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Susan Geisz, Gym and Health This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Changing for gym isn't optional; believe me, every year I try something new to get out of it. But whether it's “I forgot my clothes at home,” or “I feel sick,” Mrs. Geisz always has some item for you to wear from the lost and found, or the reply, “You can just sit in the gym.” I was an average student, not the best at everything nor the worst either – at least that was how I saw myself. But for some reason, she didn't see me that way.

In seventh grade I made the girls basketball team. It was the first team I had ever tried out for, and I can't explain the happiness and pride I felt when I made it. Mrs. Geisz was the coach and was not easy on us, no matter what Christmas presents we gave her or how many times we complimented her sweats. She made us run to the point of nausea and dribble around in circles. I even earned the nickname Princess, as in, “Come on, Princess! Run faster!”

At first, I thought about quitting, because it would have been a lot easier. But then I realized that I truly cared about what Mrs. Geisz thought of me. I gave it my all after that, and worked harder than I ever had. I promised myself I would not quit on her.

The following year, each student had to run the mile as usual; it's a dreaded month in middle school, because you have to spend time conditioning. Conditioning begins easy – one lap around the track, and then we can go in – but after 10 days, it is longer and harder, and no one is really running their best anymore. So I would walk with my friends, and when Mrs. Geisz came along I would run like I was giving it my all and had never stopped. I thought I fooled her, but she always knew.

It was my third year running the mile, and I was not prepared. I started strong, but then struggled. She noticed – she notices everything – and came up to me and said, “Come on, JenNise, you can do this. You're not ‘Princess' anymore – you're ‘Iron Woman!'” Her words made me feel extraordinary. I ran until my legs were numb in pursuit of the finish line. When I finally made it, I lay in the grass, completely unaware of the tired, sweaty bodies around me. Mrs. Geisz came up to me and said, “Congratulations, JenNise, you ran the mile in seven minutes and 47 seconds.” I smiled up at her; it was a personal best, and I would not have finished without her support.

Mrs. Geisz relates to you, but stays focused on the task at hand. I learn from her either way, whether she's giving us a physical education test or making up her own game, explaining how our bones and organs work through parody phrases. There is more to teaching than just teaching information; you have to have the heart to want to instill something new in your students. Mrs. Geisz exhibits all of these qualities and more. She is one of a kind.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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SirCharlesQ said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:23 pm
Good job Babygirl, I am very proud of you! Continue to always do your best!
 
KindHeart said...
Nov. 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm
Awesome article JenNise... Keep up the fantastic writing ;)
 
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