Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Among the atrocities in San Francisco's Unified School District are its Physical Education (PE) program. Kids in first grade, like Daisy, get two sessions of physical activity a week. These aren't the same types of PE classes that I had when I was a kid. Instead of playing dodge ball, or running laps. they're doing "sensory motor" activities or developing a "healthy lifestyle". I have no idea what the latter program is for. I guess they practice not smoking.

I'm not sure if this lack of PE is due to insufficient funds, or just not enough time in the day, given all the standardized tests they must teach to. It's all well and good to say that no child should be left behind, but in a footrace, all these kids are coming in last.

On top of this, Daisy's particular school has virtually no play facilities. There's no field, and only a small climbing structure. So, the kids there don't get a whole lot of exercise. My personal theory is that the conservatives are deliberately depriving the schools in liberal districts from PE money so that the red state kids can beat up the blue state kids. It's pretty clever.

Anyway, this drives the wife and I to get Daisy as much exercise as possible. She's done a smattering of swimming, ballet, soccer, and gymnastics over the years, but she eventually tires of these activities and we have no desire to force them upon her (unlike piano lessons, she's stuck with those!). Every once in a while she even gets a hankering to go for a run with her Ol' Popster (that's me!), but she generally likes the idea of running more than the actual running. I can relate.

Daisy's most recent physical activity is Tae Kwon Do. The class is pretty fun to watch. It's a beginner's class, so the kids seem to range in age from 4 to around 8. Watching those little four year olds practice their kicks and punches is damn cute. I don't know how many more years of this they'll need before they can actually injure another human, but I'd say it's at least a few.

The instructor told a story about one of his teenage girl students who was hanging out with some girlfriends at the Metreon in downtown SF. They were accosted by a bunch of guys who proceeded to harass them and eventually one of the boys hit one of the girls with a bottle. The Tae Kwon Do student sprang into action and took out all 5 guys before security could arrive. Apparently the security guards caught the whole thing on their security cameras and it made for a pretty good video.

Daisy is totally digging Tae Kwon Do. The fierce expression on her face as she screams her Hi-Yas is priceless. You go, girl! It'll be nice if she sticks with this long enough to learn how to actually defend herself, but for now I'm content to let her get the exercise and the enjoyment. I know she'll be attending classes for at least six months, because I paid for that much up front, but after that, who knows?

Hopefully Daisy will never need to defend herself physically, but it would be excellent if she could learn the skills. Somebody has to protect me from the red staters.

10 comments:

tinyhands said...

Yeah, and there's a lot of creeps that hang out on the internet.

Mike said...

I'm keeping my eye on you. Once I get my secret decoder ring all fixed up, I'll be all over your crap!

Tasty said...

Ooooh, I love the Tae Kwon Do! TKD is the *only* sport-like activity I ever participated in that I absolutely loved. Hey, I need to start lessons again. Thanks for the idea! Have fun, Daisy!

zelda1 said...

Ahhhh the days of the karate lessons, I remember them well. Billy Jack got all the hot young men of my time interested in learning martial arts so they could kick some red neck or motorcycle guy's ass and well, where the boys are is where I wanted to be, so I signed up. It was so much fun until they made us do those exercises, and one by one the girls and boys began to drop like flies.

YOur theory about the red states depriving the liberal states' children from exercise makes me wonder, come to think of it, I think you're right. I'll keep my eyes peeled and if I see red state aggression, I'll be ready. but of course since most red state people can't walk and chew gum at the same time, well I think we're pretty safe. I don't really think it's us they want as much as it is our reproductive products. Have you noticed their interest?

Mike said...

Tasty, glad to hear you dug it. Were you ever able to defend yourself using it?

Zelda1, my political commentary is always astute and well thought-out.

Tasty said...

Mike, I never had to defend myself, thankfully. But I did learn to "fight" my brother effectively.

Mike said...

Good enough.

Colby said...

Our kids are also receiving better meals in public schools, specifically designed to build muscle mass. You thought the Civil War was over? It's just beginning ...

... and I'll have to defect soon. Hopefully Kentucky is still a border state.

Mike said...

It's a border to something for sure.

Badaunt said...

One of the universities I work at has a no-smoking club. I asked the students what they did. "Do you meet up and not smoke?" I asked, and they said yes and looked at me as if I'd asked a stupid question.

I suppose I had.

Maybe Daisy's 'healthy lifestyle' classes are like that. They get together and don't smoke, don't eat junk food, don't lick their knives, and don't run in front of a bus.