Thursday, February 23, 2006

Kids Suggest the Darndest Phy Ed Units

I’ve been working with a local school district on a Carol M. White Physical Education grant (also known as the “Saving the World One Dodgeball at a Time” grant) and I knew you would appreciate an update.

First of all, I have no idea who Carol M. White is. Or was. One suspects that she a) is deceased; b) was known for wearing velour jogging suits and carrying a clipboard; c) single-handedly kept the whistle and lanyard factory in business; d) wore squeaky white sneakers with brightly colored laces all the time, even to bed; or, e) all of the above. Anyway, the PE team I’m working with is fantastic. They are everything you’d like a cooperative client to be and more. I love them so much, I want to marry them. And then be a polygamist.

Part of the pre-grant gruntwork involved surveying high school students about what new Phy Ed units they’d like to see, and yesterday I laughed so hard while reading the responses that I dislodged an important internal organ, peed myself a little, and threw my uvula out of joint.

But back to the survey. Most of the kids responded with relatively normal answers such as badminton, rock climbing, yoga, volleyball and the like. But a few kids contributed some unique write-in suggestions, including:

"anything dangerous"
How about wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the American flag AND a big Uncle Sam hat on a family vacation to Iran? Or there’s always the old standby: razor juggling.

I don’t know, but I suspect this might involve stalking and then beating someone up at La Petite Retreat Day Spa. While this may appear to be a standards-based approach to developing hand-eye coordination, it could lead to jail time. Which would perhaps facilitate more motor skill development, but could certainly impede graduating with one’s peers. So, it’s out.

Calories burned for a 110-pound student during a one-hour class period: 47
It could work. I know I would ace the final exam.

"Ninjutsi, Kenop, sai-chi, akido, and art ovui"
Don’t you get the feeling that this kid is a big fan of anime? And has a tendency to make up words after watching a marathon of Jet Li movies? And perhaps practices kung fu-like kicks and poses in his or her bedroom, in front of a full-size mirror? And lives in an imaginary world populated by talking robots and tarepandas and live action samurai with shintaro? And needs a hug?

There is no mortar and pestle involved here, folks. And you don’t want to even know what the final exam entails.

"Foam Pit"
I myself prefer the bin-o-balls at the local McDonald’s play area. When they don’t yell at me to get out, that is.

Let’s not even bring the baby seals into this.

"Computer gaming"
Uh-oh, it’s the anime kid again. Will someone please expose this child to sunlight and fresh air?

"Listening to music"
Now with this, I’m not sure I’d reach my target heart rate unless I was listening to the songs “Cotton Eye Joe” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Both of which piss me off so much I want to smash things into tiny shards of micromatter, and then shrink myself down to the size of an atom so I can smash my micromatter into oblivion.

“gun range, paintball, sporting clays, hunting, 4 wheeling, and dirt biking”
Okay, but only if you’re wearing protective gear and are committed to reinforcing stereotypes about rural men.

And finally, my personal favorite:

"Michael Jackson Lessons"

I’ll wait a minute for you to visualize a Michael Jackson lesson. I’m not sure what this PE unit would entail, but I suspect it would result in lots of angry letters from parents. There may also be a field trip to Dubai, some monkeys, extensive plastic surgery, and a baby tossing competition.

And what do you think the uniform would look like? White glove and shiny marching band jacket or … abaya?

You know, I normally steer clear of Michael Jackson jokes, because it’s a little like making fun of the Olson twin’s eating disorders and super-size shades. The punchlines practically write themselves. And I enjoy more of a challenge, you know? But when a high school kid specifically requests “Michael Jackson LESSONS” as part of a new physical education curriculum, well, I simply can’t help myself.


  1. hehehe I love 'em. Grinding - sounds more like sex ed to me.

    And seriously MJ lessons - oh cripey don't even go there.

  2. my personal favorite is sleeping. i would have been the kid that wrote that in the fill-in-blank.

  3. So the Olsen twins and Michael Jackson walk into a bar...

    You KNOW you want me to finish!

  4. Those kids are funny!

    Do they blog? :0)

    Spelunking response was AWESOMELY funny.

    Listening to music's response was not only entertaining but very intelligent.

    How old are these kids?!!!

    Lovely post today...

  5. Hey, they do play "dance dance revolution" in the PE classes at the school I teach at ... but it actualy is exercise, they have 20 sets and the kids LOVE it. Hell, I love it! So, anime kid may not be all wrong ... :)

  6. Hey, at least no one requested the old Alley Cat and Chicken Fat chestnut. Back in my day (circa 1847) that was the BEST part of gym because we didn't have to change for it.

