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October 24, 2016 Leave a comment
Categories: Baseball

Lessons from Little Leaguers

May 24, 2016 Leave a comment

IMG_20160416_090307It’s 8:40 on a Tuesday morning and I want to go to my kids school, pull them out of class and apologize to them. I want to apologize to them for my demeanor and attitude after our last few little league games. I want to tell them how proud I am of them and I want to tell them that sometimes their father is an idiot (a fact that they are probably already aware of).

Last night we lost our ninth straight game, this one coming against the previously winless last place team. It all but assures us of a last place finish on the season with just a game to go. Of course, anyone that knows me and my love of sports, knows how much this must bother me, especially as the manager of this team. No one wants to finish in last places and I take it personally.

So, of course, I sulked in the car on our way home and I moped around the house as the kids ate their dinner, finished homework and got ready for bed. It is the same thing I did last week when we lost 15-14 when the other team scored five runs in the bottom of the last inning and it was the same thing I did after nearly every other loss during that stretch. Our one win seems so long ago.

The reasons I feel this way are complicated. My attitude isn’t necessarily about me, but I’ll admit that a bit of my ego is involved. I see the other three teams from our town having a little more success in our combo league (multiple towns involved in a league with 26 teams) and I do turn a little green…I won’t deny it.

However, the bigger driving factor in my feelings after the games is my responsibility to these kids. Their parents have trusted their kids to me and my two coaches to teach them this game and help them become better players. At this age (9-11), the kids involved for the most part want to be there and want to play. Some may have aspirations to play in high school or beyond and some may just enjoy the game and just want to be out there. What ever their reasons for being out there, it is our responsibility as coaches to help them get better.

So, when a kid struggles to get ball in the strike zone, while I try to figure out what they are doing wrong, I am also thinking about whether or not I adequately prepared them for this situation. When a kid picks up the ball on the first baseline with the runner flying past them and becomes unsure of what to do with the ball, the only thing I can think of is how we didn’t cover that situation enough in practice. When a kid strikes out for the third time in a game, all I can think about is how we should have spent more time with the tee in practice. These are things that my coaches and I take very seriously.

However, let me get back to this morning and my revelation. As I sat here sulking, I was reminded of how in one of our games one of the kids gave up two home runs. Not the ball-got-kicked-around-the-outfield type of home runs. We are talking about the-outfielder-takes-two-steps-towards-the-fence-looks-up-and-just-watches-the-ball-go type of home runs. When I went out to check on my pitcher and ask him if he was okay, his face absolutely lit up and he said, “that was cool!”

After another loss, one of the kids came up and started telling me how he had promised his mom that he would score a run for her and she promised him Rita’s if he did. He was so excited because he had managed to get on base and score in the bottom of the last inning.

There was another boy on the team that has struggled with accuracy on his throws all season. Last night, he fielded the ball in left field and fired a strike to get the guy trying to score at home. Later on, he went on to pitch for the first time and had two strong innings.

Most of all, I realized that in all my sulking about the games, Benjamin and Matthew continued to laugh and giggle and smile. In fact, during all our losses, the whole team continued to laugh and joke in the dugout, as well as discuss who had the best play in the game and cheering on their teammates. Even in the realization that we would finish last, Benjamin turned around to me and said something along the lines of, “Well, someone has to finish last…it might as well be us.”

While I believe I put on a good face and was able to stay positive for the rest of my team on the field, it was Benjamin and Matthew that had to see the dark cloud hanging over my head. Even as they tried to cheer me up, I wallowed in it. At the end of the day, all the teaching on the field and showing them how to be good sportsmen, gets washed away when we are off the field by them seeing me sulk. Actions speak louder than words and I probably failed them in that regard.

As I sit here at my desk facing my pending layoff, there is no better time than now to learn from my kids and my baseball team about enjoying life, regardless of what hits me. These are lessons that cannot be overstated.

That’s why I can’t wait to see them tonight. To tell them they were right, I was wrong. As I sit here contemplating these games and the other misfortunes of life, staying positive and having a good attitude is so important. A game is just a game, but that laughter and smiles and attitude regardless of what happens in that game is a key to happiness in life. It’s what you do with losses and misfortunes in both games and in life that means everything and I need to let my boys know that I could not be anymore proud of them for the attitude they showed than if they had hit a championship winning home run.

