It has completely astonished me.
I can’t find a way to put it into words. I’ll just give you an example of a regular gym class for me.
I walk into the room. There is no teacher, or if there is, they are walking in at that moment to turn on the music. I put my bag by the bleachers, then do go to my warmups. I have to evade people standing around talking and occasionally wrestling. I have to run around a big rectangle 3 times, avoiding MORE people standing around talking or just walking. I finish that, then avoid some more people and do a stretch. Afterwards we jump and hit a wall 25 times.
Now either I jump twice as high as everyone else, or I’m the only one actually trying.*
Then (depending on the day) I go do something called a plank, in which I act like I’m going to do a pushup, but am leaning on my elbows. I keep my stomach off the ground. OR we do 15 squats. (Which is rather embarassing to do, especially in middle school.)
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I’m sorry, in the actual post this did NOT turn out so well.
The XXX is where we do the planks, with our bodies horizontal. This way the teachers can’t see if we’re doing them correctly or not. So of the few of us who DO the warmups, most cheat.
Next we have 25 jumping jacks or 25 jumprope loops. The jumprope is pretty fun actually. Then we have 15 pushups (which most of us couldn’t do) or crunches (For the life of me, I can’t find a difference between that and sit-ups except crunches are easier *coughwimpiercough* because you only need your shoulders off the ground).
Then we walk around the gym in a big rectangle, which some apparently interpret as causing general havoc among those who are still doing warmups and going in big clumps, trudging along so those who actually walk have to maneuver through them.
Then the teachers stop the music and see what happens.
a) We stop and politely be quiet and listen. Or as politely as you could expect from middle schoolers.
b) We ignore them and continue talking amongst ourselves and walking.
If a) happens, they tell us to sit on our teacher’s lines, which if you look at my beautiful artist’s rendering above, is line X, Y and Z. They’re supposed to be vertical, as line X is Strittmatter’s class, mine, Y is Walker’s, and Z is Cofer’s. I might’ve mixed up Walker’s and Cofer’s. After sitting down, the teachers go down the line for five minutes, asking the ones they don’t trust- otherwise known as most of them- whether or not they did warmups. After this, one of the teachers (I think they draw lots or take turns dealing with the terrible horror that we are) stands in front of us and waits for us to be quiet, only occasionally telling people to quit crawling around on the floor, or screaming.
Note that I’m trying not to criticize the teachers here. I think that they’re doing the best they can with a minimal amount of cooperation. I can easily imagine myself in their places.
When we FINALLY get quiet**, we do some activity or another. Today we did 4-square, which would’ve been fun, since we had to pick a number, and whenever we hit the ball, say the next multiple of that number in order. We couldn’t repeat a number.
As I was saying, it would’ve been fun if we didn’t have some horrible, lying, cheating piece of scum in our group who would continue to argue (and insult) even whenever everyone, including himself, obviously knew that he was out. We continue like this until the bell rings, upon which everyone flees the room as if it’s filled with the plague.
So yeah. A regular day in class. Oh wait, I forgot one important thing:
*I’d vote for the latter.
**By ‘we’ I mean most of the class. There’s always those that will talk the entire time and complain about doing nothing.