Saturday, June 18, 2016

Role Models

I feel like I really let some people down today, including myself.  As a teacher/coach I strive to set a good example for my students and athletes.  I kind of pride myself on it.  Sometimes I have to remind them to do what I say, not what I do, but I really like that I can usually tell them to do what I do.  Treat people with respect and courtesy.  Smile at everyone you meet.  Be more enthusiastic for the success of others than you are about your own.  Admit to yourself that you aren't perfect, you make mistakes and we all learn from them.  Aim to be your best self, to work hard, and to always put your best foot forward.  You never know who's watching, who's following you, looking to you for answers.

Today at my indoor soccer game I hurt my leg (yet again) and at half time I kind of lost it.  I starting this wimpy silent crying and wouldn't talk to anyone because I was so mad at my body for letting me down yet again.  Truthfully, it's my fault.  I haven't been working out like I should, haven't been doing my strengthening and stabilizing exercises, I've just been relying on soccer to keep me in shape.  Also, after being out of the game for so long, I just hopped on 4 teams like it was nothing.  Instead of wading back into it and playing just one team at a time, I joined a 3 coed teams and a women's team all at once.  Rookie mistake.

After throwing my little pity party, I guess the tears dried up, but I was just so angry!  There was another girl in our box that refused to play because she was hurt, so now I'm playing injured.  Then these new guys on the team all think they're hot stuff and they can just take the ball, 5 vs 1, and go score.  Sometimes you have to pass the ball; sometimes you have to trust other people.  Instead, these little whippersnappers spent their time trying to show off and take on the world on their own.  At the end of the game, we were down 3-5.  Since women get two points for scoring and men only get one, I tried to get the girls to play some offense, but that means the boys have to drop back and be defense.  You can't have all the glory when we have a minute left and need to score two points.  But what do they do instead?  Try to take on the whole team solo, dribble around, waste time, and we lose the game.

None of this is important.  What's important is that during all of this stupidity, bull-headedness, and macho testosterone-fueled foolishness, I was being a real jerk.  When I was on the sidelines I was throwing my hands in the air and smacking the wall.  On the field (right next to the fans seating) I was muttering cranky sarcastic remarks, rolling my eyes, and cussing when the guys messed up (over and over again).  When we had wide open opportunities wasted because of their selfishness, I'd raise my voice at them or throw my hands up in the air and make sure people knew I was upset.

At the end of the game, I'm walking off the field to pick up my player card, and one of my players (let's say Jane) from my high school team greets me and tells me I played a good game.  Shit.  Of all the players, of all the days....
Jane is a little hot headed and a little big headed.  When she's not playing well her attitude goes straight in the drain.  She will throw a fit, talk back to her coaches, her teammates, and generally snowballs out of control.  Her indoor coach and I have been talking about how to get her selfish and poor attitude under control.  Here was my chance!!!!  Here was the moment to show her that no matter how bad things are, now matter how bad the team or the game is, you stay in it!  You keep a positive attitude, you lift up your teammates, and when you're in trouble, they lift you up as well.  Here was my moment to show her what it looks like, not to just be a good player, but a good teammate... and I acted like a total ass.
I had no idea what to do.  I hugged her and apologized for my rotten behavior.  She tried to comfort me and tell me it's okay to be mad when your team does poorly, but I assured her it isn't.  I told her I should've relaxed and enjoyed the game, as I usually tell people, it's just a recreational league and it's not like you really get anything for winning.  I just got carried away and I let myself be a poor sport.  I told her I was sorry she had to see me act like that.

One thing I tell my students and players is that it's okay to make mistakes.  They're going to happen.  What's important is that you learn from them.  But I can't let it go!  I feel like such a jerk and I can't believe I let myself act like such a child.  What a wakeup call!!!  The good thing is I can maybe use this experience to share with others and maybe someone else can learn from me.  Maybe I will learn to shut up and act like a lady because you just never know who is watching you.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Teach Your Children Well


I usually try to do my best to be positive and post positive thoughts here.  But today I was just BLOWN AWAY by some people and their rudeness.

