Friday, February 23, 2007

Hints of Spring and High School Sports

One of my Portland metropolitan sisters has informed me that she has seen forsythia in bloom. Oh, I remember how spring starts appearing in the Portland area in mid-February. Here I am now excited to see some green beginning to poke up from under the dead brown grass. (I remember we used to joke about how our lawn was only green in the winter.) The daffodils are a few inches high and the tulips are just poking up. And the weeds are already starting to grow in the flowerbeds. Spring has started on its way!
In other news, I am pleased to report that Katya gets to see her daddy on a daily basis again! (For now.) After four months, I am doing the dance of joy that basketball season is over.
High school sports are a bit insane. Practice every day, but there are many teams and only so many gyms. More often than not, Brent's team practice was 5:30, 6 or 7. On those days, he would have time to buzz home after school for oh, maybe 20 min. before rushing back to practice. He would not be able to get home before Katya's bedtime. About twice a week there would be games. What really got to me is that Brent was required to be at the Frosh, JV and Varsity games even though he only coached one of the teams. Each game is about 1 1/2 hours plus the time in between. We went to one game. I had the silly thought that he would be able to sit with us during the games he didn't coach. No go. A coach belongs on the bench, growing roots while watching the teams play. It seemed a bit pointless to get Katya all bundled up and go out into the dark and cold wind only to see Brent for five minutes or less. Then there was the period of several weeks where I wasn't up to going out even if I did feel like watching high school basketball.
Brent did manage to call us and tell Katya goodnight on game nights but could only talk for a moment.
Distance is no object to high school sports. There were about 8-10 schools that Wendell played but only three were officially in the district. So only those district games "counted." All the time riding the bus for away games made for extremely long days and late nights. They even had to play the Malad team. I really didn't understand why the boys had to ride a bus three hours (one way) to play a team that didn't count. The bus had to leave school a couple hours before classes were over, then didn't get back until midnight or so. Funny, I thought school was about getting an education, not playing sports. When the girls' bball team made it to state, the high school cancelled Friday afternoon classes so people could attend. So students all over the place were taking Friday morning and Thursday off so they "could pack." It certainly becomes clear where priorities are! By the way, the school did not cancel classes for the wrestling and bowling teams who also made it to state.
I didn't play sports in high school so it's hard for me to understand this mentality. But it just seems kind of extreme the way such considerable time and energy are spent on something as fleeting as sports. What are the lifelong benefits? Yes, there are many memorable experiences and it is wonderful to be physically fit, but how does that compare to the learning that is supposed to be a foundation to what you go on to do in life? (I say "supposed to" but that is another post.) You learn discipline when playing sports, but students should be learning discipline through their studies. You learn to work as a team but all too often the most important goal in high school sports seems to be winning. And what is the lifelong benefit of that? I'm not completely anti-high school sports; I just get a bit miffed by their over-important status and the weight of the time commitment they impose.
I've been concocting this post in my head for the last four months, but now that the season is over I'm just happy that we get to eat dinner as a family again. Ever since she was a baby, Katya's had this look she gives Brent at dinner when he starts interacting with her: "Oh Daddy, you're so funny. What are you going to do next?" How she loves her Papa.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

I LOVE this rant Rena! I feel the same way, I hate how much focus is put on sports and not on education! It's really a national obsession and I think the priorities here in the US are extremely misplaced!

Glad that you get Brent home for a bit..till the next sport starts! :(

Cute pix...

Papa's are definitely for silliness! :)