Is Change Always Worth It? Latin’s New Gym Curriculum

Ethan Lee Co-Sports Editor Along with the importance of education, the Latin School of Chicago also strives to become a healthier community. As of this year, Ms. McCarthy, Head of Physical Education Department and the Sophomore Dean, believes that “PE has more electives and options. This year, students have more flexibility and choices instead of generic exercises.” The objective is to have a gym class that meets daily, forcing students to participate in athletic activities on a regular basis. By changing the structure of PE, Ms. McCarthy, as well as other teachers and faculty, aim to increase the health and physical fitness of the Latin community as a whole. The change satisfies Ms. McCarthy’s motive to improve the general health and fitness of the Latin School community. Despite good intentions, the new gym policy did not receive entirely positive feedback. Junior Dylan Levin believes that “this year’s gym is not as challenging as last year’s. Last year’s gym required dedication, and it gave us a true workout.” Gym has tried to become a class that is now available during the day to students with various skill assets. However, junior Shawn Farschi believes that “gym takes up too much time. I’d rather have a free period where I can get work done. I already do sports; why should I have to [do gym] during my offseason?” Sports and strenuous activities are not for everyone, but those who do it gain an advantage of experience and skill over those who do not. The universal saying, “Strong mind, strong body” has been scientifically proven that students tend to do better academically after participating in a sport. Therefore, by increasing the level of exercises, we can improve in athletics, academics and health. Junior Britt Henderson believes that “it is good that students are required to do gym. This way we become more fit and athletically capable as a community.” The more exercises and physical workouts we have, the more beneficial it is for us. According to the Mayo Clinic Staff, physical activity can also help stimulate brain chemicals and can make you feel more relaxed and happier. Exercising can help mentally too. As of 2009, thirty-three states in the U.S had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 25% of its total population. In the same year, 11.9% of Illinois high school students were obese. Sophomore Jack Simborg, an advent believer in this year’s gym, states: “This year’s gym is a better system that last year’s. There is more of a general impact.” For the 2010-2011 school year, students are given choices to take a variety of physical activities, ranging from yoga to martial arts. And as the quality of PE increases, so does the quality of our health and fitness. By participating in the new gym curriculum, Latin can “strive to make wellness a part of our daily lives,” Ms. McCarthy says. Being healthy is important, and the new gym system definitely accentuates that point. *Note: All statistics are from the Mayo Clinic.]]>