We all have a purpose to play in this world, each of us a cog in the machine that makes the universe tick, and understanding one’s unique place in the greater whole is essential to creating a harmonious environment for ourselves and others. Unfortunately, though, there will always be those who diverge from their roles and in the process throw delicate ecosystems into total disarray. Case in point: This gym teacher just assigned homework.
What the hell, man? Stay in your fucking lane.
Until minutes ago, everything was par for the course in fourth-period gym class at Unami Middle School in Chalfont, PA. The students arrived and uncomfortably sat on the hardwood floor of the basketball gym as Mr. Reese, the bald-headed, goatee-sporting P.E. teacher, took attendance and led everyone through the slow, sitting-on-the-floor stretches that kick off every class. From there, Mr. Reese shepherded the kids outside to the tennis courts, where they each grabbed a super bent and shitty racquet from the large plastic trash can the school uses to store sports equipment and began a run-of-the-mill tennis unit class, which basically just entails the 8th graders all goofing around and spiking balls at each other and no one playing any actual tennis because no one knows how. The class carried on like this until the last five minutes of the period, at which point things took an alarming turn. Standing at the court exit, Mr. Reese handed out worksheets and explained that the health and wellness unit would begin Thursday, and as a homework assignment, everyone would have to log everything they ate for one full day to highlight areas where their diets could improve.
Yo, what? This guy can’t be serious!
It wouldn’t be entirely off-base to assume Mr. Reese came to school drunk or a little zonked on pills or something, because the dude is making zero fucking sense right now. Like, did the guy forget he’s a gym teacher? Gym teachers obviously don’t assign homework. In fact, until now, it wasn’t even clear that gym teachers had access to the school’s paper and printers. Their roles are incredibly straightforward: Gym teachers wear shiny athletic pants that make swooshing sounds when they walk, they coach the school’s baseball team and treat all the baseball kids slightly better than normal students, they’re kind of in-shape in a heavyset sort of way, and 80 percent of their day is putting different kinds of balls into mesh bags with pull-strings and then lugging those bags to and from the athletic shed. Nowhere in the job description is there anything about homework, because it just isn’t supposed to happen. It’s just utterly absurd to treat gym class as a place for learning.
You gotta wonder where the hell Mr. Reese got the idea that this would be an acceptable thing to do. Like, is the guy trying to prove something? Given that he is somewhere around 50-ish, it is possible that he’s having some sort of midlife crisis over the fact that he’s essentially a weird old camp counselor with no real unique skills or expertise, who’s clearly not performing his job effectively considering that, like, 80 percent of his students are obese. Maybe he’s trying to compensate or make himself feel like he’s a real adult with a real job by handling paperwork for once? Or maybe he caught Dead Poets Society on AMC recently and is suddenly all bought-in on being a legit educator? Or maybe it’s just some state-required thing that he has to do to get funding? Whatever the case, there’s no question that Mr. Reese is stepping way out of line, and he doesn’t realize that a gym teacher assigning homework is about as fucked up as the lunch lady asking for a book report.
On the bright side, it’s nice to know that none of Mr. Reese’s students will actually complete the worksheet correctly and will 100 percent just fill in a bunch of made-up answers seconds before the next gym class begins. But nonetheless, here’s hoping that Mr. Reese gets his head on straight and remembers his fucking place in the world.