Monday, June 18, 2012

Field Day Woes

Yep, it's me again.  But I've added some style with a cowboy hat.  And it looks like maybe I have a little Captain in me.

It would certainly make the day much more fun if I did have some Captain in me.

Today was Field Day.  Since I know many of my readers have only recently joined me, I doubt most of you read the post I wrote about Field Day last year.  Being such a fan of recycling, I decided to go ahead and reuse a lot of that post right here.

If you remember field day, it's really just for the athletes.  Yes, we try to make everyone feel good about completing something, but when Susie is running the 880 in 1.5 minutes and Johnny just jumped 75 feet in the long jump, your ability to roll a tire 20 yards or catch an egg in the egg toss doesn't really matter, does it?

In my elementary school, we had field day every June.  I wasn't an athlete in those days.  
I'm not sure I'm one now, either, but I think some people think I am, so I let them believe what they wish.  
As I recall, we all had to do every event because we had such small classes and it was necessary for everyone to do everything.  My sisters will have to chime in here, because I may be wrong on that.  I just dont' remember selecting an event the way we have our students do now.

I remember thinking I was really dashing during the 50 yard dash, but there was no speed in me in those days.  And it was on the tar parking lot of the church, so I think I feared crashing to my death on that tar.   I think I might have even done field day in my white moccasins one time. 
I also remember the high jump, which we don't even do at my school now, but no one knew the word "liability" back then, so everyone did the high jump.  I had such visions of the heights I would achieve.  
An ant could have jumped higher.

One of the most vivid memories for me at field day in my youth was actually two fold.  A)  we got to wear SHORTs.  TO SCHOOL!!! and B)  we had LUNCH served to us AT SCHOOL. 

I know you wonder what sort of Amish life I must have lived.  We went to a small, Christian school that didn't have a gym or a cafeteria.  The basement of the church was our gymnastics center in the winter, in which everyone had to run around in socks because it was gymnastics time and there were mats on the floor but I was afraid to breathe because I was afraid of smelling feet; and the basement of the church was also the cafeteria in my early elementary years.  My sisters probably dont' remember this because I think it had stopped when they came through.  But, in 1st and possibly 2nd grade, we traipsed to the cafeteria with our lunches every day.  Except Friday, most people didn't bring their lunches because they would serve hot dogs on Fridays.  But I never bought lunch because I was weird.  Eventually, we just ate lunch in our rooms and no one served lunch to anyone but on field day?  Someone made hot dogs and we had watermelon.  That was a big deal.  
Watermelon at school.  
While wearing shorts.  (we had a strict dress code)

So, when I first got to the public, middle school that I teach in, and they said that field day was June whatever, I was thinking:  50 yard dash on tar, high jump with a bamboo pole, watermelon, hot dogs and SHORTS.  Of course, being a public school in 1997, anyone could wear shorts any day they chose as long as they were long enough (no so much a problem in 1997, but today?  Long enough shorts have been the source of many a battle in the past few weeks).

I arrived on field day the first year, and every  year since  to find:
- there is no high jump
-50% of the kids HATE field day because they aren't good at any of the events we do offer, not even the sack race, tire roll or egg toss
-those kids who are not doing events and looking like star athletes are constantly in trouble  
-there is a special "cookout" that involved a hot dog, chips and watermelon, but it wasn't FREE!  our was always free!
So, after my first field day in the real world, I too HATED field day.  I would often take a personal day on field day just not have to deal with the bad attitudes of the kids and the lack of teacher support.

Fast forward a lot of years and we have different gym teachers.  While there still isn't a high jump or free lunch, it's not such a nightmare anymore.  Yes, everyone has to participate and there are some who can't even do the sack race, but there's something different.  We have our roles down to a science, we are a well oiled machine.  
Kids are allowed to sub for their classmates if they are absent- this used to be a major issue and if they hadn't notified the queen gym teacher of their subs by a certain time, they couldn't change and it would pit kids against each other and ruin the day.

The best part of today was that the sun never came out during school.  This greatly reduced the sweating, near-fainting, throwing up, flinging of water on everything and everyone, the tank tops and the likelihood that everyone will have outrageous sunburns tomorrow.  In fact, it was kind of cold today and for about 1.5 hours, it was raining.  On us.  So my hat was useful not for keeping off the sun, as I expected, but for keeping the rain off my face.

If only we could find a way to get rid of field day once and for all.

1 comment:

  1. Field day in the Elementary schools are so much FUN!! We have the fire truck come and spray everyone so not only do we get to wear shorts, the kids can wear their bathing suits with a shirt covering.

    They have water balloons, a dunk tank to sink the principal, pizza, a huge blow up jumping thing in the gym....oh the fun list goes on.

    This year the weather was PERFECT, usually in June it can be questionable. I love field day but the students are much younger and easier to please.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope you don't mind if I follow along!!


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