A few weeks ago, a manger of another team and I were contemplating our woes this season. At that point, between the two of us, we had two wins.  As we were discussing all the little things that go wrong that lead to lost games, he had the following to say, “When we our kids are grown up and we reminisce, these inconveniences won’t be the memories.” It is such a good perspective and I think I’ll always remember that. I also hope that I always remember the year my team went 1-11 or 2-10 and my sons and team taught me a little bit about having the right attitude.

A Kiss a Half Lifetime Ago

February 26, 2016 1 comment

IMG_20160223_214536_01When Andrea and I went on our first date and had our first kiss, I was 21 years, 2 months and 26 days old. When February 11th of this year quietly arrived, so did 21 years, 2 months and 26 days since that first kiss. I have now spent half my life with Andrea.

That day, back in November of 1994 was spent with me making nervous preparations for our date, going to class and working my college job. We had been friends for a few months now and had been growing closer with each day. I don’t remember when or how I had finally asked her to dinner at my place, but it was greeted by our friends with, “Finally!”

Near the end of the day, we met up in front of Campbell Hall at York College of Pennsylvania after I got off work and she finished studying at the library. I was so nervous that when we found each other, I was honestly a little shocked that she seemed happy to see me. I really don’t remember the walk to my campus apartment much, but I do remember making a nervous joke about if she planned on studying at my place because she had her backpack with her. I don’t remember dinner much either, except for me nervously asking her if she liked the ziti dish I had made and not believing her positive response.

mandmchristmasHowever, I do remember that first kiss. I remember it in all it’s wonderful and awkward glory. We made awkward conversation as I think we both sensed it coming. I believe the last thing we talked about were these M&M Christmas string lights I had hanging. In another awkward pause, I just dove in with the kiss that would change everything for both of us and ricochet both or our lives into a completely new direction.

The writer in me wants to elevate this kiss with flowery prose and giant words that make it seem like the world shook as streams of light pulsed out from our heads, causing everything in it’s light to become better and all the problems of the world were instantly solved. The truth is, it was a very sweet, simple and awkward kiss…Teeth may have even bumped. On the timeline of history, it was just a singular moment that changed little. However, we ceased being just friends in that moment and became something so much more important. Our lives changed and, down the road, two other lives would begin. The person I was did not cease to exist in that moment, but that kiss would change the DNA of who we both were.

Now, literally, half my lifetime has passed since then. Prior to meeting Andrea, I felt like it took forever to find her…At that moment, I had spent my lifetime looking for the person that would make me whole, yet, now, I have spent more days with her in my life than I have spent without her.

Sure, we had some bad days in there. Honestly, we had some really bad days in there. There was a one month stretch when we didn’t even talk and there were times where it seemed that kiss would only be a reminder of what could have been. However, that kiss had wired us together and given us the strength to make it through those days.

February 11th passed quietly. I had calculated out the day years ago and had been thinking a lot about it in the days before. Honestly, however, I had the day as February 21 in my head and did not discover my mistake until around February 18. We spent the 11th mostly apart. She would have had class and the boys and I would have had basketball practice after work and school. But even the chaos that our life exist in these days, kisses would be exchanged.

There would have been quick, awkward kisses to the foreheads of the boys as the tried to escape to the school bus and then, again later as they tried to snuggle under their blankets. And there was the quick, gentle kiss between Andrea and I as she headed to bed…and while it was not as awkward (or long) as that first kiss, it was just as sweet and simple. And while nothing would change in that moment, it merely served as monument to that first kiss that happened half a lifetime ago.

Categories: Giraffe Lips, Prequel

Looking Back at Christmas 2004

December 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This afternoon I went out on my lunch break to the Walmart to find some dry erase markers that are to be a part of a special Santa present to the boys. It was rainy and dreary and as I tried to navigate out of the difficult parking lot, a sudden strong memory came out of the blue and hit me in the face. It was the memory of being a stranger in a strange land trying to piece together a Christmas during what was already the most exciting time of my life.

IMG_0137Ten years ago, Andrea and I arrived in the Lehigh Valley with a moving truck and a group of friends and family ready to help us fill up our small rented home in Bethlehem. Even as boxes and pianos were moved and friends and family standing near, we carried a big big secret with us. More specifically, Andrea carried the big secret. It was only a week before Christmas and we knew that was the time to tell our families that a baby was on its way, not while we were covered in dust and sweat.

