Saturday, January 11, 2014

Why hello there

When basketball started, and I took possession of not one but two teams, I had to make choices about what was going to get pushed aside in my life.  Two things did:

-this blog

-grading papers

Whoops. 

*****

The stretch from the beginning of November to now has been some of the hardest in my teaching career.  I don’t really like to do things have ass so I end up doing too much of everything.  This meant that I was tired, irritable, and I spent a lot of time questioning why I had chosen to take on an extra job that destroyed the little time I had to relax during the holidays.  Classroom instruction didn’t suffer.  At least according to the students it didn’t suffer.  I tried to put my energy towards pure engagement and push the kids towards learning instead of pure grade focus.  It actually worked pretty well, although my AP U.S. History class seemed constantly on the edge of grade panic for most of the month of December.  It also meant that grades were hardly ever updated, and I heard nary a word from parents about that.  And everything is now graded (in marathon sessions), grades are in, and the blowback has been…..nothing.  That’s probably a good sign. 

*****

I’ll never coach two teams again.  Ever.  It’s too much work and I’ve found that my 40 year old body and mind don’t want to sacrifice health and welfare for that endeavor.  I found myself too worn out in JV games to make good decisions on the court, and at the end of a game a couple of weeks ago I deemed one game the worst I ever coached.  It was all just exhaustion doing the talking but it really, really sucked.  But now a freshmen coach stepped forward during Christmas Break and my focus is back on the JVs.  We are 9-4, and two of those games we gave away in the last five minutes of the contests.  This year I intentionally made our schedule much more challenging (playing Chico, Bay Area, Sacramento teams) and the result is a team that is tough minded, battle tested, and scrappy.  And I mean they scrap.  I’ve had over a dozen parents and coaches from other teams comment to me about the hustle of the boys.  Last night someone approached me while at Maria Carrillo and said, “This is coming from a Maria parent; you guys get after it and, man, you play basketball the right way.”  That’s super cool.

*****

The polar vortex can kiss my ass. 

In a news story that nobody seems to care about, California has no water.  I mean, no water.  Part of the problem is our own doing (hell, we didn’t much attention) and now the chickens are coming home to roost in a dry lake bed that is supposed to provide water tens of thousands of people. 

   http://www.scwa.ca.gov/files/ukiah%20rainfall.jpg

An average rainfall year in Ukiah is a little over 35 inches.  We’ve had 5.  And there is no snow at all, anywhere.  Just north of here the town of Willits will be out of water, literally out of water, in about five months.  Last year it was minor flood.  This year it is major nothing. 

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