December 15, 2009
The Way Things Were and..., ME Newsletter, Vol. 2, Issue 50
It was a slightly chilly, yet thoroughly passionate, mid-bleacher gymnasium discussion last Saturday about the way things were and the way things should be.
It’s hard to believe. It was absolutely astonishing, in fact, to have very recently found myself accused of being uneducatedly too politically correct. It’s true!
See, first I had to get used to the practice of cheering for both sides. In elementary school basketball, teams are “equal.” No try out needed, no score is kept, equal play time for all, equal polite cheering for all good plays and baskets (even though no one is “keeping score.”)
So, there I was at my first middle school 5th grade basketball game cheering for all good plays and baskets. After a bit, I received a mildly scorning (but friendly) informational admonishment. Players had to try out for this team, scores are kept, and equal play time is only until the 4th quarter when the coaches reserve the right to play whomever they feel will win the game. This league was for “real”, and I was behaving like an obnoxious visitor sitting on the home side cheering for the home team’s losses. Oops.
You know, it’s just not that easy to teach an old aunt new rules. Apparently, my previous political correctness junior sportsmanship training was very thorough. I found myself having to make grand gestures of feigned stretching or ear scratching whenever I had the urge to clap and reflexively began to do so. I’m sure I wasn’t fooling anybody. I considered buying a donut from concessions to keep my hands busy and my mouth full. In the end, I decided it would be smarter to just sit on my hands.
Now, I’m wondering. If I was so confused, how are the kids doing with all this? That’s a pretty drastic turn-about from the sportsmanship way they were previously taught.
There were a few confused parents as well, when fouls for previously politically-correctly overlooked rules were suddenly enforced. I suppose that facing this adjustment is a great “learning” experience for the youthful team players, and that maybe their minds were too young to memorize “all” the rules. Is there some sort of brain growth spurt that occurs in the summer between 4th grade and 5th grade? Is there a magical moment where it is suddenly ok to throw our children into the reality of winners and losers in life without warning them first?
Just in case you’re keeping score, I’m gonna set that thought on “research hold” for now, and add it to my list of things to check into someday. I’ve got old-fashioned hand-made Christmas cards to finish, stamp and send on their merry way, presents to inventory and wrap, and still have yet to find a clever winning way to tie it all together for this week’s newsletter.
As soon as I’ve scribed my scorecard with big bold checkmarks of completion, I’ll be able to justifiably applaud myself for being a winner - since it's now perfectly acceptable to keep score.
In this issue: The origins of postage stamps, holiday cards, wrapping paper and applause.
Now published: Action Plan, The August Cycle, New Orleans, October 2009.
Posted by jaselin at December 15, 2009 04:13 PM