It was a hugely exciting time for us. The move to a house in Pennsylvania, where day care and everything else was less expensive than in New Jersey was a deliberate and calculated act when it came to the baby. We told everyone there were other reasons, but growing our little family was at the heart of the matter. We just didn’t expect Benjamin to become a welcome intrusion to our lives as quickly as he did. Knowing what we know now about Benjamin, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.

I watched Andrea closely. I made sure she didn’t carry any big boxes. I handed her stuff to carry that wouldn’t even cause a sweat. And we moved and no one was the wiser. The next several days were a blur. As our friends and family went their ways our little house suddenly felt as big as a cathedral. It was just the four of us (our dog Edgar would very quickly learn he was no longer the baby) in that house and even though Andrea and I had known each other for ten years at that point, our life together felt like it was just beginning.

Our stay in the Lehigh Valley began the next day with Andrea very, very sick. Despite best efforts, the activity of the day before had taken it’s toll on her and it feels like she spent the entire week between then and Christmas in her pajamas. It wasn’t the truth; we both had to work a couple of days and in reality, I think she was just sick through an extended weekend. As she snuggled in, I did my best to unpack and get boxes away. Christmas was upon us and I wasn’t going to let it slip by, unobserved in our new house. Andrea moved from chair to chair as I rearranged stuff to make room for a tree and she looked on, going from amused to calculating how quickly she could get to the bathroom.

At some point, we wandered down Broad Street to a Christmas tree stand. We found the perfect tree for our little house, brought it home and decorated it, surrounded by boxes. It was moments like that which triggered the sense of the magnitude of the situation.

We were in a tiny house in a big giant new world for us. We were in a city where we didn’t know where to even get groceries. We didn’t know anyone else and we felt so alone with this big secret. But looking back, there was something so very sweet about it. We had each other and this giant secret between us and the intimacy of that situation contrasted with being in a strange new city made me feel closer to Andrea than I ever have, I think.

We eventually found our way around. I found that Walmart that triggered my memory today. I had gone there for some small things for the house and stocking stuffers for Andrea. I think it was the first store I was able to locate after the move and it’s somehow become burned in my memory, closely associated with that Christmas. Andrea and I would also venture out for a late dinner one night to satisfy a pregnancy craving, and that memory was also burned in my mind. I remember staring out the fake snow frosted window at the Giant across the way and being both scared and excite. However, I also remember thinking that Andrea and I had each other and everything would be fine.

That Christmas. That rushed, weird and even sad little Christmas is still, to this day, one of my favorites. Andrea and I found ourselves caught between our own childhood Christmases, our life together as just the two of us and the boys that would fill up that tiny house and the next one with such joy and love. It was the scariest and most exciting Christmas of my life. While each Christmas with my boys and the Christmases of my childhood are wonderful and sacred, that Christmas 10 years ago in Bethlehem is the one that is burned into my memory to the extent that I sometimes wonder if everything that did happen could have really happened.

They Met…On the Internet (A York College Love Story)

October 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Scan0002Twenty years ago this weekend, I returned to York College of Pennsylvania following a few days home for fall break. It was a Tuesday, October 25. I went to my office at The Spartan, the college newspaper. I logged on to one of the computers and began chatting via Telnet with a girl I had recently become friends with.  We had a class together and were both on the forensics team, but our primary way of talking was through email and the chat client.

I liked her. I liked her a lot. I thought she was one of the prettiest girls on campus and the more I got to know her, the more I realized that beauty wasn’t just on the outside. While my confidence that fall was at an all time high, the written form of communication was where I was most comfortable, especially since I couldn’t believe a girl like that was interested in anything I had to say.

The truth is, I had crushed on her from afar for at least a year, even asking my roommates the prior fall if they knew her. Now, I wasn’t exactly a stalker, but I may have gone the long way to a destination just to keep her in sight for a few minutes.  Okay, maybe I was a stalker, but I was also sucker for her in her tennis skirt.

I don’t remember exactly what we were chatting about that night, but mid conversation, all the computers shut down at midnight. I forget if the network dropped or if we lost power or something like that, but our conversation was cut off (the IT guy in me still tries to analyze what happened).

I wasn’t ready to let the conversation go and I got it in my head that I could catch her before she left the computer lab. I grabbed my green jacket and went. I got about halfway there, when I noticed she was headed towards me. The midway point was under a small tree, dropping yellow leaves to the ground in front and to the right of the library.