This morning I decided to treat myself to breakfast out, so I went to a little (a LITTLE) cafe I used to go to when I was in college.  It's Sunday morning, so naturally it's busy, there's a line inside the door and out into their foyer area, but no big deal, I don't mind waiting.  Evidently, some people do.  If you walk into a restaurant where there is a line to, or out, the door, it usually means you need to wait.  Instead, these two girls pushed their way through people, got to the front, wandered into the cafe while saying, "Is it open seating?  I think it usually is... ".  Why yes, that's why we're all standing here staring longingly at the empty tables, because it's open seating.  Why didn't we think to just sit down where ever it pleased us?? >:(  They wander up to the bar where the is ONE chair, and a gentleman saw them, gave up his chair so both girls could sit, and ate the rest of his food standing up.  I really thought that would be the worst of the selfish, inconsiderate, rude behavior for the day.

I was wrong.

As I'm eating, a group of sorority girls come in looking like they just rolled out of a trashcan and, seeing that the restaurant is full, call their friends and tell them not to eat where ever they are, but to come to this tiny, fully occupied cafe to wait for a table.  There are now 10 Theta's fussing in the doorway about how they can't believe this place isn't bigger, why don't they have more tables, how can it take this long to find them a seat, why are they having to wait, etc.  They decided they would push some tables together as soon as they were cleared and TOLD (not asked) the waitress their intentions.  The waitress said, "I'm so sorry, if you could just wait a minute.  The problem is, these are separate sections and we need to figure out how the servers will take your table if you combine tables from three different sections."
I might have said, THERES NO ROOM! GET OUT!

There is NO room though!  Where are you going to squish these tables together without eating at someone else's table too?!  Don't come in here telling me what you're doing, ask nicely.  Or ask about a wait time.

The incredibly nice waitress tells them to give her a second and they will be right back.  As she's figuring out with the manager what they want to do to accommodate this growing group of fussy teenage brats, an older lady and her husband come in, tell the host there are two of them, and as the host is seating them, one of the Thetas dashes over and said "WAIT WAIT WAIT!  WE are taking that table and making one big table for our group, you can't just give it away!"

Actually, he can do what he wants.  You don't work here, you don't own this place, you are a guest.  Wait your turn, or come earlier.  Or eat somewhere that is designed to seat a group of 12.  The second-in-command (I guess) starts huffing about the whole situation being ridiculous and decides she's just going to sit where she wants and "they can just deal with it".  So all of the little sheep... I mean sisters... then follow her lead and plop themselves down where ever they like and start complaining about how crazy it is that they can't be seated together.  At this point, I paid my check, tipped my poor waitress well, and got out as quickly as possible.

Instead of teaching your child that they are special and that they deserve whatever they want in life, maybe you could consider teaching them some common courtesy and decency.  Here's just a short sampling of things you could start teaching your kids now, so that they may turn in to a decent human being in the future.
-Saying please
-Saying thank you
-Being patient
-Being grateful
-How to treat people with respect

I think the greatest thing might be teaching them that they are not better than anyone else, nor are they more important.  Just because you want something, doesn't mean you have to have it.  These are very basic things that somewhere along the line, people just forgot.  I also think this goes along with my work-force-humanity idea.  Every one should be required to work AT MINIMUM, six months to a year in a restaurant, both waiting tables and cooking/food prep so that you see just how difficult it is, and how it feels being on the other end of these rude people.  When you are 21/25, you should have to substitute teach for 6-9 months, at least 3 months in each level of school.  I learned so many things NOT to do as a parent/teacher, just from subbing kids.

End of Rant: Moral of Rant: Just teach your kid to be a decent human being and respect others, even if you're feeling entitled or superior.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Awesomest of Your Awesome

My slice today is more of a question to everyone else.  One of those questions that you ask because, surely, you can't be the only one.  So my question to you is: Is there anything you do/have/wear that just makes you feel flippin' awesome?

I've been asking people all day and no one understands the question, or they can't think of anything.  I'm starting to think it's just me... so let me give you an example.

I am wearing a pair of sweat pants today, but I feel AMAZING.  Like I could maybe kick down a door and conquer the world today, because the sweats are what's up!  I know that's so silly, but I just feel like a bad a$$ in these pants.  They don't even look particularly nice, but it's the way I feel in them.

Another example: I have a CDL (I can drive a bus).  Most of our coaches HATE driving the bus and they make their underlings do it for them.  One of them hates it so much he will do ANYTHING not to drive... but I love it.  I feel so cool getting in the driver seat, flipping all the switches, and driving a bus.  I mean, I can drive a bus.  Maybe that doesn't sound cool, but it just makes me feel... well, to use one of my student's terms, "ballin' outta control."

