BTTS Vol. 7 (aka, Cute Boys Are a Matter of Opinion)

Let me take you back to the year 2000, when I was a skinny, awkward, accidental-mullet-having Grade 9 student. It was February, the beginning of second semester, and I was heading to gym class. If you know Natalie, you know she’s not in a gym class unless she absolutely needs to be. When I got to the gym, I realised that our Grade 9 girls’ class would be sharing the space with the Grade 11 boys’ class. All of a sudden, gym was my favourite class to be in.

Fast forward to 2009, when I was a less skinny, still awkward, better-hair-having new teacher. It was January, and I had just been called in for my very first ever day of substitute teaching. I had just finished a four month contract at the same school, but I was still very nervous. When I got to the school, I found out I would be covering for a Grade 11 boys’ gym class. I remembered fondly being surrounded by cute boys and thought that maybe this was some sort of weird sign that my day wouldn’t be as bad as I was expecting.

The day started off alright. Not a great lesson plan (not the teacher’s fault, she thought a different teacher was coming in), some typical hockey player aggression since we were playing floor hockey, but things were alright. But then…the smell. Oh the smell. Because it was January, we couldn’t open the doors to let fresh air in without freezing and getting sick. So I just had to sit in the stench of smelly, sweaty boys getting smellier and sweatier with each passing moment.

In all my years of subbing, I’ve likely taught gym at every grade level. Trust me when I tell you that Grade 11 boys are the smelliest of the bunch. Clearly I was nose-blind when I was in Grade 9.




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