Print Story A Day in the Life
School Daze

Of all the things about high school that sucked, PE class was way up there on the list. The girls' coach was the stereotypical, manly-looking, semi-pro volleyball-playing bulldyke bitch, but she was nothing compared to Coach Marissey. Marissey was the absolute archetype of late 1970s high school coaches, an asshole, sadistic, self-important and imagined ladykiller.  A real-life John Kreese, head of the evil dojo in Karate Kid who demanded all address him as "Coach" instead of "Mister".

I relived a little piece of hell almost three decades behind me last night in a dream, and woke up to a realisation.

x-posted to da brog.

At least I'm sleeping again, but I'm once again dreaming vividly, usually reliving something out of my past. Winning a pinball tournament is great; sitting in school not so much so. Marissey had called me out of class to his office.

Since I didn't like sports, Marissey didn't like me. My school was freaks and jocks and my PE class was freaks and geeks. I wasn't even that high on the social ladder. I was a freaky, geeky loner. There's nothing worse in the mind of a team sports coach than an individual.

Coach: Canine!
REC: Yeah?
Coach: You're playing football this afternoon. Be on the field at 2:00p.m. Here's your class absence note for 7th period.
REC: But I play chess, not football!
Coach: Don't get smart with me! I'm in charge of school intramurals and you're playing football. Today.
REC: But I don't even know how to play!
Coach: You'll learn on the field. You're going to be a linebacker.
REC: What the hell is a linebacker?
Coach: You block the other team from running into your line.
REC: But I only weigh 127 pounds!
Coach: Here's some pads.
REC: Coach Marissey, I'm still wearing a knee brace from tennis last month! I have a doctor's note.
Coach: Your doctor's not here and he's not in charge of intramurals. Your teammates should help prop you up.
REC: What?!
Coach: Be on that field at two or you've got a month of detention.

And when I woke up, clipped on my access badge and headed for the Subway, it dawned on me. I'd been wrong throughout high school. It really does prepare you for real life. You only have to know where to look. Marissey would feel right at home here assigning me another ticket from some customer suffering constant core dumps in a Solaris system.

Le plus ├ža change...

Oh, and since someone's bound to ask, I didn't go on the field and I didn't play linebacker. I did probably the most fuckwitted thing possible. Instead of attempting to gain Marissey's respect by at least suiting up and trying to participate just for one play, I went to the school library and got the Policies & Procedures book. Armed with the exact policy I went to the vice principal and told him I'd be damned if I was doing a minute of detention for not playing stupid football.

The day my doctor's note expired Marissey had me running laps for the entire PE period. Every day. For the rest of the school year. Rather suddenly there were only nine spots on the intramural chess competition roster, down from the original ten. Guess who didn't get to compete at County or State. "Budget," said Marissey with a grin.

Enough self-delusion through the fog of 20-some years of adult experience. Marissey wouldn't have found any respect for me. He would've laughed at my ass being bulldogged, then screamed at me for being a pussy and not playing anymore. He was such a dick.

< I Scream, My Love | Just shut up and play already. >
A Day in the Life | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)
Drugs. Drugs made high school bearable. by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:49:01 AM EST
And sex with LC, that beautiful girlfriend of mine who decided that I was the one she wanted to be with, no matter how pathetically dorky I was.

But yeah, Our PE teachers were the same way. I was the one the sadistic bastards picked out in PE to wrestle against the previous years fly weight State champion. They were offended and suspicious of me when I complained that he popped my arm out of joint throwing me to the mat -- like a rag doll.

Funny for me, sports . . . by slozo (4.00 / 3) #2 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:54:34 AM EST
. . . made high school bearable for me. Sports and Leisure, that is.

I made varsity soccer by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:24:17 AM EST
And was then denied the spot as keeper not due to Marissey but because the school administration had this crazy idea that if I wanted to show up for soccer I also ought to show up for classes. I took the fucking tests and passed 'em. What more did they want from me?

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Thank goodness you didn't toe the line . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:47:09 AM EST
. . . otherwise, who knows? You may have never developed into the maladjusted youth/man/whateveryouareIRL blogger extrordinaire you are today!

