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P. E.

Physical education teachers always have filthy personalities. They are either overweight women in tracksuits with a distaste for males and a predilection for activities such as juggling or measuring the fat percentage on your body, or well-cut men who want somewhere to showcase whatever skill they have with paralleles. In both cases they are frustrated people, although in the latter you're not given demeaning tasks.
Our new teacher isn't pigeon-holeable in either of those categories: I saw it from the start, her slim physique, a constantly gentle and accomodating look on her face, no wrinkles caused overtime by excessive shouting or forced grins (employed whenever another professor told you the infamous gym teacher joke for the thirtieth time that week). I wanted to test her, to see whether looks didn't deceive after all, so I dropped some general knowledge here and there, facts that no gym teacher is supposed to know.
“ Ok, did this class ever take Cooper's test? “ she asked whilst stretching.
“ No, but we once failed Turing's” I said, then rapidly turning to her to scan for any reactions.
She laughed.
She knew what I was talking about.
I thought “ You're not supposed to know that. I want to imagine you're just a drone, a robot that's programmed to teach us how to exercise, not a living, breathing human being that has other goals or ambitions in life”.
That was the first moment I felt embarrassed about physical education teachers, embarrassed like the first time I realized as a kid that the divine entity who gives you candy floss is actually a man, and quite a hideous one if you look closely.
Frustration had always been plain to see for me in those people, but it had always seemed like a shallow feeling, something that could be expressed without actually being felt, almost as though it were a part the principal made you play.
The new revelation hit me so hard I didn't realize that actually quite a lot of people, even with mediocre education, know what Turing's test is.
So all I had was this picture in my head, of this nice middle-aged woman going:
“ Well yeah, I wanted to be an information technology engineer, but what do you know, I had children and needed to find a job fast. What do you have to say about that? “.
Nothing, professor. And I'm sorry.


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5 commenti:

  • Anonimo il 30/01/2009 13:26
    It's not an easy subject the one you've chosen... but you've been really good at telling this funny story: I enjoyed it a lot!

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