Because we (John Willis and Ron Dumont) were concerned
about what we felt was a sexist story used in the Story Memory
subtest of the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning
(WRAML), we created an alternative sexist story (One bad turn
It was the day after the Thanksgiving Day football game and winter was fast approaching. The team
was to assemble for their annual penny sale and post-game breakfast. This was always an enjoyable
event, but anything but tranquil. It was
amazing to watch the players consume
enormous quantities of food in such an audacious manner. Speeches were given
and players got to ponder the team's ups
Superstitious Coach Willis could not conceal his remorse for the tirade he had subjected his players to
over the season. He had been the captain of the ship, and the players his crew, and he
was not about to terminate that bond. He
was reluctant to commence his talk, but he felt it imminent. He knew he needed to
repair the damage done to the very fabric of his team.
With no tangible way to retreat to a sanctuary, he summoned enough fortitude to begin his remarks.
Sentence after sentence flowed from his
mouth, only a few of which he had plagiarized. As he spoke, what he
thought would be an ominous task became a bed of roses. He was giving a dilatory, yet rousing pep talk to the
team. Hoping they would absorb the
message of his boast, he reminded them
that the opposing team, Midvale, with its donkey mascot, had been undefeated, but
that, despite the unanimous opinion of
local fans, their success was no aberration. The fable of Midvale's invincibility was
just transparent nonsense. Midvale could be, and was,
defeated in the game. His brave team had
put in a lot of strenuous work all
season for one precise purpose. By
practicing for up to three hours every day, they had been able to mimic Midvale's undefeated record. Coach
Willis reminded them how they had to regulate and designate specific time to seclude themselves to study every play
and every amendment in the playbooks as
seriously as they did their ancient
history text. Nothing could obstruct or encumber their goal.
Thanksgiving had now come and gone, and the matchless gridiron rivalry was over.
Coach Willis recalled his feelings in those final victorious
moments when the gong of the clock was
the signal to end the game. Our team had been the thief of the winning point. He reminded
us of how the fans, each carrying a cow
bell and wearing the official team hat and umbrella with the team initials printed
in the Gothic alphabet, began to migrate toward the perimeter of the stadium so as to leave
for home by car or bicycle.
What had been done to generate such
success? Undoubtedly it was our lucky jock straps. After the very
first victory of the year, the coach had tried to compel the team not to wash their lucky
straps. Despite some affliction, and
often making each player a domestic and
social island, the players had left the
jock straps unwashed. This had helped win the first game, and now it
had helped win the championship!
Coach's final words were to the one girl on the team. She was the
only player whom he had not allowed into the game. With little compassion, and without being at all
evasive, he looked her in the eye, and
cruelly explained why she had not been allowed in the game. He simply
said "A man you ain't, Sis!"