Though I didn’t click through to the article, this headline reminded me of a conversation I had with TheBoy recently, wherein we agreed that gym class was good for absolutely nothing. When civilization collapses, you’re not going to defend yourself with kickball. You’re going to need to know survival skills. How to start a fire. How to purify water. How to turn a volleyball into a delightful traveling companion. The things you learn in scouting (and from the movie Castaway). Not this “let’s choose teams and do jumping jacks” bs.
(I say this only partially because I’m terrible at athletics, and still have the occasional stress dream set in my elementary school gym.)
Honestly, this is true for almost every subject. We spend a lot of time learning theory and stuff, but it’s not like anyone in the Hunger Games used calculus EVER. Can I get a what-what-hey-o for Consumer Math? Give me APPLIED sciences, people. Those are the skills that will save you from bands of marauding aliens. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Darth Vader was not defeated by reciting the periodic table. I’m pretty sure he was defeated by a giant explosion.
(Note: I have never seen any of the Star Wars films, so I guessed on that. It was either “giant explosion” or “vat of goo.”)
Nor can I suggest we solve this problem by mandating scouting, because even in my day we spent most of our time working on crafts and talking about boys. I assume that these days, 15 years later, girl scouts spend their meetings tweeting at each other. They will be among the first to go when society descends into chaos. The boy scouts will fare slightly better because they have knot skills and neckerchiefs.
Did you have the parachute in your gym class? Remind me what the point of that was, again? How many times as an adult have you found yourself holding the edge of a parachute and moving it up and down while other people run around and under it?
(If your answer was nonzero, tell me so we can trade lives.)
Maybe things would have been better if I didn’t have glasses. As my friend and fellow blogger Mel has attested many times, life is hell with corrective vision. Logistically, you can’t survive in as many situations. Underwater. Darkness. If the polar ice caps ever melt overnight, you might as well eat me right away.
Note that I’ve tried to stay away from criticizing The Rope, because I can see how the ability to climb a rope would help anyone In the Wild. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to come across anyone who could do so. I think maybe those kids get yanked out of school and put in a spy program to build a covert force of people with ridiculous arm strength.
(You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!)
I plan to remain childless, so I must depend on those of you with offspring to teach them well. They’re obviously not going to get the training they need from school, or even from the scouts. Parents, get off your soda-stained couches and show those kids how to evade someone who wants to eat their face. Once the apocalypse hits, and I’m part of the shadow government, I’ll see to it that we leave them alone.