Soccer in grade school . . . good times. Half the players mildly wandering around, picking grass, horsing around, while the rest of us actually ran, kicked and swarmed the football like crazy bees . . .

[ Parent ]
I picked grass. by ReallyEvilCanine (4.00 / 2) #13 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:04:04 AM EST
I was a keeper and our strikers and wings were fucking excellent. Many made State Select and two of them got full university scholarships. Practice, however, was fucking brutal as I faced for three hours what all our competition keepers only had to deal with for 90 minutes.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
Thank goodness you didn't toe the line . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:02:27 AM EST
. . . otherwise, who knows? You may have never developed into the maladjusted youth/man/whateveryouareIRL blogger extrordinaire you are today!

Soccer in grade school . . . good times. Half the players mildly wandering around, picking grass, horsing around, while the rest of us actually ran, kicked and swarmed the football like crazy bees . . .

[ Parent ]
Thank fuck I'm not the only one who double-posts by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:06:16 AM EST

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
I had a fire alarm at work . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:23:26 AM EST
. . . and was posting just as it went, and impatiently hit it twice. Now I have to write some procedural report and shit, on top of the ignominy and public shaming for the dreaded double post on Husi!

What a crap day.

[ Parent ]
If you don't mind me asking by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 01:41:22 AM EST
What is it you do for a living?

[ Parent ]
Although I'm a bit of a computer n00b1e . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:57:58 AM EST
. . . I supervise/manage the security systems for a major firm dealing with . . . mostly female products. Any more info than that, and I'd have to . . . you know.

[ Parent ]
I see by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 04:57:19 AM EST
Was wondering, seeing as you rarely post "WTF colleagues" type diaries that are a staple of HuSi.

[ Parent ]
Ah. Well, despite having . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:18:14 AM EST
. . . some characters around me, I don't like to bitch and whine needlessly. Especially when I have it pretty good . . . but who knows, things change.

[ Parent ]
5 Years then perhaps by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 01:18:12 PM EST
Then you'll be as bitter and twisted as the rest of us.

That said - I hope not.

[ Parent ]
You gotta wonder by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #3 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:58:31 AM EST
...why a grown adult would find it worthwhile to fuck a teenager over like that. Surely not just to conform to US sports coach stereotypes?

It's a stereotype for a reason. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:01:21 AM EST

[ Parent ]
School coaches/PE Teachers. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 3) #4 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:00:06 AM EST
Something weird happens in people's lives to lead them to be a school coach. I had a number of them over the years, and only one of them was worthy of being called a decent human being.

One was an overweight piece of shit that took on the "challenge" of screaming obscenities at third to sixth graders about being out of shape all while saying he couldn't run because he'd had a back surgery.

One was an asshole of epic proportions who had marine training in his background and apparently believed sixth, seventh and eighth graders needed that same discipline. Get behind in a run and god help you. Get ahead? You're in even more trouble.

I threw a ball too hard at a friend once. That guy grabbed me by the arm and threw me into the wall for it. I was in seventh grade, so probably shouldn't have been screwing around too much, but me and this buddy were always screwing around. We were kids, it's what we did. I ended up with bruises all over my arms from the way the "coach" grabbed me, and a large bruise on my back from where he threw me against the wall.

Taking it to the office was a mistake. Who would you believe as a principle? Some smart-ass kid, or your trusty ex-marine-buddy coach? Luckily, my intersections with him after that were infrequent enough that I didn't have the same problems you did.

And then there was the guy that, to this day, I think would be awesome to hang out with. Started the class by saying, "we're doing physical activities. If something goes wrong, you're probably gonna say, 'oh shit' or 'fuck me.' I don't care. Just don't do it when the higher-ups come in." That dude was awesome.

The others were unremarkable. Just your typical out-of-shape yet still holier-than-thou older gentlemen who somehow believed they had the ultimate grasp on fitness despite the fact they were carrying around about a hundred extra pounds. Come to think of it, the only coach I ever remember knowing that was in shape was the nice-guy coach who never yelled at anybody for anything and always seemed to be having a blast.

Hmm. I must be in the reminiscing mood this morning.

I feel deprived by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #6 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:04:47 AM EST
my high school PE coaches were okay, the only thing I remember about one was that he played for the Redskins, and we (in the band) learned a Redskins song for him.