So, fellow writers/readers, is there anything that you do, or have, or wear, or know that just makes you feel super cool?  It doesn't have to be clothes, it can be a talent, or a possession, or a place you've been maybe?  Do you ever get to pull out a special pass, or license that makes you feel awesome? Being called "Coach" Wright instead of Ms. is like that for me.  That's right, I'm a COACH!!! Looking forward to what you guys have to say!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

SOL15 - Untitled/Unposted/Uninteresting

I don't know if this will be a good slice or not yet...  It's all a jumble in my head.

An update: I am doing the Fit For Fall Charity Challenge from Tone It Up.  If you don't already use Charity Miles, you should!  It's an app that tracks your milage walking, running, or biking and then has a sponsor donate money to a charity you choose for each of your miles.  It's something kind of wonderful!!! My friends have just been tracking the distance they walk to and from the lounge each day.  It adds up, I assure you.

There is a thing called a virtual run, which I just learned about.  You do a virtual race, whenever, where ever, how ever you like!!! No parking on race day, hurrying to packet pickup, trying to break through the pack at the starting line.  You just run, or walk when, or where you want!  Which leads me to the virtual club I'm now a part of: The Hogwarts Running Club.  Amazing.  A bunch of Potter heads who like to exercise, sharing their successes with each other, Potter news and fun finds, and raising money for charity!  I'm a big fan.  #hufflepuff

Currently Reading: The Book Thief

Currently Watching: re-watching Grey's Anatomy

Currently Listening to: Grey's Anatomy and Twilight soundtracks.  I've been especially fond of
Cinematic Orchestra's "To Build A Home", Sleeping At Last's "Turning Page", and anything Ingrid Michaelson has ever sung.

Currently Teaching: Present tense verb review, and After School Activities Vocab

Some small victories that I've been dying to share:
My freshman team keeps winning.  They're unbelievable.  I am a little hard on them, but they work so hard every day.  Today they lost the first game of the set, and came back and won the last two!!! Those girls cheered and yelled and picked each other up when they were down.  It was awesome! Did I mention it was against a JV team?  Did I mention my freshmen are awesome?!

I have gone four weeks without using the text book.  I have integrated technology, I've had students doing mini projects, communicating, thinking outside the box, problem solving, and doing cool creative assignments.  I am exhausted and crazy and feeling like I might lose my mind... but by golly, we are being progressive and flexible!!!!

I can do a chaturanga to updog and not look like a mess.  I can control my body through the transition, and it feels good!  The scale doesn't show it, but I've made so much progress! And the only bad thing I ate today was a rice krispy treat (a small one) and a 100 cal bag of cheese its!!! BOOM!

As it turns out, this isn't a slice at all.  I think I spent too much time running full speed from one moment to the next to slow down and take in a moment worth writing about.  Tomorrow I will work on being more mindful.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pristiq - It's getting me wound up

I kind of thought ads were supposed to target your interests these days... Youtube seems to be convinced I am depressed.  Pristiq, an antidepressant with a super close-up of a woman being depressed followed by a wind up toy, has had ads on the last 4 videos I've watched, which were flying kittens, Benedict Cumberbatch mispronouncing "penguins", a cardio workout, and yoga. Missed your mark, Youtube.

I've been depressed.  I didn't spend time working out, especially with sassy fierce cheery girls like Karena and Katrina!  I sat around being depressed about feeling depressed, eating my depressed feelings and then feeling worse that I was eating so much unhealthy food.  I definitely didn't watch flying kitten videos.  I watched sad mopey things that made me even sadder, or binge watched something dramatic like Grey's Anatomy where people are constantly dying and having their hearts broken.

Come on, YouTube.  Get on Facebook's ad creeping level.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Quick! Write it down!!!

Before the feeling fades.  Before you go back to your normal pace (a sprint). Before the world goes back to demanding your time. There is just so much BEAUTY everywhere.  My phone was dead so I couldn't take any pictures for you.  I'll have to hope I can write well enough to make up for it.

I was sitting in Starbucks, which I hate.  I love to support local businesses but my favorite coffee shop closed a few years ago, and the closest local place is on the complete opposite side of town.  Anyway, after grading my papers and projects, I pack up my laptop and turn to head out the door.  There are two friends next to me who haven't seen each other in months.  They've been oooh-ing and aaah-ing over the 2nd friend's new baby since she sat down.  Now, they are catching up on life.  One is finishing her Master's thesis.  The other is excited to have successfully made it through two weeks of welding class with all of her hair, skin, and eyebrows still intact.  The baby, the bright-eyed, cubby-cheeked, little guy sits staring contentedly up at his mom and drinking his dinner.  He makes tiny sighs of happiness with each little glug he can coax out of the bottle.