From that moment on, our relationship changed. We talked more in person and went out of our ways to see each other. We spent time together and grew closer. As I mentioned, I often took the long way to a destination regarding her and that is a good metaphor for us. We both went the long way to get to that destination under that tree. Despite mutual activities and groups, our paths never crossed directly in the two prior years that we went to York College at the same time. We both had a lot of maturing to do before it was our time to arrive. When it was finally our time to arrive together, God flipped off the computers and sent us hurtling towards each other.

Three days short of five years later, fifteen years ago on October 23rd, we would again have a very meaningful encounter. However, instead of an unexpected one, it was a well planned event. Instead of being surrounded by the cool autumn air and yellow leaves, we were surrounded by friends and family (but also cool autumn air and yellow leaves). Instead of shorts and windbreakers, she was in a wedding dress and I in a tux.

The nearly five years that separated us from under that little yellow tree and us at that little altar were transformational (I think I am making up words now). A light year is a measure of distance rather than time and those five years, likewise, felt like a measure of distance from who we were to who we became. We went from being kids in college to kids pretending to be grown-up. There was a lot of turmoil in that distance, and even some distance in that distance at times. There were times of confusion and fear, much of which didn’t just disappear with our vows.

However, there was always love there filling that distance. I believe I loved her from that moment we met at the tree. And there was always laughter (oh God, do I love to hear her laugh) and respect for each other and our own dreams. At the very base and foundation of our love is our friendship.

I love playing golf with my brothers. I love going to the movies with my sons. I love going and grabbing a beer with my friends. However, Andrea will always be my first choice for doing those things with. Even when I had tickets to see the Eagles and Giants play, Andrea was the person I wanted to go with, even though she is an Eagles fan. She is my best friend. Our relationship started in friendship and it is the core of our love.

I talked about how time passes so quickly a couple of weeks ago when I was talking about the Orioles and it is the same here. I look at old photos of Andrea and I and it seems just a moment ago that the photos were taken. When I picture her and I under that tree on the York College campus, it’s odd that I don’t picture her and I as our 20 and 21 year old selves. I picture her and I as we are now, our 40 and 41 year old selves. I even have to look past my beer gut to see my foot nervously kicking the yellow leaves around, in my mind. I my mind, as I relive that early morning encounter, I pick out the spots in my peripheral where Benjamin and Matthew would be playing or hiding and wonder why they aren’t in bed. Somehow, in my mind, that moment and every moment since happened just a moment ago and all live together. And, yes, even the bad moments exist there. Yet, I know how much deeper our friendship and love runs than it did in all those moments because our friendship and love is a culmination of all those moments.

Our love is those leaves and our first kiss and 20 New Years Eves together (the only holiday we have been together for every year since we met) and graduations and train rides and broken down cars and break ups and an awkward engagement and too many baseball games and subway rides and youth groups and New York City in September and Hoboken in the fall and snowfalls and moving trucks and Spain in the Spring and marathons and the birth of our children and new jobs and no jobs and foreign countries and new houses and family events and first days of school and last days of school and bulldog puppies and children growing too fast and a beer gut growing to fast and savings accounts not growing fast enough and friendships and marriages and love and all the little moments in between that would take me another 15 years to write down.

And we are all those moments that have yet to be lived and loved.

Fifteen and twenty years have come and gone and I look forward with excitement to the next 20 years.

Thank you to all of you who have been part of these moments.

Happy Anniversary Andrea. I love you and everything you make me.

Happy Memories in the Warehouse

October 10, 2014 1 comment

20141010_010315The sun has risen and set 6,203 times since the last time the Baltimore Orioles played in an American League Championship Series game. That’s 17 years since Armando Benitez gave up that heart breaking home (with Benitez, you usually need to be more specific when talking about heartbreaks) and Robbie Alomar struck out without swinging his bat. So much water has gone under the Bay Bridge since that chilly October night, yet, with the Orioles dominant again, it seems like yesterday as the memories come flooding back.

A few weeks after that game, I asked Andrea to marry me. A few months after that, I headed to New York to take on my dream job at the Mets. Three years later, I’d get my National League Champions ring from the Mets (to this day, I know in my heart it was that choke artist Benitez that kept me from a World Series Champions ring). Eight years later I’d look into the eyes of my new born son. Ten years later, my second son was born. Fifteen years later, I’d be standing on a Little League field coaching my boys’ Tee Ball team. Seventeen years later, I sit in front of a computer with a million different memories of those days with the Birds and I go from happy to sad as the nostalgia of all of it confounds my emotions.