My roughest time in phys ed was getting shit from a younger kid during basketball, I threw a ball at his face, he punched me (and broke his finger), I chased him around the gym, and that was that.

We even had swimming and ping pong for phys ed, that's cool.

What did you play? by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:11:17 AM EST
Even in marching and pep band I was a misfit. I was part of the French Horn (yes, we marched with them) and Mellophone sections.

[ Parent ]
Baritone in concert band by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:16:05 AM EST
trombone in jazz band, usually baritone in pep band and marching band.

[ Parent ]
Baritone represent! by Greener (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:25:18 AM EST

[ Parent ]
you know what's better than marching band in HS? by R343L (4.00 / 1) #22 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:04:16 AM EST
Marching band that counts as a 1/3 PE credit so that if you do band every year you never have to take high school PE. Score!

(I was in color guard / flags / whatever for two years, then trombone senior year. I have to say practicing from 6am till 2pm in Arizona August is more work than most kids get in PE the entire year.)

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Oh indeed! I got more exercise in marching band by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:13:10 AM EST
than I ever did in PE. And on the weekends we -- the band -- would also play unchaperoned, no pads, tackle football (think rugby match) on our uneven, stone covered marching practice field. And I have the scar from where my elbow was screwed back together to prove it.

[ Parent ]
wouldn't have worked for me... by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #33 Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:25:21 PM EST
i think i needed 1.5 credits.
if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
no PE at my high school by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:26:50 AM EST
can hardly even remember middle school, other than being the one kid in the class that could never manage to run a 10 minute mile. i'd bet money i could outrun all those fuckers now.

my highschool tried to ban us from playing our annual junior-senior football game, but we played anyway.

[ Parent ]
Dude, guess what I saw last night by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:29:34 AM EST
Harold and Kumar, it made me hungry for White Castle.

[ Parent ]
seriously by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:33:01 AM EST
for the 15 minutes starting with the final scene, that was the one and only time in my life i ever craved white castle burgers. of course the smell would instantly reduce that craving to nothing, but still.

[ Parent ]
How many geek points do I get by wumpus (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:34:28 PM EST
for causing a football star to cut gym to avoid me handing him his ass (again) in ping-pong?


[ Parent ]
Blix, did you forget to log out *again*? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:45:57 AM EST
UKian schools don't really go in for torturing and brainwashing kids.  But if enough of us vote Tory, the glory days may yet return.  Who's with me?

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
These days we are much kinder by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #19 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:53:16 AM EST
Thanks to our all caring NuLabia overlords getting their grubby fingers all over the national curriculum.

Now the kids are still brainwashed, it's just that there are NO WINNERS and more importantly, NO LOSERS.

This vastly improves their quality of life and expectation upon entering the world of work.

[ Parent ]
So your kids are going to be just like by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #20 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:18:35 AM EST
Merkin kids.

I weep. I weep for "Western" "civilization"...

[ Parent ]
A solid 'meh' by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #15 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:07:52 AM EST
My school was relatively free of stupid geek vs. jock thing. The captain of our football team was also a drama dork. (And a pretty nice guy.) Cliques existed but there wasn't much overt conflict. My memory of those years was one of solid boredom. I was an outsider, but at my school, that meant merely meant that I didn't get invited to the cool parties.

The best teacher I had there was my AP Biology teacher, who was also the baseball coach. PE was annoying, but for the most part those who taught it weren't abusive. The tennis teacher was pretty hot, though as an asthmatic I was noted out of doing the mile and a half run she made everyone else done. She made me walk it, which was probably reasonable.

Those years weren't particularly the happiest of my life, but I can't really blame the school for it. (Though the main lesson I probably took out of the experience was a major streak of cynicism.)
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

What I learned at school by Herring (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:12:22 AM EST
The people nominally in charge are frequently fuckwits.

And nothing is the last 2 decades has caused me to revise that opinion.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

LOL by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #26 Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:46:21 AM EST
Yeah, Coach Fisher cornered me in a hallway and tried to draft me, but I just laughed and said I'd talk to my real coach about that. He then proceeded to STFU.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

A Day in the Life | 33 comments (33 topical, 0 hidden)