Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: GYM CLASS

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?
In January I wrote about: apron, bar, basketball, bed, bicycle, birthday, boat, broom, button, cake, car.

In February: chair, chlorine, church, concert, cookbook, couch, dancing, desk, dessert, dining room table, diploma.
March: divorce, door, dream, emergency room, envelope, eyebrows, first apartment, first job, food, game, garden.

April: I took a break to focus on ARTSPEAK: Happy!

Here are the prompts for May: gloves, great-grandparent, guidebook, gun, gym class, hair, hands, hat, high heels, honeymoon, hood.


I have never been a sporty gal, so when it came to gym class, I'd pretty much do anything to get out of it. In elementary school I managed to skip playing softball by staying in and cleaning the classroom. This included straightening the book shelves and washing down the chalk board. With what glee I would look out at my classmates through the window!

I also managed to get out of PE in high school. The coach was also in charge of the bus schedules, and when he saw I was good at organization, he asked if I might help him. And so I did! I worked on those bus schedules and didn't have to play basketball even once. 

But I didn't get out of gym class every time... my 9th grade year and first year in Alabama, I had to endure the horror of dressing out in the PE “uniform,” which consisted of shorts only in team colors (red, gray, or white) and t-shirts specially designed by the school. I never liked the way I looked in this ensemble, and I remember feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

The only positive memory I have of gym class is doing quite well in the Presidential fitness test. Fitness has always been important to me – growing up with an obese father will do that to you – and thanks to Grandma Dykes (and those who came before her) I've got “flexibility” in my genes.

1 comment:

  1. Oh your gym uniform sounds lovely compared to the white sleeveless one piece uniforms we donned for gym class. I never got out of gym class. My favorite sport was the few weeks of archery each spring. And I abhorred those fitness tests. I managed to excel on just one - the situps!


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