I just read an article from Slate called “Dodgeball Should Not Be Part of Any Curriculum, Ever” Go and read it. It’s awful. I mean, the writing is well done, sentence structure is proper and all that.. but it’s sound like a fat kid complaining to me. All I could think about while reading is was “I’m bad at sports; they should be banned.” As an adult who loved dodgeball as a kid and plays it as an adult, I take offence.
Calling the class “physical education” was some sort of sick joke. The lesson I was learning about my physical body was that it was useless, inferior, and quite possibly infected with a cootie-like virus. We should have been learning about how complicated and capable our bodies were and how to make them healthier. Instead we were playing dodgeball.
Don’t get me wrong here, I’m all for a well rounded education. Teach healthy eating habits, stretching and meditation. Biology knowledge is important for putting your body in the best shape it can be, much like you will be a better driver if you understand how an internal combustion engine works. Sports in school teaches kids they need to bring it to win.
You practiced during the summer and couldn’t compete with the other kids? Well, you should have tried harder. You should have trained better. If you gave it your all and it didn’t workout, move on. We can’t all be super stars in everything we do, but we need bring honest efforts and then choose what we love. K-12 is about trying different things and gaining viewpoints and understanding. The author got hung up on how poorly she was at sports instead of learning how good others could become. She focused on the negative instead of accepting her shortcomings and finding something she was good at and could be proud of. We should add to the education, not remove parts because some kids won’t be good at them. Learning you can’t do something is an important lesson.
I spent a year of high school in Japan, where a component of PE class is Judo. If you think being picked last for a team was hard, try being literally thrown to the ground by the biggest kid in class as part of the curriculum. I didn’t complain, I got better. That’s the key to success in life; some kids learn in in math class, some kids learn it in the gym.
Maybe she has a valid point, but I can’t see it; because all I can hear is elitist complaining that sports should be removed because the other kids were better at them than her. Life isn’t fair, there are winners and losers. It’s a hard lesson to learn.