It’s been a long 17 years, especially in terms of being an Orioles fan.

It’s funny, when I think about those days and those Orioles, it’s really not the team or the players that stick in my mind. In fact, I need to look up details of those games, as they don’t readily come to mind. What I do remember most are the people that I worked around, for and with. Memories of victories aren’t of the team celebrating on the field, they are of celebrating with my co-workers when our jobs were done. Winning the 1996 NLDS against the Indians was awesome, but it was celebrating with my managers as they got off the bus from the airport with what seemed like the entire city of Baltimore surrounding us. I don’t remember the last out of the 1997 NLDS win against the Seattle Mariners, but I remember hugging, laughing and cheering with the other interns in the hallways of the warehouse afterwards.

When there wasn’t much to celebrate, during the long middle months of the season, there was still whiffle ball games in the warehouse halls after extra inning games, philosophical discussions about the powder eggs they served in the press lounge on early Sunday mornings and making plans for after game shenanigans in Fells Point as we waited for them to call rain outs. A baseball job is demanding and, in many ways, our coworkers were like family.

Even in losses, it’s the bittersweet moments with those people that I remember most. Even in the hours after Alomar struck out, I remember sitting in the warehouse quietly laughing between tears with these wonderful, hard working friends. Even after losing to that other damned team from New York in 1996, we still celebrated well into the early morning hours the next day, bar hopping and laughing like we had just won the World Series…We weren’t happy that we lost, and if my co-workers were like me, we cried ourselves to sleep when we did finally find a bed (that damned kid, his glove and Derek-feaking-Jeter), but we had worked so hard for 10 months and the only thing we could do was enjoy that time together when there was nothing left to worry about.

It was hard work and even longer hours (I once put in a 36 straight hour stretch without leaving the warehouse) and I am not going to pretend that all of us got along. There were tense times and moments when you just wanted to be left alone. But I think that was what was special about those times and those people. They were bonds that were forged in fire and moments that so few people could really understand. The lows of that job would go so low and the highs…well, there was just nothing like that. In between those moments were a group of people who loved baseball, loved the Orioles and, at some level, loved those moments with each other.

A very vivid memory for me was in the early morning hours after the last ALCS game in 1997 when a few of us were left hanging out in the warehouse. The stands were empty, the AL Champions were on their way back to Cleveland and we had nothing left to do except wait for the stats to transmit to MLB and do our best at finishing off the beer. The lights were turned low on the field (one of my favorite views of a baseball diamond) and most of the staff had left. Hoping to rally the city and the team before, we had thousands of “WE BELIEVE” signs printed and given out at the stadium. There was one of them on the door to reception. After we finished our beers and realized there was nothing left to do but go home, we gathered our stuff and walked out. On my way out, I ripped the “BE” from the sign so that it just read, “WE LIEVE.” We laughed about it, and went home. However, the altered sign ended up having a much deeper meaning. People started leaving the Orioles for other jobs. I left in February of 1998, and at the time, it felt like I was one of the last ones out the door. Of course, it wasn’t true…it just felt that way. A few people still work for the Orioles. However, that just seemed like the end of an era, whether or not it was a good ending, and we went our separate ways.

It was a sad way to leave and even in the great moments with the New York Mets, parts of me still wished to be celebrating with my friends in Baltimore.  When I look back at my 40 plus years, those days were among my happiest. Never in a million years would I trade my current life for those days, but those times and the people in them will forever hold a very special place in my heart. After all these years, especially in the light of the Orioles recent successes, I still feel close to them…still feel that special bond, reaching across 17 years. It’s probably been 15 years since I’ve spoken to many of them, it still feel like I am celebrating with them.

And while the New York Mets will always have a lock on my baseball heart, the Baltimore Orioles will always be so very special to me. I’m not going to pretend and say I am a huge fan of the Orioles today, but I always quietly says “O’S!” to myself whenever I hear the National Anthem. It fills my heart with joy to see them doing so well and them winning the ALCS and World Series would make me almost as happy as if the Mets won. The team and the people I worked with there will always be dear to me.

I hope that the current members of their back office staff are enjoying these times as much as we did.

