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Not Your Average PE Classes

McKenna talks about some of the more unusual ways she's fulfilled Carleton's Physical Education requirement.

McKenna talks about some of the more unusual ways she's fulfilled Carleton's Physical Education requirement.

Carleton has a PE requirement.

I know — just when you thought gym class was finished! Unlike my brother, I’ve never been much of a sports kid. I got my workouts in high school during dance rehearsals for the spring musical and by running to get to class on time.

But athletics at Carleton look nothing like my high school PE classes. There are tons of options, ranging from the traditional to the unusual. Here are some of the ways I’ve met the requirement.

PE 161: Self Defense for Women

I took this course during my first term at Carleton, and I’m really glad I did! Not only was it very engaging, I got to meet some upperclassmen that I wouldn’t otherwise have known. Also, although we were definitely active, it didn’t leave me gasping for air. That’s a huge plus in my book!

PE 167: Social Dance I

Continuing with the trend of atypical PE classes, this class was one of my favorites. It’s usually taught by two current students, who are often part of the Carleton Ballroom team. The social dance community is super welcoming and everyone gets to choose if they want to lead or follow dances. A shorter version that meets more often is available during Winter Term, so that students can prepare for Midwinter Ball.

PE 153: Outdoor Skills — Adventure

Moving on to the classes I want to take, just the name of this class gets me excited. It’s typically offered in the spring and teaches students the basics of preparing for a “backcountry experience.” This means how to plan a trip, identify plants, and build a shelter. It also involves an overnight trip!

Stream in the Arb
I would love to go camping along this stream!

Those are just a few of the more unusual courses offered to Carleton students to meet this requirement. Students involved with club sports or varsity athletics can get credit that way. My friend Matthew talks more about how varsity athletics fit in with his academics at Carleton. You also only need to take 4 PE classes to fulfill your requirement but some people take a lot more than that! Even for the non-athletic Carl (like myself), Carleton’s physical education requirement can be a lot of fun.

McKenna is a Russian and Psychology double major who is suffering from major Minnesota-withdrawal (her favorite season is, in fact, winter). On campus, she’s often designing lights for a student performance, speaking Russian in Parish house, or grabbing a meal with friends. She’s also a proud member of the Carleton Equestrian Team and is currently playing Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in her free time. Meet the other bloggers!