}); What Was Your Worst Subject In School – Blinds-Eye View

What Was Your Worst Subject In School

I was feeling a little nostalgic when I came up with this one.  Thinking back….WAY back to my secondary school days.  For the most part, I was the guy who just “got along” through school.  I wasn’t a straight-A student by any stretch of the imagination, but I had no major issues with passing either.  With the exception of a class or two which I excelled in and a class or two which I barely passed, I was a firm C student.

I did awesome in my English courses and was a straight-A student in band, where anybody who had a pulse could excel.  I was also a master at lunch, though I did get in trouble there from time to time.  My most notable “good grade” though was during my 10th-grade year.  I got an A in Safety Education, which was the precursor to Driver’s Education.  That one has always made me chuckle, being blind as a proverbial bat…lol.

As I stated earlier, there were classes that I really struggled with though.  History courses were monumentally boring, with their quiet, monotone, coma-inducing instructors.  And then there was math with its complex equations which would make a NASA tech cry.  By far though, the course that I hated the most was Gym.  Just the word makes me shiver.  Granted, a LOT of kids didn’t like Physical Education, but it was more of a bi-weekly horror to me.

Besides always being overweight and finding the physical requirements of gym class beyond challenging, I also had the blind thing going against me.  Now, I’ve never been one to purposely limit myself due to my lack of eyesight.  I’ve always strived to be able to do what everybody else can do, with a little “special” treatment as possible.  I didn’t want to be treated differently, and people tend to do that when you’re…different.  If I’d gone that route, I could have sat in Adaptive Gym playing checkers with kids with broken legs, broken arms, or Special Needs.  That wasn’t me.  I toughed it out and took “normal” gym like everybody else.  It was NOT a pretty sight.

First and foremost, ¾ of gym class involves a sport where you’re doing something with a ball.  Typically, you’re hitting it, kicking it, dribbling it, running with it…or just, in general, trying to get it from point A to point B without being stopped by the other team.  I think that describes most “ball” sports pretty accurately, what do you think?

Anyway, you’re talking about moving this ball, which was typically the circumference of a foot or less, very quickly hither and dither.  Not an easy task for a player who couldn’t see, let alone keep track of, where the ball was at.  For the most part, it was me following which way everyone else was running back and forth.  Sure, it was still exercise, but there is nothing interesting or challenging about playing follow the leader.  My hands NEVER touched the ball.

The two worst of these “ball” games were softball and Dodgeball.  The reason the former was so difficult as that our gym teachers usually took “pity” on me and gave me extra swings when I was up to bat.  I use the term pity very loosely here.  It’s embarrassing enough for a teenager to stand next to that home base and be struck out one, two, then three times.  Imagine my shame at strikes four, five, six, seven and eight?  With the pitcher being told to get closer and closer and closer to me with each throw?  Totally humiliating!  I’m not sure which was worse though.  The humiliation of being struck out for half of the gym period, or the pure terror which was Dodge Ball.

On those wonderful days when the gym teacher didn’t feel like being creative or resourceful with their training, it was designated Dodgeball Day.  There was nothing that chilled my blood more than hearing him say those words.  Imagine somebody blindfolding you, putting you in the midst of your peers, and telling half of them to knock the shit out of you with an “invisible” ball.  And we’re not talking about those baby Nerf sponges they call dodgeballs today.  We’re talking about 1970’s and 1980’s rural schools with low budgets.  Why buy dodgeballs when a nice hard basketball will suffice.  We’re talking HARD, especially with some of the freaking giant titans you’d have in those gym classes with you.  There were casualties who ended up in the nurse’s office on these days.

On the “upside” I had at least one gym teacher who understood the dilemma of putting a short, fat, blind kid in the middle of this war zone.  He knew I was a concussion waiting to happen, so he “graciously” let me wear a catcher’s mask.  That made the awkwardness of it all SOOOO much easier, right?  Kudos, Mr. Gym Teacher!

“Luckily,” most of my fellow schoolmates knew I was not a threat to them, so they would take out the rest of the guys on my team first.  It wasn’t that uncommon that they would actually save me for last man standing on my side of the line.  This is when the opposers would give me a shot and roll the balls over to me to take a shot or two at them.  It was as bad as the extra strikes in softball, with them easily dodging my attempts.  With my vision and depth perception, they rarely had to move to avoid the ball.  Then, when they had finally tired of giving me the chance, they give me my coup de grace by pelting me with all the balls.  We’re talking fun here, huh?

Dodgeball may have been the most horrific and terrifying part of gym, but there was one other activity which I hated even worse; Running the cross country course.  Running in itself sucked for me, being the rolly polley guy I’ve always been.  Yeah, I know, gym class was supposed to help me not be such a tubby guy.  Running the cross country course was even worse though.  You took the wheezing fat, blind kid, and you made him run on uneven ground with rocks, and twigs, all other forms of nature to fall over.  Talk about a nature challenge!

There was only one thing that could make it worse.  If the gym teacher realized what a challenge it was to you and held your hand while you were running.  I actually had one who did this a time or two.  Oh yeah, nothing better for a teenage boy who’s already been emasculated by his physical limitations.  Let’s make him hold hands with his male gym teacher.  How I made it through high school without at least one suicide attempt, I’ll never know.

The only two activities I can remember from gym class that I “kind of” enjoyed was when we would do gymnastics or aerobic exercise.  No, I wasn’t any better at either of those than the other activities, but they were a much less physical impact, and thus less embarrassing. Then, when I went to college, I was only required to take two gym classes of my choice.  As most revolved around those damn “ball” sports, my choices were limited.

I ended up taking Resistive Exercises, which was basically just an aerobics class, and Beginning Swimming.  Yes, I was THAT young adult who, at the age of 22 still hadn’t learned how to swim yet.  Besides my physical ineptness, I was never very comfortable in deep water either.  That is until I learned that being overweight had ONE physical advantage.  Fat people float!  We can be used as an emergency floatation device in the unlikely event of a water landing.  No, I never became an Olympic swimmer or anything, but from that point on I was much more comfortable with the water.  No reason to be afraid of it when you can float like a boat.

Anyway, that was my last experience with gym class, my most mortal of school-time enemies.  The only thing I can say good about the class is that in all my years taking it, I never failed it once.  I attribute this to the fact that I had the option to just sit my butt in Adaptive Gym all those years but chose to tough it out in regular gym class.  My gym teachers respected me for that, I would guess.  I sure as hell never truly met the qualifications for any of their classes…lol.

So, what was your least favorite class in high school or college?  Why was it so difficult for you, or why did you hate it so much?  Leave your replies in the comment section below.