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Who knew they did away with PE?

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
If you haven't noticed, Americans are fat. We're the fattest country in the world, something I figure has to do with more access than anywhere in the world to biggie fries and chocolate-dipped ice cream cones. And, scientists say, we're not just fat, we're raising a generation of fat kids, too.
Fed on a diet of chicken nuggets and pizza, our children are getting fat. Couple this with limited physical activity – other than really fit thumbs from playing video games – and you have a virtual obesity epidemic.
It's with this idea in mind that some education officials have decided we should reintroduce daily physical education classes – also known as PE – into our schools.
Reintroduce? I never knew it went away. Apparently, however, somewhere between George Bush I and George Bush II, schools opted out of daily PE classes.
I'm shocked. I doubt I would have made it through elementary school without PE. It was my favorite subject, mainly because, at least in the younger grades, it wasn't a subject at all. PE basically involved time on the playground, swinging, running and hanging upside down. It wasn't structured but it was exercise and I'm sure it gave the teachers a needed break.
PE got harder when you got older, however, and we started having to study certain sports and actually take written tests on them. This was a disaster for me. I much would have rather spent the hour hanging upside down. The low point came when I made a two on a written test on basketball. The only question I got right involved how many points a shot is worth in basketball, which, ironically, was also two.
In high school, PE involved dressing out in horrible outfits (ours were orange and green – beautiful, huh?). We didn't do a whole lot in my one year of high school PE, mainly because the boys got to use the gym the majority of the time. This left the girls sitting in the bleachers, undertaking strenuous exercises such as arts and crafts. I may not have improved my physical fitness but I made a couple of really nice pot holders that year.
And that's probably how we got in this mess in the first place. In some school somewhere, the boys had to use the gym, an educational official walked in and saw the girls cross stitching and decided the entire PE idea was a waste of time.
But it's not. Children need physical activity. They need to release some energy, clearing their brains to learn the rest of the day.
And, they need the experience of wearing orange and green gym outfits. Being humbled is a part of growing up, too.

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