Wednesday, June 5, 2013

School Uniforms.

It's Wednesday. Let's be funny.

When I was fifteen years old, my family moved to the city of Antofagasta, in the North of Chile.  I had a new school, with a new uniform-  a white blouse, a navy-blue tie and a very short, very tight navy-blue tunic. The tunic was cut so tightly that we couldn't run up the stairs to our classroom - we had to take the steps one a time, in a ladylike fashion - and the only way to sit at our desks was with our backs straight and our legs elegantly crossed- but no matter how carefully we sat, the tight skirts rode up past our hips and the boys in the class ogled our thighs and underpants.
First thing I did was write to a friend in the US and ask her to send me two pairs of navy blue cycle pants - QUICK.
            I had those cycle pants with me in Chile in less than two weeks, and every day after that I sat and slumped and leaned and lolled exactly however I wanted.

PE class, though, couldn't be hacked.  PE was a relic of the Edwardian age. The boys went outside and played basketball, volleyball, baseball and soccer. The girls stayed inside and ran relay races up and down the gym.  My arrival caused something of a stir - I was from NORTH AMERICA, where girls did more than this - the girls in my class thought that maybe I might make a wedge to push open a door, and taking me by the hand, they led me up to our gym teacher, and asked her if this North American girl might be able to show them how to play soccer - ?
            The gym teacher froze absolutely solid.  Her face turned white, and then it turned red, and for an entire minute, her mouth opened and shut and opened and shut - she couldn't speak a single word.  

When she finally could speak, her words were brief and final:
            "Nice girls do NOT play soccer! NICE girls do not HIT and KICK and PUNCH!"
We went back to running relay races.  In warm weather, for a change of pace, we'd stroll down to the town boardwalk and spend our PE hour sunning on the town beach in our bikinis, and the boys would leave their sports to follow us, and stand knee deep in the waves so that they could have a good view.

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