Freaks and Geeks : Shower episode

Shower episode

Second marathon of Freaks & Geeks on Netflix. Wondered this the first time too- why was the phys ed teacher so insistent they take showers? Why not let them choose to stink? Was/is this normal for showers to be mandatory? I cheered all through high school so I never actually took p.e. and we NEVER showered at school (practice was last period so we just went home after) so maybe that's why this whole situation is so confusing to me.

Re: Shower episode

I think the teacher was being pressured by his bosses to require they take showers. Showers after P.E. were supposed to be mandatory when I was in school, but the coach never seemed like he wanted to enforce it really. I would take one sometimes if I felt sweaty. Our P.E. was always right before lunch so if we were to shower it would be eating into our lunch time. My last few years of school P.E. most of us didn't really do anything anyways, we would just sit on the bleachers so that the basketball team could use the court for extra basketball practice.

End of line

Re: Shower episode

We never had time for a shower in high school. We were usually dismissed 5 minutes before the bell, so all we could do was quickly change, maybe wipe quickly with a disposable towlet, and reapply deodorant.

I always see so many shows and movies where it looks like people have all the time in the world to shower! They are taking their time, not rushing. Do schools like that exist?

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I attended a California high school in 1980, and events in F&G were similar to my experiences. Naked freshmen would occasionally get pushed out the back door and have to run through the hall to get back in through the front door. Our student handbook stated that all students were required to shower after class and that it was part of the state educational code. High school lasted 648 days, and I showered less than 10 times. There were ways around it.

During the first week of school the coach would stroll through the locker room during freshman/sophomore PE and check off names of kids as they stepped out of the shower area. That didn't happen to the older kids. But throughout the entire 4 years, there were spot checks, not every day but frequently, where the coach would stand outside the locker room door and check off names if it appeared you took a shower. If he caught you skipping a shower, you would get a tardy. 3 tardies and you got afterschool detention.

My general strategy was to be the last one into the locker room at the end of class... like I was enjoying PE so much I didn't want it to end. Wait for the bell to ring, when most of the locker room would clear out, then wet my hair down with a bottle of water I kept in my locker, change clothes superfast, then wait for 60 seconds more, at which point the coach wouldn't be checking people at the door anymore, then rush to next class.

1980 was before watches had alarms, so he was always losing track of time during class. If class was running late he would tell us not to shower and to just get to the next class. Otherwise he would have to write individual hall passes for everyone, and that was a lot of work for him. That happened frequently.

The CREEPY thing at our high school was that the PE teachers office was in the locker room, and it was situated about 6 feet up so it overlooked the showers. It was a giant glass wall, so the coach could sit at his desk all day and watch kids shower.

Re: Shower episode

@Haverchuck. That is bizarre and rather disturbing. I attended a private school in Australia from grade 8 to 10 when I did PE. We were never forced to shower after class. It was mainly due to the fact that we were only given enough time to change between classes because the school was so big.

Re: Shower episode

That's really disturbing. I don't know how they thought installing an office looking over the showers was a good design idea. At my high school we didn't even have showers in the girls' change room, and I don't remember if the guys' had one. I guess the school was too small for anyone to care about hygiene lol

Re: Shower episode

The whole shower room scenario was also reminiscent of my experience in a Michigan middle school (7-8-9) during the late 70s early 80s.

Our gym teacher was very passionate about us taking showers and back in those days there was a lot of bullying going on from the older kids.

I don't think there was anything goofy going on just some stupid school policy bullsh*t.

Re: Shower episode

Boy do I have some stories here! I was in middle school in the late 70's and we were told in grade 6 that we were all starting to mature and had to take showers after gym. In grade 6 I was much like Sam and any signs of maturity were still off in the future. The shower was an open 15' x 20' (ish) tiled room with shower heads spread about.

One of the two gym teachers would monitor to make sure that all of the kids took showers and his head would pop up over the shower wall to periodically check in on us. He would stand there if we ever made noise to make sure no one goofed around in the shower (once a game of soap hockey broke out and that lasted all of 60 seconds...that may have been the only 60 seconds where we didn't all wonder why we had to stand together naked.)

I look at this today and think 1) Yeah, a bunch of 11 year olds all showering naked and being watched by a grown man. What's wrong with this picture? 2) A grown man who would look over the shower wall--did he have clothes on? 3) We couldn't see his hands. Seriously, we couldn't see his hands! Was he wildly applying oil to himself back there?!?!!?

Luckily the enforcement slowed a bit and most of us would skip showers when we could. Some of us would wet half our towel down in the bathroom sink and towel ourselves off if we got sweaty and this seemed to work pretty darned well. My memories of how long we had were much clearer in high school where you had around 4-5 minutes to shower and change before the bell rang for your next class. Again, we skipped it most of the time as there just wasn't much time.

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Showering after PE was mandatory when I was in school in the seventies. It was horrible.

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In Sweden showering after PE is possibly optional, but the idea of NOT showering hasn't actually come to mind. I don't recall anytime that I have ever heard about any student not showering after PE in any grade. I remember though, one year we had several students from Australia. They had never ever showered after PE and had trouble getting used to it. I personally think it's disgusting not to.

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Yeah, definitely showering is a good idea, but Americans are brought up with such weird body ideas - most have never seen one another naked until all of a sudden they hit middle school and stumble into this PE shower requirement. The older kids can be terrible bullies, and the younger ones are so modest and shy and embarrassed. If we were casual about nudity from the start, showering in school wouldn't be such a big deal. Or, on the other hand, if there were some way to change and shower privately, there would be no need for discomfort.

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Why do they call them "the bleachers" ? Xs

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Jr. High in '79 here, it was like that final scene in The Sentinel. While I do understand the concept that you wouldn't want to go the rest of your day with body odor, but the whole thing was just weird. I was pretty slight for my age range and you're in there with naked guys that looked like the were carved out of granite. The other odd part is that one kid got screamed at for getting his hair wet (god forbid you bring in shampoo). The did a King of The Hill episode that almost matched what Sam was going through.

Re: Shower episode

Gym class attire was the only thing strictly enforced at my high school. No shorts/track pants & t-shirt, no dice, & that was docked on your attendance record.

...my essential 50 http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056413299/

Re: Shower episode

When I was in high school, the only time we showered was after swimming.
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