Monday, August 27, 2012

Teaching...part 2

Guess what?  I got asked to teach more classes, all because I was willing to fail students and follow the guidelines.

No, I am not a strict teacher.  No, no, no.  I used to be a student.  This is for the interpreting program and in order for the program to be respectable, you just can't pass on students who do not deserve to move on.  It's that simple. 

Would you pass on a medical student who couldn't figure out where the thyroid is and suddenly he is ready to be a doctor?  NO!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teaching...part 1

The second job.  I knew I was good at it, but how would anyone know unless I was given a chance to show them?

I had previously taught at another college before I frustrated by the director and quit.  We kept butting heads over things like calling the Deaf President Now movement as "Gaulladet Protest" (she insisted it was called "Gaulladet Revolution") and she would set me up to fail like withholding the presentation material from me, telling me I was supposed to develop that myself. 

I had been tutoring at the current college for almost 2 years and everyone was already familiar with me.  Students, who came to see me for tutoring help, always finished their semesters with improved grades.  I helped primarily deaf students with mathematics/English and interpreting students with their signing skills.  My ability to help students understand their material got around and that helped grease the wheels to the second job.

Granted, one of the teachers who was supposed to teach backed out...but it was more over scheduling conflict than anything.  I was asked one week before the class started for the semester to step in.  No problem!  I have stepped in with a lot less time than that.

My boss liked how I knew what to do with certain situations and how to handle the paperwork.  I told him, "Remember, I have taught before and I do enjoy teaching."

Monday, August 13, 2012

July 9th & 16th, pt 2

The problem with the team we faced on July 16th is...they're the best in our league.  Undefeated.  Never played more than 4 innings in any of their games.  Failed to invoke the 10-run mercy rule on their opponents just twice in their 7 games so far. 

I didn't tell the team that.  I knew...*KNEW*...that we would lose, but I wanted everyone to remain fired up about me taking the mound again so they would be ready to take names and break hearts. 

Boy, did we hold them!

We scored one run in the did they.  Tied at 1-1 after first.  Failed to score a run and we gave up 2 runs in the second.  The shortstop started getting flippant with me, countermanding me on positioning the players.  I told him to shut up by gesturing the "Zip your lips" on the field.  We scored a run to cut the deficit to 3-2.  Then...

We did the impossible.  We shut them down in the third inning.  No score.  Nil.  Nada. 

Everything fell apart after third inning.  The shortstop started yelling and cussing at third baseman when she missed an easy grounder.  He kept doing the verbal assault on her and everyone heard him.  I didn't know this until we returned to the dugout after giving up 4 runs in the fourth.  When the captain informed me of that, I promptly kicked the shortstop off the lineup and replaced him with another player.

The third baseman was too rattled to keep playing so I replaced her with another player.  We were unable to score any more run in the rest of the game, gave up 2 more runs in the fifth, and the game was stopped in the 6th inning when they scored 3 more runs to make it 12-2, invoking the 10-run mercy rule on us.

When I held the postgame meeting with every intention to address the incident, the shortstop was nowhere to be seen.  He took off before the game had ended.  How unfortunate he chose to disappear before we could talk about anything.  I saw this as yet another display of disrespect for the team...and me as his coach.

After I got home and showered the dirt & sweat off, I sent an e-mail to the shortstop.  I told him his behavior on the field was not acceptable; he needed to apologize to the team and write a personal letter of apology to the female player who played at third base. 

I do not allow infighting between players/within the team and I will not tolerate disrespect for other players.  I don't care if he is the best thing to happen to the team.  Nobody is above anyone.  You don't do anything to embarass your team, your friends, your family, and yourself.

Sadly, he did not see it that way.  He pasted my e-mail verbatim in the team's Facebook group, said "This is about as silly as it gets to me, I wouldn't expect any of this to happen, and good luck with the rest of your season", and quit the team right after he posted that.  That affirmed what I knew - he felt he was above everyone else.

