Friday, March 4, 2011
Dodgeball: the sweet, sweet contraband of middleschoolers
While watching a group of middle schoolers play dodgeball this evening (yes i understand it sounds creepy that a grown man was watching middle schoolers play dodgeball on his Friday evening, but just hear me out) I made an observation to a friend about how utterly thrilled to be playing the kids seemed. It dawned on me that for these kids, dodgeball, once often the staple of any good schools P.E. program is now all but banned in most schools throughout the U.S. (or so it has been explained to me). To put it as simple as possible, I HATE THIS! Look, I understand that kids are gonna get hit in the face, they'll probably cry even. Is it really that horrible of a thing to expose our children to the concept of "hey, sometimes in life people are gonna throw crap at you and your gonna either have to get out of the way or take a hit and get back up". Sure, dodgeball and sports in general are not for everyone. I fully understand that there are going to be kids that don't want to play or like to play but don't want to deal with bigger, stronger kids hitting them. Good for these kids! They'll probably be running our country in 20-30 years while their ball throwing, neanderthal counterparts are washing their cars for them (Biff Tannen style). But removing the obstacle is not the answer to helping them reach their goals faster. Would Bill Gates and Steve Jobs be captains of industry today had they not had to deal with more than their share of what I am sure were awkward moments in gym class? Well maybe that's a stretch, but seriously, why does it seem to be our goal nowadays to remove all obstacles from children's paths. Personally I think its our ability to overcome obstacles that defines us, and although something as simple as throwing a ball at another kid isn't really a "moment" in someones adolescence it is an momentary obstacle, not to mention exercise and fun (which apparently have also both been banned from most schools). Hey, I'll get off my soapbox for now but i just felt it was necessary to comment on a game that has been banned as though it were ruining children's lives, when clearly I saw a room of young people have the time of their lives tonight all because of the contraband that was dodgeball. I'l see ya when I see ya folks.