.E. Nazis.

In middle school, when you are the most vulnerable and most unsure of your body, the P.E. Nazis make you undress in front of all the other kids. It was the first time that running and playing became the dreaded "exercising."

When I was in the 7th grade, my P.E. teacher thought it would be a good idea to teach lanky 12 year olds how to jump hurdles. I was 5'9 all legs and probably weighed 90lbs. soaking wet. I think you know where I am going with this.

"Just run, and and jump."

That was the extent of our instruction.

So I ran...and jumped...and landed. Elbow first, then my hip, flat on my back. My friends were scared when I burst into tears (I don't cry). I was holding my arm and my friends were taking me into the school. The coach yells after us...


Thanks Dr. P.E. Nazi, they almost had to put pins in my arm due to a completely broken humerus and I got to start the summer with a cast that couldn't get wet...protecting my PRIDE no doubt.

P.E. Nazis still exist. When the Youngest Boy broke his toe, the Doctor gave him a written excuse...

"NO P.E. for 4 WEEKS."

They still made him change into his P.E. clothes... AND WALK AROUND THE TRACK for the entire class period. (I see that confused look on your face, I had it too)

I sent the P.E. Nazi an email.

Me: Youngest Boy has a broken toe. Toe Dr. gave him a written excuse for P.E. for 4 weeks. Why does he have to walk the track by himself during P.E.?
Dr. P.E. Nazi: He needs to be doing SOMETHING, besides, he needs to 'work it out.'

That prompted a letter to the Principal.

Me: The Youngest Boy has a broken toe, he also has a note from the Toe Doctor that excuses him from P.E. for 4 weeks. The P.E. Nazi teacher is making him walk around the track and I don't understand why.
Principal with no Principles: Yes, I am aware of this situation, what do you want him to do? Just sit there?
Me: I would think that a woman with a Ph.D would know what an excuse from P.E. MEANS. It means YES, I WANT HIM TO JUST SIT THERE. Maybe he could READ A BOOK, he is in school you know?

He wasn't allowed to read, but they let him sit out during the class. Instead of reading, the P.E. Nazi wanted him to WATCH what the other kids were doing.

Hey, I wonder if that will work for me? Will I get the same benefits watching a workout DVD from the sofa? In the interest of science I am going to try it.

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Wayne John said...

That's what happens I guess with some PE teachers. Broken toe? Sure, walk around in circles and work it out. Really nice Dr. Athletics....really nice.

Hope you kids toe is doing ok!

muffy jorn said...

My son told his PE teacher who also happened to be his wrestling coach (until he quit) that he could yell at him in public when he could score higher than he did on his ACTs. In front of the class.

They guy had it coming.

Heather said...

Oh man. Your principal and PE teacher sound like my kid's principal and the SpEd department. ARGH to them all, the eeeediot administrator/bureaucrats!

Now, my kiddo adores her P.E. teacher. Says PE (goodness forbid we call it "gym" by the way, *that* doesn't fly!) is her FAVORITE of all the "specials" they have. I hope it always stays that way, as someone who haaaated gym class myself! (And I have the lack of shape to prove it now, too!)

Let me know how that workout theory works - I could be your double blind extra tester if you want! :D

BrotherO said...

And these folks go to college and major or minor in physical education! This really puzzles me. I had some similar experiences in high school PE as as did my kids. While I don't have a degree in physical education, as a Soldier I've been trained in physical fitness planning and execution. If I treated one of my Soldiers like the PE Nazi treated The Youngest, I'd be standing before The Man. Last thing we want to do is further aggravate the injury! Don't get me started on public school PE; inadequate, poorly planned, not enough variety. Sad.

Twisted Lisa said...

His toe is crooked, but he likes to hold it against his brother. It was 'his fault' that he broke it. Youngest Boy was pestering the crap out of him and Oldest Boy started chasing him. He ran into a door frame. Tsk Tsk.