Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Gym Class

Thought this English rant essay was worth sharing… Tell me what you think

Mr. Ziegler,

Lend me your ears, my elder, for I have an important concern to bring to your attention. From banning water bottles to removing grinding to limiting open campus to abolishing finals exemptions, essentially all of your changes to this school have tarnished your reputation from a student standpoint. With that said, isn’t it about time you, you know, please your students? Instead of destroying your image even more in making high-school gym class, dare I say, graded, why not look at the matter logically? Rather than depressing your students even more than you already have, I’d like to make the claim that you instead should remove gym class entirely from Camp Hill High School. The way I look at it, physical education serves two purposes: getting students to exercise and teaching them to take part in a healthy lifestyle. Well, if that’s the case, why does our current curriculum fail to do either? Teachers will drone on about how their class is educationally “enriching” and physically “engaging”, but don’t be swayed- they’re not the one’s actually taking the class. Day in and day out, the understanding of the word “metabolism” is still yet to be found. Day in and day out, I look around and see kids whom I’ve played sports with since kindergarten, some of the most gifted athletes in all of central Pennsylvania, that simply put forth little to no effort in class. You might think people don’t try simply because it’s “not cool,” but there’s much more to it than you might think. The little motivation students do possess going into the class is ripped from their souls upon realizing they can’t even participate in the activities they enjoy. Instead, they are forced to play meaningless games such as pickleball. Yep- you heard me- pickleball. Do you play it with a pickle? No. The game makes just about as much sense as its name. In fact, I’d be willing to bet this game doesn’t even exist outside the gym class universe. But that doesn’t matter here- if it’s absurd it goes. Now even if students were allowed to do want they wanted, it wouldn’t matter. Why? Because we simply don’t have enough time. When you factor in changing before and after class, taking the drawn-out attendance on the iPad, and participating in inane warm-ups, it’s easy to understand why we only have twenty minutes, at most, of the forty-four to actually do something in the class. So as you see, with this class failing to address its objectives, what’s the point in us taking this pointless class? Now, you could argue it plays a crucial role in allowing students to interact with others and make new friends, but in our small school that point is irrelevant since everyone has known eachother since the first grade. Plus, if I want to go somewhere to make new friends, the last place I’m going to go is the wallyball room. Now with all that said, please Mr. Principal- take this opportunity to right your wrongs. Don’t let the class tear us apart, let us tear the class apart. Like pickleball, PE has got to go.

Adam Jones


  1. Adam,

    I could not agree more with this blog post. Phys Ed has always been a hot topic of discussion and especially for me considering the fact that I participate in three sports. I agree with you on the issue that I don't believe Phys Ed is even necessary. Specifically, I certainly don’t believe in season athletes should be forced to participate in Gym. Instead, why not give them a study hall? I can assure you much more would be accomplished. Your points about how useless the class has become is shockingly true. On most days, "physical activity" is non-existent because so much time is spent changing and arguing over what the warm-up should be. Overall, gym needs to go and it needs to go sooner rather than later.

  2. Adam, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog post. And I have to say that I agree with everything that you have mentioned here. Gym is something that is mandatory, but it is for the benefit of our student’s health. To make this “class” graded is an outrage, does this count to an athlete’s ineligibility if they managed to fail gym class? And knowing the Phys Ed teachers they are out to get some of the students, taking off points for obnoxious reasons. More and more I just see students just standing around in this class, as it’s their choice; I just don’t see how it is benefiting anyone. Its more so a waste of a period in our day. I thank you for writing about this topic because I feel like it is a big issue and something needs to be done about it, even if that means terminating this class, like pickleball.

  3. Adam, this was an interesting read for me. I rather enjoyed your comment about pickle ball being misnamed. No, it’s not played with a pickle, it’s played with a poorly crafted ping pong paddle. Usually the reasoning behind these pointless classes being added to the agenda is because of the school’s requirement to “bring the children together” in such a hospitable environment. I do agree that it is not necessary to take gym, but it certainly does help for some children who have trouble making friends at Camp Hill. With that said, student athletes should not be required to take gym. We are given rigorous workouts from our coaches on a daily basis and that time in gym can be used instead to work on schoolwork that we have. Overall, it’s a very two-sided argument. Some kids can benefit from gym, while others are just wasting time.