Saturday, June 19, 2010


In mid-June in Ukiah the temperature usually runs around the 100+ mark.  It makes the yearly tradition called Basketball Camp quite the experience as one hundred kids pack a gym and run around for nearly six hours.    Two years ago we mixed in a little fire for effect and the gym became a large smoker. 

This year the weather has cooperated, the kids are out in force, and the gym still manages to be stuffy and sweaty.  I don’t know what is happening with the temperatures around Northern California, but I like it.  It hasn’t hit 100 degrees yet in the Ukiah Valley, and that makes for a period of nice heat from 2-4, then a very nice cool down and a crisp morning the next day.  Walking into the Ukiah High School gym hasn’t been sauna-ish yet.  Out of the 103 participants in this year’s Redwood Empire Basketball Camp, about 80 of them are kids under the age of 14.  It’s nice for the coaches that like the little rugrats that the run up and down the court hoping just to touch the ball, and that are ecstatic when it actually goes in.  Me?  I like working with the high school kids.  Only two potential varsity kids showed up, but a bunch of incoming freshmen and a few of my potential players at the JV level made an appearance and that allowed for some early looks at the hand I might be dealt next year.  In one word; tall. 

Now the basketball camp is over, it’s on to an E.D.I. workshop.  E.D.I. stands for Explicit Direct Instruction.  From what I gather the idea is to teach teachers how to get curriculum across to low achieving students and Second Language Learners, again.  From 8-2 every day for two weeks I’m going to sit in a room and be told, again, how to teach student populations how to understand concepts without knowing the actual language.  As positive as I’m supposed to be, I’m not going into it with the most open of minds.  After a half-dozen near useless professional development opportunities, do you really blame me?  So why do it?  Simple.  I don’t see Program Improvement going away anytime soon so I might as well do this now.  Plus, I get paid.  And money during times of financial upheaval is always good.

Wow, on an end note, I’m looking out my window right now at two basketball players.  They are working on basketball camp shooting drills on a hoop on the street.


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