Musings on Baseball and trying something new

This year my son played baseball for the first time.   Neither my husband nor I ever played organized sports, so it was a new experience for the entire family.  The season had its ups and downs – it was clear that most of the other parents had more background knowledge, and some knew each other from t-ball.  My son really struggled at first, not only had he never played, he had never even seen a baseball game before.  We were lucky and had great coaches, that really worked with all of the kids.  Also, in the first round of games, they were allowed to use the tee, but then transitioned away from that.  This led to my son striking out several times in a row, but when he finally did hit it, the parents on our team reacted like he had won the entire game.   It was really fun to watch my son start to consistently hit the ball, and awesome to watch his entire team really improve and start playing as a team over the course of the season.

There were plenty of moments of high drama during the season, and one team that I dreaded playing, because things always seemed to get heated, but yesterday was our last game – and I realized I will miss it.  We only missed one game the entire season, and that was because I read the schedule wrong once, and we missed the second game.  There were several games that no one wanted to go to, my son wanted to quit, and we were tired from our lives.  Also, like I said, neither my husband nor I are very into sports.

This morning, I realized that after the intensity of the final tournament this weekend, I was actually sad to see the season end.  My son is sad too – his team won the tournament, and he is excited to wear his medal around – but I don’t think I would have predicted this outcome when we all started this season.

It made me think that there are a lot of things that I have just dismissed, because I know I don’t like them – and that maybe I am wrong about some of those.  Also, it made me think I need to keep trying new approaches with those students that don’t want to read – I need to keep striving to find ways to help them through their struggle.  If we always quit when something gets too hard, we might cheat ourselves of an experience we might really enjoy.

 

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Summer Reading – Week 5 – A little bit of everything

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Will in Scarlet is a piece of Historical Fiction, set during the time of Richard I the Lionheart.  It is also a reimagining of Robin Hood, which I gleaned from the cover art, but it did not unfold the way I thought it would, which was a pleasant surprise.  The titular character is really Will Shackley, forced into hiding after his families keep is stolen by a minion of Prince John.  While Richard is off fighting a crusade with Will’s father, Will is forced into Sherwood forest, and falls in with a band of bandits.  While the story is interesting, Will is underdeveloped as a character.  There is, fortunately, another narrator in play as well, and Much is truly interesting.  She is a girl disguised as a boy, and her struggles to stay hidden in plain sight nicely parallel Wills.

IMG_1559My husband gave me this book for my birthday – at the end of a fun scavenger hunt.  I tore through this one, and loved every second.  It features not one, but three unreliable narrators, although Rachel, the Girl on the Train, is at the core.  Rachel’s life is a mess, but the character is so well crafted, that you really pull for her.  It is clear she wants to do better, but is struggling with the aftermath of a tremendous betrayal.  That betrayal, and many others, come together for a riveting novel.  I highly recommend this one!

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If you had told me a book about baseball would make me cry, I would have been hard pressed to believe you.  That is, until I read One Shot at Forever, by Chris Ballard.  It is a nonfiction book, and it tells the story of the Macon Ironman baseball team, and their run all the way to the Illinois State Championship.  For anyone that likes a true underdog story, or an inspirational coach/teacher story, this is a great book for you.  Also, as someone who teaching in a rural district, this really captures some of the beats of small town life.  It is well – written, and engaging from the very start.  It also discusses the long range influence of being on a team, not in a sad glory seeking way, but in the creation of true friendships that can see a person through.  At its heart, it focuses on a way to treat people, best illustrated by the following quotation, “Treat people well, believe in them, entrust them with responsibility.  Lift them up.”

Upcoming: this week I also read the majority of All The Light We Cannot See, so that will be on next week’s post, one I finish that.