Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time for a rousing game of Tug of Fun!

I was listening to the radio this morning, and a person wrote in about some of the PC actions being taken in her kids' elementary school gym classes:

--"tug of war" has been renamed to "tug of fun." Having war in the name is too negative of a connotation.

--dodge ball now constitutes throwing the ball at cones instead of at other kids.

--no more playing tag, because being chosen as "it" may damage the kids' self-esteem and needlessly single them out.

Okay, I am officially declaring that this PC movement has gone too far. Tug of fun--REALLY?!?! That's lame. LAAAAAME. Come on--having "war" in the game's name isn't going to make the kids pick up a grenade and start hurling them at each other.

And throwing the dodge ball at cones. Oooooooh now that's a hearty fun time! No wonder kids hate school. I'd be forced to start punching people if I had to do that kind of stupid stuff for gym class.

Oh, and tag is apparently too damaging for a child's self-esteem. Because being called "it" must make them need years of therapy.

Guess what? I played dodge ball and had the crap hit out of me. I came out with bruises all the time because I wasn't smart enough to dodge. I also gave it like I got it and flung the ball at kids. I loved tug of war. "Tug of Fun" sounds absolutely heinous, and I'd rather chew my arm off than play that. And I never minded being "it" in tag, because being "it" rotates between people, not just making it me all the time.

I believe we are doing our kids a SERIOUS disadvantage by sterilizing their environment in school and starting this crap so early. What's next--no failing grades for anyone now? Everyone gets an "E" for trying and passes, even if they never get it (oh, wait--hello, "no child left behind" could I forget about you)? What's going to happen when that child is in a competitive environment as an adult and can't cut it? Is he/she going to run to mommy or a therapist and whine about how unfair life is and how his/her self-esteem is crushed?

Don't get me wrong--in sports, I was never the first one chosen. That sucked and embarrassed me. LOL. But it also taught me I needed to work harder to be better. This whole notion of removing the competitive edge from sports and gym is flat-out WRONG. Because the real world IS competitive. You aren't going to get a job just by applying. In the real world, you don't get a raise just because everyone else gets one. In the real world, you have to do more than show up to work and breathe through your nose every once in a while to hold on to a job.

As you can tell, this is a topic I'm VERY passionate about. But now that I've ranted on and on, I'd love to hear what you you feel the same way I do? Or do you think it's about time they started looking at how gym classes are for kids? Lay it on me!


  1. Tug of fun? Tug of stupid is more like it. Also, my brother just joined an adult dodgeball league which sounds like wicked fun to me.

  2. Um. Lame.

    Also, YEARS before the movie I was on an afterschool dodgeball team and we had t-shirts that said DODGE, DUCK, OR DIE.

    It was fun. It was metaphoric. It did not lead to any actual homicide.

  3. um, am I the only one who thinks "tug of fun" means something completely different. Hope they're teaching "safe tugging" courses.

    Oh. My bad. That was very unPC of me.

    What a crock. Let kids be kids for cracker's sake!

  4. Wow. My poor kid's going to get to school and probably end up in the office a lot...she's 18-months old and already throwing her (Disney Princess) ball at me, Hubs, the cat, dog...yeah. No one's safe. The office will have my number on speed dial.

  5. I hate this whole "self esteem above everything" educational trend. And Tug of Fun? (Said in my best Seth and Amy tones)Really? Really? Like Mel, I went to the dirty place with that, and it's much more fun there.

  6. You probably won't get many folks here disagreeing with you, Rhonda, because they'd be afraid of your passionate, cutting wit! I know I am. I'm sort of afraid to speak up here for fear you'll say I'm LAAAAAME and clearly need to run to my mommy or a therapist.

    That said, if I'd been hit in the head by fewer pieces of sports equipment in school, my childhood would have been happier and healthier. And I don't actually think that calling something "tug of fun" is the equivalent of rewriting the ending of Hamlet...


  7. Cara--sorry you feel afraid of talking because of my "cutting wit". I wouldn't DREAM of insulting my readers/commenters, nor would I call anyone lame or be hostile toward them. I try very hard the vast majority of the time to be neutral on here (and in life) and not engage in confrontational discussions--ask any of my friends.

    It was certainly not my intent to make you feel bad. My apologies if anyone is offended by my post today.

    Thank you for sharing your opinion.

  8. Tug of Rum is something I could get behind. Let's start one of those leagues.

  9. Changing the name wouldn't stop something from hitting somebody in the head, anyway.

    Changing the name is the lazy moron's way out.

    If kids are being bullied we deal with the bullying. Changing a name so that children are protected from words that frighten stupid adults accomplishes...

    hang on...

    nope... I got nothin.

  10. Thanks, Rhonda.

    Chrissy, though changing names won't stop balls to the head, changing the rules as Rhonda described it might...

    I think my feeling is partly that schools just have always had their own bizarre language. When I was in grade school, I was convinced that all teachers had to learn teacher language before being hired. For instance, they'd never say "no talking," they'd say "no visiting with your neighbor." And different schools & school systems have their own bizarre lingo. (My grade school had a game we called socco -- and of course a game called handball which was nothing like real handball. We had a Chorus instead of a Choir, too.)

    So when I hear they're calling games weird names at one particular school, I guess I just think it's more teacher language and local school terminology, and nothing new, nothing "political" about it...

  11. LOL! My brain totally went naughty on "Tug of Fun" too!

    I was the kid who was always picked last or second last. Yeah, it was embarrassing at the time and I hated that everyone else didn't want me on their team. But now....I do work hard...for everything I have. I've never been handed anything and I am damn proud of where I am and that I got here all on my own. (I still suck at sports, but hey...can't be good at everything!)

  12. All I can do is shake my head at the stupidity. The first few times I played dodgeball, I was a human target. I got sick of it and decided to improve. And I'm with Kristen on the Tug of Stupid. Why bother having the game at all if you're going to water the thing down. Let's just turn gym into a bunch of kids running laps - at the same pace, mind you, so no kid 'wins'.

    This is the same mentality that got rid of the honor roll at my nephew's school system. They didn't want the kids who weren't on it to feel bad about themselves. So now the ones who would've gotten on it can't feel good about their achievements either. Bah.

    Heh, sorry. :end rant: