F is for Gym

It's probably no surprise to any of you that know me that I have not been blessed with any athletic ability.  Ever since I was little I have been blessed with a unique lack of coordination.

Given this fact, I think my parents were still surprised when they received a letter that I might not graduate high school because of my gym grade - yes gym as in PE.

Since I had only taken gym my freshman year I had a hard time trying to figure out how on earth I could have managed to screw up my grade in gym of all classes.

As it turns out, it was all due to a surgery I had my freshman year which forced me to be out of school for 2 weeks and sit out gym class for an entire month.  I thought that since I had a doctors note that prohibited me from any physical exercise for 4 weeks - that I was in the clear.  I would dress up in my gym clothes and go and hang out while my classmates played volleyball and ran laps.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my lack of participation for medical reasons meant I would fail gym!

With only 2 weeks left until graduation my mother was irate and I was cursing the day they made gym a mandatory subject.  To this day - I have no idea how all of those hours kickball have made a contribution in my life.

I went and groveled on hands and knees to my old teacher to change my grade.  She was less than understanding and could have cared less if I graduated or not.  Fair enough - it had been four years since I had failed her class.  Eventually after getting sick of me begging she agreed to give me an incomplete and let me make up my missed hours in the remaining 2 weeks.

I kissed my senior half days goodbye and had to join all of the new freshman for gym.  It was humbling and infuriating all at the same time.  After my sentence was up she changed my grade from an Incomplete to a C - good enough for me to graduate but not good enough for me to forgive and forget.

I did have high hopes of my classmates rallying together chanting "Donna Martin graduate..." oh wait, wrong high school




Mama’s Losin’ It


Submitted as part of Mama Kat's writing workshop.

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22 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

I can't believe she made you take gym with the freshman! Athletes just need to understand that us mere mortals don' t consider the gym fun! I hated everything about sports growing up. I didn't start working out until college just because I liked the aerobics classes. But even now--I still hate sports!

Missy said...

What's your maiden name? I totally want to start yelling "Barbara Maiden Name graduates" at my desk this morning! Hilarious.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I can't believe the school didn't catch this earlier in the year. She doesn't sounds like a very nice lady.

thefamilypractice said...

I really blame gym class for my lack of athletic ability - if you're not natural born athlete, the whole thing is just intimidating. I consider myself fairly athletic now, but PE was my worst nightmare in junior high.

Katharine said...

Ha. Here I was thinking I was the only one who graduated with a C- in gym! I didn't start actually attending high school in the US until I was a Junior and then they made me take gym every semester until I graduated. My senior year I had zero period gym...meaning I got to school an hour early to take gym with the drama people. Then I got mono and had to sit out the exercise...my teacher decided that mono and the threat of pneumonia was not a serious medical concern...so she gave me an F too. My mom just about got that women fired...but still she would only change it to a C-...thanks to her I got a 75% scholarship instead of a 100% because it pulled down my GPA....For F***ing GYM!

Elena said...

The gym thing is pretty ridiculous. They actually just changed the laws in Michigan that now you don't need the gym class to graduate (or the swim credit that used to be mandatory as well). I think it's good to have kids take gym for the physical activity - but to seriously have your graduating impending upon it? Ridiculous. So glad you ended up getting credit - but that C- would still leave me bitter as well. ;)

Babaloo said...

That's just wrong and very messed up. Thanks for sharing!

Mry Jhnsn said...

Gym... grrr

Mark said...

Your Gym teacher was a hard-ass. Lesbians are like that sometimes!
m.

deborah quinn said...

too funny. I think everyone has a sadistic gym teacher story somewhere...I had a friend who almost didn't graduate from college b/c she had no gym credits. She had to swim some ungodly number of laps in the last month of school or figure out how to explain to her parents that her diploma would be blank. She swam...and swam and swam...

Morgan said...

Ha! I too wrote about my gym teacher failing me ... but in completely different ways. :) Glad you still got to graduate!

Visiting from Mama Kat's :)

Moomser said...

Gym teachers need to get a life. Seriously, the biggest a-holes I have ever heard of in schools are gym teachers. I think they pick on kids to alleviate their frustration at being a "failed" athlete. (I realize that I'm generalizing and there are some good, nay, great ones out there, but when they're mean they're really mean!)

Kiddothings said...

Haha! I was wondering why F is for Gym. Gosh, it would have been devastating if you couldn't graduate because of gym, of all subjects! I had my swimming to fall back on but other than that, I'm just not athletically inclined either.

Jessica said...

At least you finally got your teacher to change it. Imagine if she had held firm in her no. That would have been terrible.

Sarah Kate said...

Oh gosh. I feel the embarrassment FOR you being stuck in gym class with a bunch of freshmen while the rest of your senior class gets to skip the day. I'm pretty sure that PE teacher must have had some kind of vendetta against you - honestly who gives someone an F because they CAN'T participate. Thank goodness high school is far behind us now! :o)

Jen said...

Oh my goodness...that is pretty funny, not at the time I'm sure, but thank goodness your teacher let you make it up!!

Hungrigyrl said...

What a mean teacher!! Due to your accident your circumstances you should have automatically been passed. Bummer!

Adrienne said...

'donna martin graduate'...hahahahaha! love that you know that!

Bits of Bee said...

I have totally been in the same boat - my lowest grade was always in PE and I almost failed too (even with a dr note excusing me from classes!). I could never understand why playing field hockey or running laps would better my education...I have to admit though, now that I have kids, I kinda wish I didn't throw like a girl or have to ask how football works lol.

Skywaitress said...

I think the worst thing was that they didn't let you know about the F until the last two weeks! Four years and they never thought to bring it up? Not to mention you were there but were physically unable to participate. I call foul.

Dana @ ReallyWWWThinking? said...

I can't believe you almost didn't graduate because of gym class. I can understand it being mandatory but YOU HAD SURGERY! I think you could get a waiver. That's ridiculous.

Cookie's Mom said...

Such a shame. I don't like hearing stories of adults taking advantage of young people like that (well, that's how I see it). Kids have a hard time standing up to adults - good for you for pestering her until you got the result you needed.

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