Special Gym Classes No Longer Special

By Elif Ahmeti ’16, Diellza Dzafa ’16, Cailan Yu ’16, Anna Truong ’16, Javid Prince ’16 & Jesus Patino ’16

Gym classes, like billiards and bowling, now meet two days outside of the school in addition to three days inside of the school creating five days of gym. In the past the gym classes that meet outside of the school met on only two designated days. Because of  this change, handball and tennis gym have been cancelled due to the overwhelming amount of students transferring out.

Maggie Lin ’16, a former student of handball gym also said, “It’s terrible that these gyms were cancelled because there are people who really enjoyed the classes.”

The cancellation of these classes has reduced a student’s range of options when choosing a gym class, causing many to be pushed into already overflowing gyms. In many gym classes, about 150 students are crammed into a single period. Thankfully, these classes require minimal movements that might intrude into another’s personal space.

“I felt that the cancellation of tennis gym makes no sense because many people enjoyed it. I was really looking forward to being in tennis gym this term,” said Karen Cherkas ‘16, a former student of tennis gym. “It makes no sense to make tennis everyday because it was changed to three periods long, twice a week, but if it were one period long, it would give us little time to do anything.”

The reason behind gym classes meeting five times a week is because of a state requirement.

“The state has always required students to complete gym five days out of the week but recently, the city has enforced this rule so now, outside gym classes will have to meet from Monday to Friday,” said Anthony Odita, the assistant principal of physical education. “All students met with their respective guidance counselors to see if they wanted to stay in their gym, but many students changed which resulted in a program change.”

Out of 25 students called down to guidance counselor Ms. Sakaina Simon’s office, 20 students chose to get out of the gym they had into a gym inside of the school.

Julius Mark ’16 chose billiards gym so he can have an early schedule for three out of the five school days.

“We would usually go to the pool hall two days a week but now staying in school for the rest of the week changes my schedule around a lot,” said Mark ’16. “I would usually leave early and take care of errands but now I have to stay which doesn’t help me. It is going to be very tiring and frustrating for me.”

The thought of having billiards gym two times a week lured students in regardless of the fee that came with it. The undemanding schedule allowed students more free time during their week to catch up on sleep, hang out with friends, and simply relax at home, but it became a hassle when it was shot up to 5 times a week causing many to drop the class and opt for a simpler gym class such as yoga or aerobics.

Despite the hassle of having billiards everyday, Diane Ling ’16 still appreciates the freedom that comes with it.

“There’s not much of a difference than the in-school gyms,” Ling said. “Billiards is really fun and not having to change is the best part of it.”

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