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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Page 4---Stereotypes in High School Gym Class--Anonymous

This student guest column was written for and rejected by The Voyager, the student newspaper of Homewood Flossmoor High School. H-F is a public high school in Flossmoor, IL. Several Columbia College students have had the misfortune of attending this so called blue ribbon school.

In this communal wasteland we so tenderly refer to as “high school” the average student must deal with a populace that even Harrison Ford, in a state of charmingly moral aptitude, would snub.* Many people complain of the blatant stereotyping that almost everyone is guilty of, but these complaints lack foundation for the sole reason that most of these stereotypes are true. To fully realize this, look no further than your gym class. Since every student at H-F takes gym class, at least during their first two years, with no hope of eliminating the less tolerable scholars by taking it at a level higher than the standard college prep, you are bound to encounter many miserable, undereducated typecasts who are fortunate enough to be placed with you, all unable to control their egos or need for attention. Sophomore Angelo M. doesn’t appreciate this either. “They all talk a lot of trash to each other, get really annoying, and never pay attention,” he says of the generic mindless slaves that seem to multiply under the supervision of under prepared and somewhat unprofessional “teachers.”

Glancing around the pool lobby of H-F, every rejected label, clique, factitious, close-minded ideal springs to life, ranging from the whorish adolescents who cannot recognize life outside of their juvenile existence to the gaggles of overly hormonal females doomed to gossip for eternity. These people, strictly speaking, should not exist. It should not be possible to create a person, a personality even, by thinking of the most inhumane and impossibly dull individual you can imagine. But because of H-F’s impossibly dull gym classes, it’s all too likely that ‘H-F generica’ is roaming the halls as we speak.

However, stereotyping is wrong. There is no denying that the creation of certain perceptions of certain people can create idealism that forgoes any moral fortitude. Senior John W. says, “Stereotypes can be very harmful to many students who feel they fit certain negative stereotypes.” But, as aforementioned, students are living up to their stereotypical molds far too easy. John W. continues, “All the kids make fun of me.” The only realistic solution to the harmful effects of our impossibly humane judgment is to become individuals, and to let others become individuals. When Mr. Egocentric acts out in class, disrupting your logical and rational way of thinking, do not treat him as if he were a god. By removing yourself from his metaphorical penis, you are saving him the fate of becoming ‘Hated Student #147’ As much as it saddens me to imagine him looking around the room in anguish, wondering why no one is laughing at his unfunny and probably derogatory joke, I believe that he will eventually learn his lesson and at the same time become mature.

There is a certain degree of honorability that one must adhere to, though. I cannot advocate the destruction of these individuals, because stooping to their level would be hypocritical and blemish any argument I have made. Treat each other as you would want to be treated, even if it requires knocking someone off their throne. In this effervescent time in life, one’s goal should not be to encompass popularity, but to overcome it by ignoring it. Angelo M. understands, “Treat people like equals!? Oh, okay.”

*Harrison Ford has never been known to snub anyone. Ever.

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