    I'm so blogrolling you.

  7. Anonymous7:58 AM

    Wesley Snipes in a subway station. "So are you bad, or what?"

    Who knew?

  8. "Now with this, I’m not sure I’d reach my target heart rate unless I was listening to the songs “Cotton Eye Joe” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Both of which piss me off so much I want to smash things into tiny shards of micromatter, and then shrink myself down to the size of an atom so I can smash my micromatter into oblivion."


  9. Is it too early in our relationship for me to be jealous of you? :) YOU'RE DAMN FUNNY!

    And perhaps practices kung fu-like kicks and poses in his or her bedroom, in front of a full-size mirror?

    Do you have a problem with my son? And he DOES get hugged btw...


  10. This is such a fun outlet for you after grant writing all day, I suspect!

  11. The anime kid sounds like my little brother in all his 3-years-long ninja-phase glory.

  12. This is great....and the Friday morning laugh couldn't have come at a better time - thanks!

  13. Hehehe. You know, I think we all practiced moves in front of a mirror when we were kids. Myself, I went for the lip synching into a hairbrush to various Pat Benetar songs.

  14. AND I SAID WHAT ABOUT...just a horrible, HORRIBLE song. Guhhhh. *shivers* Good luck w/this! Is this the one you said was going to eat your life until May?

  15. "there's that anime kid again"..."let's not bring baby seals into this." heh. These were great.

  16. Grant writing? Sounds cool.

  17. What, you mean computer gaming isn't considered aerobic activity? My husband will be crushed.

    We actually did archery, badminton, and cross-country skiing during my senior year of phys ed. Those classes were pretty fun.

  18. Wait wait.

    Wait, wait wait wait wait. Hold the phone.

    What's wrong with velour jogging suits?

  19. Michael Jackson lessons? LMAO. As in learning how to moon walk?? Oh that's great!

  20. I am laughing hard at 'spalunking' now. I'm glad my urges to beat up some of those UberMoms at the spa is now validated.

    In my kids' school district, PE is now referred to as 'Psycho Motor.' How strange is that? Of course, I call it 'Psychotic Motor' even in front of the teachers. And it's been reduced to 45 minutes, ONE DAY a week. My daughters can't even burn off five Flamin' Hot Cheetos in that amount of time.

  21. here's a lesson about Michael Jackson...don't be like him! lol

    I like the "anything dangerous" answer.

    Phys. Ed: Fear Factor edition

    it could happen!

  22. Sleeping? Computer gaming? Listening to music?

    These are my kinda peeps.

  23. Funny stuff! I love finding a new blog to add to my daily list of visits. See ya tomorrow!

  24. Michael Jackson lessons? You're right. That's just too easy.

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I don't know how you found me but I'm glad you did. I'll be back on a regular basis. (Woo-Hoo! A published novelist visited me.)

  25. My apologies. I do this all the time. The above comment from bornfool is also me and you commented on lew's blog. I get so confused. I'm not sure who me is anymore. :)

  26. I dated an anime kid once and he was all over the computer games and such. It takes great skill and coordination (and many hours!) for the 'mouse' hand.

    I bet he has really good muscles in his favorite hand/arm too.

    Now there's a good unit for gym... :)

  27. Well, after some grinding, I can always use a good nap.

    And my kids can only take Michael Jackson lessons if there are members of law enforcement present (I'll provide the donuts!).

  28. How funny and strange. You can't blame them for trying. Can you?

  29. Those are hilarious! Kids...

    I want to see the comeback of Jarts. Yeah.

  30. Hehe, very cute! You and my husband have somethign in common... he's a grant writer too!

  31. Hi, first time I've stopped here. I found you at Jamie's blog. Congratulations on the book deal. Sounds like grant writing's not all that bad of a gig! Who'd a thunk it?

  32. C'mon Jess, you're creative.

    Why not make everyone happy and develop a Grinding Napping Clubbing Singing Ninja who gives Micheal Jackson lessons?

    That's a winning unit.

  33. ok .... it's official. you've officially cracked me the EFF up! it's amazing how funny you are. now, surely you can come up with a happy medium for all those uhmmmmm...interesting kids? michael jackson lessons while manuvering through an obstacle course of paintball gun toting law enforcement types and a nap at the end?

  34. Apparently Napoleon Dynamite attends this high school.

  35. Michael Jackson lessons? Please tell me Bubbles isn't involved. WTF? You are so funny. You should write a book!

  36. Wow. I'm surprised someone left off lap-dancing. I demand a recount.

  37. anything that didn't involve changing clothes had my vote--