Friday, April 12, 2013

K ~ Kickball


These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.

I alluded to the fact that there would be more tears and they'd be about kickball. Horrid game. I'm using the format of a letter to my former teachers...sorta. I would never send something this...snarky. Probably wouldn't...



Dear Teacher Who Has Never Really Bothered to Get to Know Me:

I'm from a different country. We play different games. Our games have different rules. It would be nice if we're going to play an AMERICAN game, if SOMEONE would be so kind as to explain to me what the purpose is, what the game play involves, and what the rules are. If you don't, I'm not going to know what's going on, and am going to make some assumptions.

For example, though there's no bat, and the ball is much larger, there are bases to run around, a pitcher, and a home plate. So I think that it must be sort of like Brännboll (Burn Ball) and apply those rules. I figured close enough.

As you would have observed, had you even been observing, was that the rules were completely different and that no matter what I did, the other kids all screamed at me. “Why aren't you running?” (because that was a lame hit, you wait for a good hit, and then go, many players can occupy the same base) “Go back you idiot!” (Why? Just because he kicked it foul doesn't mean I lose my progress. I made it to 2nd base!) And so on. I couldn't make a single correct move. Having 8 other people yell at you is not a fun experience.

Thanks for your consideration,
Tina

Dear P.E Teacher,
You really disappointed me. I thought that if we're playing kickball in a CLASS and not at recess, there'd be some TEACHING involved. Perhaps a review of the rules. I see plenty of cheaters during recess kickball, they could definitely use a review, not just the foreign chick who doesn't understand this inane game anyway. Your, “We all know the rules, so let's just play kickball!” didn't cut it for me. That's why I said I was going to throw up and asked to go to the nurse. It wasn't a lie, I really did feel like throwing up at the thought of all of them yelling at me again.

Thanks for your help,
Tina

Looking back, of course I should have ASKED someone to explain the game to me, but it had installed such terror in me I was paralyzed whenever we had to play. Well, not paralyzed, but I usually had some malady that caused me to have to sit out...

23 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Sorry about your bad experience. I'm glad kick ball's not a big thing in Jamaican schools.

T. Drecker said...

I totally understand this (although I personally LOVE kickball). It took me a few years to learn that if I didn't ask, no one was going to tell me either. Not because they were mean, just because they were too blind to realize that not everything is universal. :)

Brian Miller said...

oh man, so sorry tina....kickball is one of those pivotal sports of childhood for me too...we would play for hours in the field....and yeah, no one is gonna give away th secrets unless you did ask...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can see where it would be a nightmare for you.
And I hated dodgeball for some of the same reasons. I knew the rules, but everything else applied to the awful experience. Not to mention getting hit hurt.

Jenn ßritton said...

I am going to agree with T Drecker and Brian Miller. Why didn't you ask?
I'm also wondering why your mom didn't explain it to you.
Surely you got home and complained, and that would've been the perfect segue into a kickball explanation.
But cést la víe.

Jo said...

Never having heard of kickball, I would have been in the same boat. I do think the teachers are at fault, they should have known their new student wouldn't necessarily know the game. Have a feeling lots of immigrants must have had similar experiences. As for asking, at that age, one doesn't always want to put oneself forward, or to draw attention to oneself.

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Stephen Tremp said...

I remember kickball. Loved that game! The key is to keep the ball down or else you're an easy out if you kick it high in the air.

Andrew Leon said...

I loved kickball. Always the first one picked and all of that. But, then, I knew the rules.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I don't think we ever played kickball. I kinda glad we didn't now.

JoJo said...

I was raised in America and I didn't understand kickball either. I was always the last picked. The other kids screamed at me too for screwing up (once I didn't touch the base and I was literally forced/pushed onto it). Gym/PE class was horrendous for me.

Sue McPeak said...

PE Teachers/Coaches everywhere should receive these letters. Too bad yours didn't...they probably had no idea. Sportsmanship, fairplay, and Game Rules are part of their training...any worth their whistle...would have made Kickball more fun and beneficial for you...certainly more fun than going to the nurses office and throwing up.

A former PE Teacher.
Sue CollectInTexasGal
AtoZ LoneStar Quilting Bee

writebackwards said...

Totally understand you there. Seems we (Americans in general) are rather blinded by anything outside their bubble. It surely has given us a bad rap in other countries. And I apologize. Though, that doesn't make up for the stereotype that ALWAYS follows. I grew up, and lived, in several different countries and I've always tried to be the polite one, learning just enough of the language to muddle through, being quiet and not the loud-mouthed A-hole everyone points at and says "the American". I'd have surely been the one to help explain the rules to you had I been in your class. :)
I'm sure you would have hated Dodge Ball! :)

Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
WriteBackwards

LD Masterson said...

Let's hope we all take a lesson from this post.

Lucy said...

I loved Kick Ball but hated Dodge Ball, and I can't remember a P.E. teacher I ever really liked?
Lucy from Lucy's Reality

Cath Cath said...

Oh man! What your PE teacher didn't tell you was that there are MANY variations on kickball. I distinctly remember playing one called Mat Ball. Similar rules but multiple people can reside on the large mats. These were 'safe' areas and I have a vague recollections that you didn't have to move forward right away.

It's been a while but man, that teacher did not sound attentive!

Cath from Dramatics and Words

DL Hammons said...

That must have been awkward. Never was a big kick ball fan anyway! :)

Imogen Elvis said...

I can relate to that. I never was much good at understanding new games, and certainly wasn't very good at asking about the rules. And that really was a silly PE teacher.

klahanie said...

Hey Tina,

My human can so relate to your story. When he moved to Canada from England, they assumed he'd be good at football aka soccer. He was lousy. Yet, strangely enough, he was very good at softball, once he figured out what he was doing.

Seriously, he shares what a strange, yet bordering on interesting experience, moving to a new country can be.

Have a peaceful weekend, my human friend.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

House Revivals said...

So sorry you weren't taught the rules of kick ball! Your PE teacher sounds terrible. I didn't have great experiences with public school PE teachers. They were so mean, and shouted in your face, and screamed insults and made you hate your life and never explained anything. I will say I finally got some amazing PE teachers once we ditched public schools.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Sorry it was so bad for you. I LOVED kickball. My brother actually wanted to be a professional kickball player until I told him he there was not such thing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. we didn't ask in those days did .. we were too frightened - the school doesn't sound the best I must say. What an example .. which to this day you've remembered ..

Not nice at all .. and I have no idea about kickball - give me a ball and I'm happy ... ask me to run miles and I'm hopeless!

Cheers happy weekend ... looks like we have sun! Hilary

Andrea said...

Yikes! Dodgeball must've made even less sense I would imagine!

Stratoz said...

Hoping that I never put someone through such an experience. Stratoz goes AtoZ