A typical mother statement. Whenever the weather was fine–or just not raining–my mother sent us outside to play. And we were happy. At my house, when it is not raining, I send my children outside to get some fresh air. I think children of all ages like to be outside.
New Jersey has experienced one of the wettest summers in years. Every time I turned around, it was raining. And when it wasn’t raining, the humidity made it feel like you were underwater anyway. So when I was asked to substitute for high school senior physical education classes, and the rain had finally ended, and the children were studying tennis, I was thrilled. I love tennis. Once again, I assume everyone loves tennis. But I should have remembered. I am working with a different animal here. Teenagers…teenagers who don’t like gym class.
When I came into the gym all excited, a ball cap on my head, my sunglasses on, and announced to the class that we would be going outside to play tennis, you would have thought I had asked them to run a marathon on broken bottles–barefoot!
Aw, it’s too hot out!”
“It’s September,” I remind them.
“I have to stay out of the sun!”
“Nice tan for someone who needs to refrain from sunshine,” I say.
“My feet get too hot.”
“Wear thick socks to soak up the moisture,” I tell him.
“I don’t want my makeup to run…my hair to flop…my nails to break.”
“Life is tough,” I tell the girls.
Like I say in every class I substitute for in high school. You will not like everything your boss asks you to do, but if it is part of the job description, then you need to do it–without complaint. This is the same with college courses. You won’t enjoy every task the professor asks you to do, yes there will be a lot of work involved, and no, you may not like every group member for a specific project. So get used to it now.
Well, we did go out. Yes, they still whined, but it wasn’t that it was too hot or too much sun. These teens should have been playing baseball. Every time they hit the tennis ball, it was a homerun! Over the high fence into the parking lot, over the fence, past the driveway, and into the self-storage area, over the fence, through the bushes, and onto the front lawn of the school. We retrieved some of the balls. We lost others. Let’s just say that by next class, I needed more tennis balls. At least they were exercising and participating, which are most of my substitute duties in physical education class. Now if I could just teach them how to keep the ball in their particular court, I’d have it made!