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Teen Fiction: A Win-Win

Rachelli Weinstein.

I just totally bared my soul, though it’s most definitely not considered cool to have DMCs with the gym teacher

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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M rs. Wenger blew her whistle, effectively ending our class basketball game. “I just want to give you a heads-up; you don’t need to bring your sneakers next week as we’ll be starting our CPR unit.” The cacophony of responses which met this announcement ranged from “Yes! Awesome!” to “Ugh!” and “No!” but apparently my dejection seemed the most pronounced since Mrs. Wenger held me back while allowing the others to leave.

“You seem pretty upset, Shoshie. What’s up?” Mrs. Wenger asked, smoothing her auburn sheitel away from her face.

“Well, I have nothing against learning CPR, in fact I’m pretty excited about it. It’s just that I can’t face losing this too!” I wailed.

“Losing this? What do you mean?” Mrs. Wenger asked, her hazel eyes fixed on me with such concern that, well, I just totally bared my soul, though it’s most definitely not considered cool to have DMCs with the gym teacher.

“Now that I’m in high school some of the classes really are interesting, but it’s still hard for me to sit still for so long. Sometimes I just need to move! I don’t have ADD, or hyperactivity, or anything like that! I just need to move! After sitting still for so long I feel like… like a tightly wound spring! In elementary school we had recess twice a day, and at least some girls would play trench or machanayim with me, and that was enough.


But now we just have eight-minute breaks! What am I supposed to do with them, jog in place in my classroom? I don’t need to make myself into a total fool! One gym class a week was, well, it was something, and now we’re losing that, too! And maybe I should be embarrassed to admit this but, well, I’m not a bad student, but I don’t really excel either, so I’m not the most popular study partner, if you know what I mean. Sports are all I really shine in. 

In camp I had real status as bunk athlete, everyone wanted me on their team for sports. In elementary school I was a leader at least among the girls who joined in the recess games, I was always among the first to be chosen. But now, in high school, with our eight-minute breaks, my only chance to shine athletically is in gym, but now I’m losing that too!”

“You’re a girl after my own heart, Shoshie. I’m a gym teacher by choice, you know!” Mrs. Wenger responded gently and sincerely. “And the lack of physical activity among students in this school has been a major concern of mine for ages but—” She stopped for a moment, apparently deep in thought, before continuing cautiously, “I think you just might have given me an idea. I need to give it some thought and consult with some people but perhaps, maybe, I just might have a solution. You’d better run to your next class, and I’ll let you know if anything comes of this.” After scribbling a late note to my history teacher, Mrs. Wenger shooed me off to class, refusing to say another word.

Though I saw Mrs. Wenger in the hallways several times throughout the week, she only smiled and winked. It wasn’t until our next gym class that my curiosity was satisfied. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 692)

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