Behind us, a kid who might be Justin Bieber's stunt double is getting tutored in Math.  I hate Math.  But he has an amazing tutor.  I recognize her as the math teacher that student taught the same year I did at Cooper.  I should say hi, but... Christina?  Caitlyn?  I know her name starts with a C....  She is explaining formulas I never mastered (never will, either), and Little Bieber is soaking it up!  There are some girls from his school a few tables over who keep giggling and sighing in his general direction, and he sits there, gears turning, brain grinding, working through problem after problem.  He doesn't complain, he doesn't try to act too cool for school.  He sits, he listens, he focuses, he works.  I'm impressed.  And happy for... Catrina... Catherine... Crystal... I know it starts with a C....

I walk past Biebs and Celia and glance down to avoid bumping the next table.  A man in his khakis and blue button up sits reading with his coffee.  Everything at his table is perfect.  The perfect white cup filled with perfectly black, steaming coffee.  His blue shirt that is the exact right shade of blue, like the sky when the sun is starting to set and there's a troubled, stormy sky, a glowing navy.   His book, with cream colored pages, a deep forrest green cover that coordinates perfectly with his shirt, a beautiful, thick, black scroll across the pages, he makes eloquent notes in every inch of open space on the page.  There is no phone on the table, no computer, just his book and his coffee.  The way I wish I was.

At I turn my back to the door to push-and-roll out, arms full of graded papers, there is a college aged kid and another tutor at the bar along the side of the wall.  Honestly, there's just something about seeing someone voluntarily seek help to better their education that is just awesome to me.  I don't know another word for it.  I see so many kids every day that could not care less about the things we are trying to teach, and here is a young man who found a tutor and took time out of his personal life to get smarter.

On my way to the car, there is a hipster/indie little waif of a girl at a table next to some fraternity boys at a table next to a grandmother having coffee with her granddaughter next to a table with a sporty looking guy in running shorts with a dog.  Like a child, I'm always put in a good mood when I get to see a dog, especially when it's cute.  I like how all of these people are themselves (or at least the self they want us to think they are) all in the same place, at the same time.  It's so nice that we can all be here together.  At this point, I decide it's good I'm going home.  This easy listening music and caffeine has clearly messed me up.  I'm getting a little too romantic about this scene.

The drive home is covered with the deep golden rays of a sun getting ready to set.  It's probably my favorite time of day, next to sunset and the time right after when the sky is the prettiest shade of blue before it turns black in the late part of night time.  A little old lady works in her garden, a couple is out for a jog, the neighbor's cat lounges on a fence, soaking up the last of the day's sun.  I can't get over the beauty of it all.

CHELSEA!!!! HER NAME IS CHELSEA!!!  dang it!!! nailed it! but a little too late!!!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Busy, busy, busy

There are so many other things that I need to be doing right now, but if I don't take just a second to write some of it down, I might go crazy!!!

My goal two years ago was to become an active participant in the TWT's Slice of Life Challenge.  I fell behind in March and gave up.  Last year I gave it another try, and SUCCESS!!! I wrote every day in March, posted, and commented!  What a feeling!  I was so excited and so pleased, I decided I'd expand my goal and become a regular contributor year-round.  And then the summer happened.

What Happened This Summer
-Strength and Conditioning camp
-We moved
-That involves packing
-And cleaning the old house
-And cleaning the new house
-And unpacking
-My grandmother was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor
-My mom and I went to Ireland for a week
-I went to Coaching School for a week
-My grandmother died while I was gone
-Funeral for grandmother
-Volleyball camp
-Practice, games, and tournaments
-Professional development
-School started

I feel like my whole life is happening at a full sprint all the time.  Even on my day off there is too much to be done.  The house needs cleaning, the pets need attention, lessons need planning, groceries need buying.  I don't even have kids! How do people do this?!

This Sunday I just stopped.  I woke up feeling sick and decided to take the day off.  Bad choice.  I ended up still vacuuming and doing dishes, tried to lesson plan a bit, but I did mostly nothing and now feel like I'm right back to drowning again.  I just need a break!!!!!

Whew.  Back to work.