Monday, January 29, 2007


My initial reason for starting this blog- and so soon!- is to describe to you my 6th period class today. Having pursued a creative learning experience through high school, I too have joined the quest for more credits. By the end of this year as planned I will have all I need and some extra. The problem, friends, is the required ones. Yes, I skimped a PE class. I wouldn't take it back for the world! But now I shall pay. The variable as yet, is how much.
They're still seem to be options, but the one I'm fleeing...

Having been directed shortly after lunch as to what my 6th period class was, I knew its general local when the bell rang. I headed down the stairs in the opposite way of my usual habit. New experiences. Right. I was going to go get fit, toned, sleek and strong. I'm all over this. Just like math class right? Your ok by yourself. Just tone them out and be you. Ok... ok... OK WHERE THE HECK?! There's no one congregating. It’s been at least three minutes; there are only two left till class. They’re should be groups forming in the correct locals. And there's no one in the 'big gym'.

A sporty girl walks into the gym. She's... approachable.

"Hey, what class is this?"

"Life time sports"

Some muttering... then I ask, "Where is circuit training?"

"Up there." She points to the second layer of bleachers. After asking directions of the preferred direction of access, I go. It’s freezing in the gym and I'm still not sure if it’s the right place. There's an odd kid here or there. They agree its up where I'm going. Solitary on the bottom bleacher there's a sporty prep sort of girl. Red sweatshirt, blond highlights, orange flip-flops, and the rainbow and white Doony and Burke purse that’s sprung up around our school. She's sitting there looking sour faced and I approach hesitantly. Trying to make the best of matters I boldly strike up a conversation.

"Its cold in here"


The awkwardness is overwhelming. I give up.

The students start assembling. Horrors of horrors. The sporty kids. The pretty sporty kids and the manly sporty kids gather around. Football players, cheerleaders and their buddies all begin to congregate properly dressed down. I'm worried. I've been in grudge matches - if only in my own head- with these kids since elementary. I can handle this. Yes I can. I have to come in my workout clothes. Ok maybe not... Hmm.

The teacher walks out. And older fellow in a poly workout jumpsuit. I'm not a huge believer in the stereotypic names I've been slinging here. There is no alternative. I knew it when the coach walked in. He is stereotypic nerd/weird coach. He walks us through the syllabus, and leads us, sheepishly following, to the weight room. The sight of slaughter. Kids are strewn about the room lifting various scrungy looking bits of metal. Ripped fake leather padded seats smeared with sweat.

The room smells of it, though strangely enough, the prime body odor comes from the stationary TA. He reads us our duties. 3 sets of 10 on various muscle groups. He shows us the lifts I will never hope to accomplish. "I use this to work on my biceps" on another, "this will give you, ya know... that big neck muscle... right... the triangle one." He shrugs his shoulder’s high to indicate the shape it will give you. I watch bemused. Horrified. Beaming in hysterics.

He proceeds around the room, asking various bulky, muscley guys to show us the machines functions. "This one really works the butt. In case we didn't realize which part of our anatomy this was he shows us with gestures along each muscle used.

"Clean up the weights!" He calls to the class. "Dodge ball!"

It is the epitome of what the media, trainers and my brain have been trying to convince me that exercise is NOT. Grimy, nasty, humiliating, bulky. I would love to get toned. I don’t mind sweating. Yoga, fencing, pilates, areobics, mud wrestling… but EW!

I think he noticed the hysterics. The grinning. I hope he saw the hysterics. He took me aside and said it would be fun. Something about getting to know me, because I have never had him teach before.

I got my locker. Watched horrified and uncomfortable at the game of dodge ball. It tried to hide. It goes under the alias 'Longball' here. There are still big guys who can throw, chucking balls at my head. That’s not the worst part. I'm afraid I can’t kick the ball... and I'm supposed to.

Tomorrow I am but suppliant to my guidance counselor.

For the love of learning get me out of there!

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