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Taking the Plunge
I would have had to make that walk of shame back down the ladder....
By: Shelly on May 7, 2014
I love swimming but other people do not love to see me in a bathing suit, so it's just as well I never had PE in high school.
By: PT Dilloway on May 7, 2014
OH if only all of us could dive like Rodney Dangerfield did in Back to School.
By: Michael Offutt on May 7, 2014
I had no clue that PE was optional! My son is 39 and I am just now going to be a grandma so I had no clue that had changed. I am shocked! We had swimming in high school, but they put the pool in over at the junior high and we had to walk back outside for a few blocks with damp hair in Minnesota winters! I learned not to touch frozen wet hair because it will crack off. ;)
By: Rita McGregor on May 7, 2014
PE is still required in some states. My son and DIL are both PE teachers and I am happy to report they are not like the PE teachers of old. They teach to the students abilities and concentrate on PE skills people can use for life. THe PE teachers of old did seem to enjoy torturing kids that were not lovers of sport. Hitting the water from 20 feet wrong can be like landing on pavement...crazy to force kids to try.
By: Cranky Old Man on May 7, 2014
oh, my! i'd have flunked the 2nd one totally. good thing my wis. high school didn't have a pool. :)
By: TexWisGirl on May 7, 2014
I hated PE with a passion. "Nice gym teacher" is an oxymoron. I would have broken my leg to avoid the diving requirement, but, of course, it wouldn't have been necessary for this whirly girly. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on May 7, 2014
Thank god we didn't have to do THAT when I was in high school. We only had to TAKE a semester of swimming. I wasn't a bad swimmer or diver (from the side of the pool). But I don't if I would have managed that high dive. As for that Norman Rockwell illustration: I always thought it was well-done but that he left out the humiliation.
By: Mitchell is Moving on May 7, 2014
Ungainly and ungraceful though it was, congratulations that you did it first time around! As for me, little nut that i am, once i got over the fear of water and learned to swim, i loved the diving boards.
By: mimi on May 7, 2014
I, too, hated PE. And I wouldn't have been able to make that dive...
By: Pixel Peeper on May 7, 2014
I'm having a panic attack just from reading that. I had to do that in college. Yes, the drownproofing hour was easy. The leap from the 10 meter platform was not. I flat out refused to try, after watching my friend change her mind mid-leap. She turned to grab the platform, and swung in towards the concrete pool deck. She missed it by inches. The instructor had turned his back as she fell, covering his face with his clipboard. The friend was black-and-blue for a while. We both made a deal to take another semester of beginning swimming with that teacher, and we got our credit. Better yet...we stayed alive!
By: Val on May 7, 2014
We had to do that, the board was only about 10 feet up, but I had a nasty coach. I was standing on the board, and she walked up behind me, then shoved me in. I screamed, mostly from being startled, which, of course, meant I was taking in water when I hit. To this day I can't go on a diving board, I shake so bad. Needless to say, if I could find that coach, I would be glad to give her a Chocolate (Ex Lax) milkshake... I just hope that your tail bone wasn't injured, hitting the board would hurt, I would think! Cat.
By: Cat on May 7, 2014
Oh boy- I would have been petrified of landing wrong and breaking my neck! By the way- As a boy, Schollander moved with his family to Lake Oswego, Oregon. Although his first sporting passion was football, he was too small to compete in high school football. Instead, he joined Lake Oswego High School's swim team, and in 1960, helped lead the team to an Oregon state swimming championship as a freshman. That's per Wikipedia! Cheers and happy trails!
By: Kathe W. on May 7, 2014
I've always been as foolish as I am fearless. When at the local (university) pool, my father was watching and I (about 10) wanted to impress him. I thought, How hard could diving off the high-dive board be? I climbed up and dove off, spreading my arms apart in a big swan dive. Sadly, I remained horizontal and landed in the water in a painful bellyflop. Then -- because my foolishness and fearlessness is outdone only by my legendary stubbornness -- I did it twice more. I think my belly stayed red for a week.
By: Lexa Cain on May 7, 2014
It seems hard to believe that some twisted phys ed teacher would require this dive. Yes I know the feeling of not jumping even though I wanted to.
By: red on May 7, 2014
Sounds like my idea f hell. Glad I didn't go to your school!
By: Jenny Woolf on May 8, 2014
yeah, it was tough, but I truly do not think it was sadistic. Anymore than making a kid stand in front of a classroom and give a speech. These are skills we should all be "pushed" to do or face the shame of not screwing our courage to the sticking place. Our overprivileged and under-pushed kids today will have regrets.
By: Tabor on May 8, 2014
I'm sure your PE instructor watched your performance, held up his card and shouted: 10!
By: Tom Sightings on May 8, 2014
Oh wow, that would be scary. I can't imagine having to go through such a thing in school. Remember that movie, Dazed and Confused when all the girls had to go through all of that stuff just to be cool? I can't imagine that stuff, I don't remember stuff like that as a high school kid, I'm pretty happy about that now :) Glad all turned out well though!!!
By: Hey Monkey Butt on May 8, 2014
As much as I adored swimming as a kid, and actually swam for my school, I never conquered my fear of diving in off the board. You did well!
By: LL COOL JOE on May 8, 2014
I loved high diving in our tiny local pool but I think the "high" board was only about 10 feet above the water.
By: Catalyst on May 8, 2014
That story struck me as dangerous, Stephen. I hope today things have changed for the better regarding these PE requirements. You had a lot of courage!
By: Michael Manning on May 8, 2014
I'm appalled they withheld diplomas from the male students who couldn't do this. Really? What if you had a 4.0 otherwise, but a fear of really high heights? Dangit, I'm angry. Nonetheless, I laughed at the way you went down. I'm glad you went down. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on May 9, 2014
I never would have made my way up the ladder. Heights are not good for me. You were a gutsy fava bean. ;)
By: Hilary on May 9, 2014
I never did learn how to dive properly - I have no sense of my body in space. I'm all flailing limbs & screaming :)
By: The Bug on May 9, 2014
I'm not surprised you haven't forgotten that dive! It's awful you were made to do something like that to get your diploma, but for now it's made an interesting post and you did it!! Well done!!
By: Sharon Bradshaw on May 10, 2014
I am getting the shivers just thinking about it. Well done to that young man all these years ago.
By: John on May 12, 2014
Given my lack of prowess in water, I would never have graduated from your school.
By: Bryan Jones on May 12, 2014
Good for you to go through with it. I loved diving when I was young and remember the first dive off of a high board. It looks higher from up top than at ground level. That is fairly ambitious of that school to require a high dive and an hour of treading water. When my kids were little I worked as a swim instructor for the YMCA and only advanced classes even offered diving and not from the high boards.
By: Cheryl P. on May 13, 2014
I feel for those who are truly frightened. Many of today's youth don't know how to play unless they're holding a controller or other device.
By: Daniel LaFrance on May 14, 2014
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