By: Arielle Suggs (Whetsone Staff Writer)
Whatever you do, don’t tell Professor Patricia Sherblom you like her gym class.
“Physical education is a subject in which we study the mind, body, and spirit or the cognitive, psychomotor, and social/emotional domains,” said Sherblom, director of the physical education program.
“Gym is a building short for gymnasium. It is a classroom within a school or recreation center where we conduct physical education; it may double as a lunch room or auditorium.”
Fabrice Lohier, a senior in the physical education program, agrees with Sherblom.
“When I think of gym, I think of recess,” he said. “Gym is a place. Physical education is instructed physical activity.”
Sherblom said that gym cannot be a class.
“We don’t teach gym, we teach in a gym,” she said.
Physical education professionals and students say they are not offended when people confuse gym with physical education because they understand that people may not know any better.
“The kids at the YMCA have tutoring and then I take them to the gym, so they think of me as ‘the gym teacher,’” said Lohier, who also works at the YMCA. “I am not offended when I am called a gym teacher because that’s what people know growing up. Growing up, I never heard my teachers referred to as physical education teachers. Even on the schedule it said, Gym.”
Sherblom said she thinks it’s funny.
“I find it amusing because people don’t understand how complex it is to teach physical education,” she said. “We’re teaching people through experiential learning in a four dimensional space, as they go through all levels of motor development.”
Sherblom said that physical education students develop a meaning of physical education that extends far beyond the definition of gym.
“The purpose of physical education is to create a physically educated person,” she said. “We’re trying to help people enjoy moving so that they stay physically active for life.”