Go O’s!

Teachers and Coaches

August 24, 2014 Leave a comment

2012-09-04_08-02-48_676Fifth grade was a nightmare for me. A year filled with stress induced migraines and a constant feeling of dread. At the center of my memories of this time stands the imposing image of a strict, red faced women who was my teacher and she caused me to hate school.

The reason I mention this is because I’ve been thinking about both teachers and coaches a lot lately. Partly because the boys just found out who their teachers are going to be this year, partly because of the video going around featuring the little league coaches post game talk to his kids and partially because of the constant attacks that our teachers seem to be under by media and politicians.

And I mention my fifth grade teacher because she serves as a contrast to most of the teachers I’ve been fortunate to have in my life and to highlight the importance of good teachers in the lives of our children. She was the rare exception in a long line of teachers that would become positive influences on my life.

There was Mrs. Cahill who welcomed me into her classroom in second grade when I was new in the school after moving to New Jersey from Colorado. She made sure to give me the attention I needed then as well as connected me with my earliest friends. She was tough, but always with a smile.

There was Mrs. K in fourth grade that would take breaks during the day to read to us from the Chronicles of Narnia. She could have sat at her desk and let us do busy work, but she chose to do this and my earliest interests in writing started there.

There was Mrs. Racioppi who became the first big influence on my writing. I initially dreaded her writing assignments, but I learned to love them as she encouraged creative writing and helped me start to develop my writing voice.

There was Mrs. Unger who’s eyes absolutely lit up as she talked about science in eighth grade. I don’t think she could tone back her enthusiasm if she wanted as she passed on her love and interest on to use. Even when our experiments failed (you can’t cook a hot dog in a handmade tin foil oven on a cloudy day), she was quick to help us find the lesson in the failure.

The list of teachers really goes on and on. Mrs. Eckle who scrapped her whole course plan when the Gulf War broke out to guide us through history as it happened. Mrs. Fitzgibbons who brought literature alive with such excitement that I learned to love Shakespeare as much as Salinger. Mrs. Casey who made religion fun and helped us figure out why it was important in our lives, dragging us out from under the fear the Baltimore Catechism delivered. Mrs. Lucas (who recently passed away) taught us the importance of how history still affects us in the present. Mrs. Wilmarth who patiently worked with me through the difficulties of Algebra, refusing to leave me behind as the rest of the class grasped it faster. And, of course, the Frank Zappa loving Mr. Setlock who made everything fun, cleverly masking the fact that we were learning important things like biology.

The very sad thing of it is that adults should not have to stand up and say that teachers are important and trying to remind other of that fact. They should simply be standing up and applauding our teachers. So many dear friends of mine are teachers and I see them struggle at times because of critical parents, a skeptical media and heartless, stupid politicians. I believe the average American would take their teachers and put them high on pedestals, but there are loud voices out there that want to tear them down and I cannot fathom why. The fact that teachers are important, deserve our respect and should be paid well should be a universal truth like water is wet and the sun is hot.

Good coaches are also important because they pick up teaching our children after they have left the classroom. The life lessons learned on the fields and courts become ingrained into the kids. I once read something about how athletes in high school tend to have much higher self-esteem than non-athletes. And I would think this would have to extend to other activities like forensics, religious groups, scouts, theater, etc. The importance of having someone that can help you learn the things you love is invaluable and can only have a positive influence on you. Coaches and advisors are teachers, as well, and become huge parts of who our children grow to be.

The past couple of years I’ve coached Little League baseball and basketball. While it is always rewarding, it is difficult more often than not. This past baseball season left a bad taste in my mouth and left me resolved to not coach baseball again even if my kids decided to play again. However, as I watched the little league coach video and truly think about how much the teachers and coaches of my children invest of themselves, I can’t help but re-think this. I watch the sacrifices that teachers and other coaches make and I feel like I need to do my part. I’m not saying I’m a good coach or looking for any kind of praise, but I can’t help but feel that I have a part to do.

I feel like if we continue to attack our teachers there are going to be less college kids that chose to become teachers and not only will the quality of education diminish, but there will be more teachers like my fifth grade teacher.

And Mrs. Racioppi or Mrs. Fitzgibbons, if you happen to be reading this…I am so sorry for all my grammar mistakes. And thank you. To all you other teacher, good luck and God Bless as you embark on a new school year.