This article was written with Kumar Bhowmik.
Physical education used to be the class everybody loved. Starting this school year, that all changed. From the dress code to the activities and the free days, PE has seen a drastic change all around the board.
In past years, the average student could pass with sweatpants and any type of t-shirt. This year, students are now required to sport the Charger colors: carolina blue, navy blue, or white. Along with the change in clothing, tennis shoes are now required; so say goodbye to Sperry’s and boots.
The Centinal asked Kyle Herges, a physical education teacher at Centennial, “Why the demand for school colors in the gym?” He replied by pointing out that students need to learn responsibility in PE just like any other class, “…like bringing their math book every day, and their pencils and paper to math class… It’s the same idea.”
But from a student’s point of view, the color doesn’t mean as much. Senior Tyler Yoder said “I don’t find it relevant to PE… It’s not a big deal if students are seen in PE with different colored clothing.”
Brand new to gym this year is the addition of archery. Archery gives students the ability to learn how to safely shoot a bow and arrow. There is much controversy about whether or not this sport is safe for high school students, but teachers are taking heavy precautions to make sure everybody stays safe. According to Coach Herges, “The students spend about 2 weeks and at least 3 lessons just going over the protocol for when we get the bows out and show them how to use them.”
Do students even think that they should be trusted with the weapons? As far as Tyler is concerned, “Students should have to prove they are responsible enough, but if they can do that, they should be allowed to.”
Another new addition to the gym class curriculum is personal fitness. Personal fitness is paired with bowling; during the first quarter, students go through rigorous daily activities spanning from running on Centennial Hill to push ups and sit ups to running for miles. After about a month of being in the class, most students are not happy with what they signed up for.
Senior Nick Beaty is in personal fitness third hour, and he thinks that the class is excessive. “It just makes me sweaty, then I feel terrible all day at school. All we do is walk; I walk everywhere, why do it in PE?” From the responses we’ve gotten, we don’t expect personal fitness to stick around in the coming years here at Centennial.
In past years, Tuesdays have always been free days at Centennial, very similar to the Thursday routine this year. But now PE teachers have incorporated a much more difficult period. Each student must go through four sets of four stations ranging from agility ladders to push ups to jumping rope. It’s causing an uproar of disapproval from the student body, and everybody seems to be begging for a change. Tyler Yoder is one of those students stating that, “I work out on my own. People shouldn’t have to be forced to work out if they don’t want to because it’s their decision.” This is causing PE to go from being last year’s enjoyable class period to being a dreaded 45 minutes students want to skip this year.