By ◆ Juppie on Monday, January 11, 2010 @ 5:30 PM

This has nothing to do with how children used to quit school around the age of 12 and go work in mills, where they would get into some tragic accident, like being maimed by a machine gone rogue. (I'm glad to see child labor is forbidden now. However, I wanted to work during the summer, so I can save up cash, but was never able to because I was too young.) Instead, the children are the very same people I go to school with.

I am always really paranoid when we're playing sports in PE. I've had bad luck over the years, what with various projectiles hitting me in the head. The first time I remember was back in 1st grade. Ironically, it happened while I was trying to do something good. I saw a ball that had rolled under a bush and was stooping to pull it out when a football came from behind and hit me in the head.

I can't remember much of the other incidents, except for the ones in middle school. I was played lacrosse, which is one of my favorite sports, actually, and I got whacked in the face with a ball. That was bad enough, but in the same day I was also hit in the leg. During this school year, we were playing volleyball and a volleyball that had strayed from a different court hit me in the head. (As far as I know I have not gotten a concussion from all the pounding my head has received, but I could've lost some brain cells. Terrible.)

I still can't really figure out how to hit a volleyball correctly. The few times that I successfully hit it, I usually hit it around my wrist area, which makes it sore and red. I am afraid I will injure myself if this keeps up. What part am I supposed to use to hit the volleyball? (Basketball is easier for me than this, at least I can catch the ball, even if that makes my hands dry and dusty.)

For some reason, whenever I am in a certain PE teacher's class, I always get injured once. When I had him in 7th grade, I twisted my ankle because I was rushing while doing warm-up exercises, and then I tripped and landed rather awkwardly. (You would think I would have learned my lesson, but I still rush when warming up. Not a good idea, so I advise you "don't try this at home".) The other time I was injured was last trimester, when I was trying to get up the stairs quickly but didn't lift my leg high enough on a step and fell, scraping my knee. I didn't feel any pain at first, so I didn't realize it was bleeding until it was pointed out to me. It started to sting after a while when I was putting water on it. It kept on bleeding, which is disturbing. Eventually I went off to get a bandage so it would stop bleeding.

I guess I'm not doing as badly as others, though. One day, at brunch, I noticed my current PE teacher pushing a kid in a wheelchair to the school office. A teacher called out to him, "Stop hurting the kids!" in a joking manner. However, I suspect a lot of people get injured in his class. We used to have two students who were in some way or another unable to do certain activities. One of the students isn't in the class anymore, though the other still is, but she does exercises with a medicine ball.

Despite my paranoid tendencies, I've always dreamed of having an exciting life, like living in a new place, or living a life fraught with danger, such as going sky diving often or rounding up mustangs (...are there still any mustangs out there?). I'd like to try going in a hot air balloon someday or going surfing. There's a lot of things I want to do, and so I feel frustrated at times because I believe that my life isn't thrilling enough. And at other times, I am too lazy and I just like it the way it is. I wonder if I might have multiple personalities or if it simply depends on my mood. (For instance, I am overall more of a pessimist than an optimist, though I can be either. If I have just suffered from many bad scores in a row in school, then I'll be pessimistic, but after a while I start to have hope again, and become more optimistic. After all, I really hate it when people act like all hope is lost, so I would be a hypocrite if I acted like that myself, so my consciousness gives me "pep talks".)

I crave some more ordinary freedoms, too, like being allowed to wander in the neighborhood by myself. I can only go outside for a short distance (like maybe across a street or two) and for a short time without supervision. When I was young, I always thought my parents were overprotective. I wasn't allowed to walk home until 7th grade and even then I always walked with my grandma (and later my acquaintance/friend/neighbor/companion? I can't come up with the right term). I felt that I was deprived of things, and I still am not allowed to ride a bike home. Although my parents' grip on me slackens over time as I supposedly mature (who knows if I really do? D: ), riding a bike home is still something I am not supposed to do. (But then again, it's also inconvenient. I would have to put my bike in the car when my parents drive me to school; Besides, I'm not really a great biker, even if I can ride a bike. I fell of my bike recently because I saw someone else coming and panicked, trying to give them space. And when low branches stick out over the sidewalk, I panic, and try to swerve, but then I fall off)

I once read an article in the Time magazine about how parents are really overprotective nowadays. The percentage of students walking or biking to school dropped, despite the fact that crime rates have gone down, so it's safer nowadays. And some parents are really focused on what's "best" for their children, which could mean making them study a lot, and asking schools to have more classes and less free time (sometimes this means not having as much PE, too, hence higher rates of obesity). Even though parents care a lot about their kids, it seems it can sometimes harm them rather than helping them. Will you really be fine when you are independent if you are used to being taken care of by my your mother and father? (Not a good thing if you run home every week to make them do your laundry for you. Of course, there might be shared washing machines available for you to use) Is keeping a tight leash on people good for their lives or will it stunt their growth? The key is to find the right balance between the two. To know when to let your kids decide for themselves (and maybe learn the hard way, but that's life) and when you should direct them...It's a tough judgment call.

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