Late in my junior year of high school I started at a new school which was in a small, closely knit, vigorous farming community; and it had an active physical education program for both boys and girls.
I had never had a physical education class before and I was embarrassed in my first classes to have to say, "I can't keep up." Many of the other girls could climb the ropes to the ceiling in the gym, they knew the rules for basketball, touch football, and other team sports. They played fluidly. They started each PhEd class with an easy run around the outdoor track. They could do calisthenics until the cows came home. I was embarrassed to discover that I could do none of it. Prior Lake High School in Savage, Minnesota said, " Okay, just don't come to PhEd class." No one made any accommodations for my heart skittering, my breathlessness, my lack of experience with physical education, my one leg 1/2" shorter than the other, they just sent me away. No one cared, and I had no idea what to do about that. I sat out the rest of the PhEd classes, by myself in an empty study hall room. Looking back I cannot imagine how that happened. I certainly hope that all children are now getting the physical education that is appropriate for their skills and abilities.
After I graduated from high school, and realized what I had missed out on, I paid for community PhEd classes, and learned the many athletic skills which have enriched my life.
Caption: Washed Out Of PhEd Class
by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019