Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Personal Solution to Obseity

Earlier this evening, I was watching Anderson Cooper 360. They were doing a special on the medical impact of obesity. While I was watching it, I was reminded of when I was in high school. The State of New York requires school children to be physically active by requiring some type of physical education course (dance is allowed, if offered). My school extended it to if a student was on a sports team, he was exempt from gym classes for the season.

The Phys Ed teacher I had for 3 years was and a great guy, but he had a very narrow-minded view of sports that should qualify; if he had it his way, the list would consist of football, basketball, and baseball. He thought that track shouldn't be allowed since anyone can run; swimming was running through a thicker medium. He never seemed to make a position a position on wrestling, rugby, tennis, hockey, or soccer; it went without saying that he did not like the bowling or golf teams.

He is the problem that I had: none of those sports were really ever my thing. My gym classes would typically consist of either playing touch football or basketball (neither of which were that appealing so I ended up looking "active" by shooting free-throws). My school had a weight room and I would frankly have preferred to spend my gym class there, but that option was rarely available.

Here is what I think should happen: make it a legal requirement to provide for independent physical education studies. What do I mean by this? When Tony Hawk was in his senior year of high school, he and his classmates had the option of independent study for their physical education requirements. The typical list items were offered as well as surfing. There was an asterisk at the end of the list which allowed for writing one's own course of study to be approved by the school board. Take a wild guess what Tony Hawk got approved.

The reason I feel that our youth is so inactive is that they fall into a donut hole if they are forced into two things they dislike so the school can continue to be accredited. I am an avid skier. I would have loved to get school credit to do something I enjoyed. And if my teacher wanted to say that skiing is not a sport, I would have liked him to see how much ones legs could hurt from the muscle tonnage of the sharp turns required to speed down a run roughly three-fourths mile in length in about 3 minutes (I once timed and measured the route on a map and that's what it came to) about eight times in one day and then say that skiing should not qualify.

If Tony Hawk could get proper credit to prove that he was skateboarding, why couldn't I do something to say that I was out skiing? It is not that young adults are inactive, but that they have been put into a mindset of apathy towards exercise and activity.

Friday, April 2, 2010

2010 Census, An Update

Back in January, I wrote a post about how Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was promoting citizens to not fill out their census forms since it was an invasion of privacy.

Before I say anything, I do apologize for how many of my remarks were incendiary. It was meant to be an equitable response to what I found to be complete absurdity.

With that said, after returning from Spring Break, my family received our census form. It was literally 10 questions that would take 10 minutes to fill out - NOT 28 pages as the Representative said.

Yesterday was "Census Day," which is the day that census forms were due (however, census forms will be still accepted until the later part of this month). Politico had an interesting story relating to Bachmann's belief that the census was an invasion of privacy. 1,030 adults were polled to ask if the census, in their respective opinions, was an invasion of privacy; a mere 13% believed that it was. I think those numbers speak for themselves.

For the sake of fairness, it was also asked about how accurate census numbers are in terms of actual population; 33% of respondents said it was either somewhat or very inaccurate. But, as we all know, the better the populating sample, the more accurate the data that will be used. That data then correlated to Congressional representation and funding for local projects - proof of why the census is essential.