Everyone else showed support for my decision to call him out in e-mail and they all felt he was rude and disrespectful.  I reminded everyone that the city has a rule against profanity and I will not put up with anyone acting in a manner detrimental to the team or to the game. 

When I wrote this post, we were facing 5 games in 3 weeks and then the season would be over, all without that talented player...and I have faith in the team to win at least two more.

Monday, August 6, 2012

July 9th & 16th, pt 1

After winning 11-7 on July 2nd, I held a postgame meeting.  I congratulated everyone on doing their job of shut-down defense.  The pitcher was shaky that night, having walked 8 batters total and he apologized for that.  I told him not to worry - he would do better next week.

"Uhm, about that..."


He proceeded to let me know he would be on vacation for 2 weeks.  Okay.  I asked the team if anyone would be willing to pitch next week.  I was immediately nominated for that.  Uhh...  I repeated my question and they all stared back at me.

The problem was I hadn't pitched in a game for 12 months and I figured with so many available players, I would not need to stay sharp.  After all, I was doing practice with two different teams at least once a week which helped keep me fit.  I consented and then sent everyone off with a rousing victory speech.

Before I knew it, Monday the 9th was here and...I never got around to practice on my pitching.  Crap.  I knew the exact distance because I have the measuring tape...but can I do it again, hitting the target consistently after all that time?  Only way to find out.  I went to the park an hour early, measured off the distance, placed a faux home plate at the end of the tape, and took my spot on the other end. 

I positioned myself, took one step back, took a breath, and went into the motion.  I was short by two full plates.  Tried harder...*thud!*  The ball had hit the plate.  I tried harder and I cleared the plate, but a bit off to the right.  Took a breath, centered myself, focused on the area above the plate, and let it fly.  Landed perfectly.  Threw another...almost same result.  A slight hiccup in my throwing mechanism and the ball veered off.  Centered myself and I found the area once again.

15 minutes later, I felt good about my arm.  Then the game started 10 minutes later.

First inning - we scored a run and then it was my turn.  I was a bit off and walked the first batter (since this was a male batter, he automatically advanced to second base).  The next batter tried to wait on my pitches in order to draw a walk.  The shortstop (one of the fixtures) came over to tell me how to pitch.  I told him to back off, do his job, and I will do mine.  The batter then grounded out, advancing the runner to third.  I walked third batter, putting him on 2nd base.  The fourth batter flied out to outfield, scoring the runner.  The 6th batter grounded out, tying the score at 1-1.

Second inning - we didn't score a run.  First batter grounded out, 2nd batter singled, 3rd batter singled, 4th got on by shortstop's error, 5th lined out, 6th lined right at me which almost took me out, scoring 2 runners, before shutting down the next two batters through flyouts.  I became very vocal on the field and that fired the team up.  I didn't walk a batter and gave up just three hits.  Down 3-1.

Third inning - we scored a run to cut the deficit to 3-2.  Got first batter to ground out.  Second batter singled, third batter grounded out, and fourth batter struck out.  Score remained unchanged, but I underwent a transformation on the mound.  I found my zone and nothing was getting to me at all.

Fourth inning - no score from us.  Struck out first batter, gave up a single to next batter, third flied out to outfield (outfielder thought it was three outs and never bothered to throw the ball back so the runner advanced on no throw), fourth singled to score the runner home, fifth singled, and sixth batter lined out at second baseman.  Score 4-2.  Everyone could hear me and I told the shortstop off again for not being in his position.

We scored 2 more runs over the next 2 innings...but gave up one more run in the final inning to seal our fate.  The funny thing was that shortstop singled before I told him to back off and do his job.  He floundered, going 0-4 and committing two errors.  I felt good about myself despite having pitched 7 innings, giving up 5 runs and walking two batters.  I wanted more out of myself and others...and I knew the team wanted me back on the mound next week. 

The problem with next week was...  Come back next week to find out!  ;)