Sunday, October 23, 2005

Weekend to recoup

About the only serious work I did this weekend was to rake leaves and grade a few hours worth of papers. Otherwise, it was relaxation nation for those in need. No places to go and no people to see, finally.

I'm still a Fantasy Football God. With Ladainian Tomlinson sucking today, and Chris Brown and Robert Fergeson out, I thought I was toasted. But my opponent had the Bills defense and I had Lamont Jordan. I'm up 25 points and he's got Curtis Martin and the Jets tight end left for Monday night. It is looking real good. A win will make me 7-0 for the season, the first time in the five years of our league that the first half was skunked.

I'm totally ready for basketball to begin! Practice starts on November 7, with our 1st game only 2 1/2 weeks after. This means that try-outs are going to go almost to the point of the first game, which makes no sense. The district has a 5 day try-out policy, which while well intended, makes the try-outs way too long since football runs for an extra week. Plus, in the tiny gym that I practice in, some players create a safety problem for everyone else. After two days there should be a first cut, plain and simple. I've also began hearing the usual "issues" regarding the basketball program. This year I've made a commitment to the program, to focus purely on the Freshman Boys basketball program and making it the best in the league. Realistically, it will be a hard hill to climb. Montgomery has the best feeder program north of the Golden Gate, while Cardinal Newman still insists that they don't recruit. Of course they don't. I mean, isn't it every day that a school's best 6'6" big man wants to transfer to Newman to reconnect with God? This will be a recurring theme on this blog, by the way. I think the fact that high schools go and recruit players is disgusting and dishonest. One of the nice things about the high school level is that coaches have to develop talent from the middle school levels up. Great programs get great results. Except if you are a Christian school that tries to recruit CYO talent from other schools......allegedly. And the problem is not simply with private schools, I've observed public schools snake players away as well. One of the nice things about Ukiah High is that there is no sense of recruitment at all. In fact, the coaching staff takes extra special care not to hassle players into coming to the school. However, I've been involved in programs that pushed players into coming to certain schools. It was embarrassing.

After two seasons of so-so episodes, The West Wing has come on very strong. The casting of Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda was an excellent decision, and the focus has slowly left Martin Sheen to focus on the two presidential contenders. However, tonight was a crusher as it seems like the beginning of the end for Toby Ziegler. I've always liked Toby. I really see some similar traits in Toby that I see in myself. I have the best intentions at heart, and I'm professional and passionate about what I believe in. Like Toby, I have a rough and sarcastic sense of humor, that can often put off many around me. And like Toby, I don't beat around the bush when it comes to politics. Now he's slowly being written out of the show, maybe with his dignity, or maybe not.

Political parties and voter practices abound in college prep, as student research the different parties and present to the class. In Intro, it is an in-depth look at 9/11. Upon talking to my students, I realized that almost all of the students had no clue about 9/11 except that planes hit the World Trade Center. Little was known about the Pentagon, and almost nothing was known about Flight 93, the single greatest act of heroism in recent memory. So the benefits of teaching Intro continue, as we pause for a week to take a serious look behind 9/11, including radical Islam, the past problems, and repercussions of the attacks. It is the perfect teaching moment.

Here's to a great week!
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