In response to “Can You Swim?”

I only “learned” how to swim because I was forced to in high school. It was literally a graduation requirement! I signed up for the class the first semester of my 9th grade year, to get it over with :)

I’ll admit — I didn’t want to wear a silly looking swim cap, but that meant my relaxed hair would be jacked up all day (the class was in the morning, of course), multiple times a week. And wrecked from all the chlorine. I think I eventually succumbed to the cap, though honestly, that detail is a bit fuzzy.

The class was set up in stations, and the first one was floating. Next was kicking & arm movements, then breathing, etc. I made it through the first two stations, and wouldn’t you know, I didn’t quite make it all the way through the breathing station when the class ended!

Though I’d be hesitant to put too much faith in my aquatic “skills” should I ever really need them (God forbid), I apparently knew enough to graduate (yesssss! no drop-out stat here!).

At the end of my semester in the class, there was only one student left, still struggling through the first station… Yep, you guessed it. A fellow black girl, my compadre. I felt bad for her each time I made it through a station (all 2 of them), especially since the stakes were higher for her — she was a senior! But judging by her senior class picture in the yearbook, I believe she was allowed to graduate too :)