It’s taken me some time to comment on coach Jeff Walz’s rant about participation trophies because … well, to be honest, I am (as coach says) “a loser.”
I have a “participation trophy” from youth football.
My team had a perfect season, a feat few athletes at any level can celebrate. Even the worst teams screw up and win a game a two. But not my football team. The Enslow Bulldogs. Perfection. Not a single win. Never even close.
I have the trophy to prove it.
A friend and I were grousing about ignorance run amok.
“Americans get their information from internet memes,” I laughed. “And in the true spirit of democracy, dullards who have never cracked a book will cancel the votes of people who actually have a clue. What could go wrong?”
“You know what the problem is?” Tim challenged. “Our country’s a mess because teachers suck.”
Although I’ve been out of the classroom for a number of years, once a teacher, always a teacher. Plus, I have family and friends still slugging it out in the trenches. I know their battles and the wounds they carry.
“Dude, do you know what teachers endure on a daily basis?” I asked Tim. I found that, no, he didn’t. I fear most Americans might be as clueless.
Ask most adults their purpose in life and they’ll look at you like you’re wearing a clown costume at a funeral.
I recently asked a group of teens in drug-recovery, “Can you remember a time when you did something really well and you enjoyed doing it?”
I gave them time to talk about it—what they’d accomplished, how they’d felt. Most came alive. One talked about sports. Another shared about working on a truck engine with his father. He recalled discovering his mechanical skills (and how good it had been to connect with his dad—I detected some brokenness there). Some sat quietly and tried to avoid eye contact. Their silence revealed plenty: Continue reading