Weekend Notes

U.S. OPEN

• I was off Friday and spent some of the day prepping for 17’s Graduation Open House and some fantasizing about being at Pebble Beach. As great as the visuals were, listening to Chris Berman do the U.S. Open is excruciating. I’m sure he’d be a fun guy to play poker or watch football with, but he obviously did not grow up playing golf. I can take “We’re all just Dustin’ in the Wind Johnson” but I can’t take the “He shot a 9” and “That’s the second snowman there of the day!” and the “back, back, back” urging of a short putt. No one shoots anything on an individual hole. One MAKES a nine. And pros occasionally make eights, not snowmen. This is a MAJOR, not the Bristol Municipal Club Championship. Listening to Dick Vitale is soothing by comparison.

• Also on Friday, very interesting ruling involving Paul Casey’s chip on 14. Brutal uphill chip with zero margin of error. Casey hits it a tad chubby and in frustration hits/repairs the divot a few times. In the ensuing ten-fifteen seconds, the ball backs all the way off the green, eventually to almost the exact spot. Viewers alert the rules officials that Casey has improved his lie. Penalty? Rules officials huddle with Casey after the round, review the particulars of the two shots, and ask him whether he hit/repaired the divot in order to improve his lie in case the ball returned to the exact same spot. Based upon his body language they didn’t think so, and so they weren’t surprised when Casey confirmed that. There really was no way Casey could have known the ball would return to exact same spot. The rule is it’s a penalty if there’s intent is to improve one’s lie. I hereby declare that before wives rip husbands and daughters ban fathers from speaking in public that they adjust for intent.

WORLD CUP

• After reading the comments about my “it’s poor form to complain about officiating” post, I’ve changed my mind. Merty’s comment in particular reminded me of the NBA/FBI/Tim Donaghy fiasco. I’m sure there’s far more $ coursing through World Cup matches than NBA games. Maybe the Malian ref who blew the call at the end of US/Slovenia is cut from Donaghy cloth. So here’s my revised axiom. Whenever athletes are amateurs, it’s poor form to complain about officiating. The corollary is “The younger the athletes, the poorer the form.”

SCHOOLING

• I understand it’s sociocultural/historical roots, but I’m still amazed at how prevalent individualism is in our schools especially when future success will inevitably hinge on interpersonal intelligence. The OHS awards assembly and graduation (where the same award winners were feted a second time) reminded me of that. Why is it that teamwork and groups are only emphasized in extracurricular activities? Our success in solving pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges hinge mostly on team/group work. Sarason’s concept of the “regularities of schooling” comes to mind. A “regularity of schooling” is some feature of teaching and learning that we no longer question, it’s just accepted as the natural order. For example, we always assign grades to each individual student and we only award individual student achievement. This also calls to mind Sarason’s “ocean storm” metaphor in the Predictable Failure of Education Reform. Lots of wind, waves, tumult on the surface during an ocean storm, but no change in water chemistry, temperature, etc, on the ocean floor. The ocean floor is the teacher-student relationship. How would teaching and learning change if we tempered our individualism and focused at least some of our assessment efforts on small group academic achievement?

• During his grad speech, the OHS principal honored the top ten students. A slide of the students flashed above. He said, “good job girls” with no sense of irony or urgency. I’m in the middle of a related article in the most recent Atlantic magazine titled “The End of Men”. Highly recommended.

• Byrnes Postulate (be sure to credit me). The more meaningful the curricular objective and related classroom activity, the more difficult to assess the associated student learning. Granted seems obvious, but I suggest that postulate informs more of what’s wrong with the “standards movement” than is first apparent.

WORLD POLITICS

• Heard an interview with the author of this book. He persuasively argued that no single nation can singlehandedly solve the immigration challenge. Made perfect sense, but it doesn’t seem as if anyone is acknowledging that. In fact, it’s true of most global issues today, but there are at least two serious impediments to thinking more globally and acting more in concert with other people in other nations to address pressing global issues like global poverty, environmental crises, and terrorism/war. First, the U.N. has a lot of negative baggage associated with it and there are wonderful NGOs, but few truly global alternatives. And secondly, no country/region (in the case of the EU) really wants to be take the lead in compromising their relative sovereignty.

FITNESS MALISE

• It’s 12:56p Sunday, we’re on the cusp of the summer equinox, and I’m sitting at my desk in half a cycling kit, staring at a cold, wet, dark gray landscape with 57 miles on the odometer for the week. Pathetic. I started down the street at 9:50a only to turn around when it started to rain. Mother Nature is testing all cyclists’ mental health this June. Look for some to start snapping. I was supposed to be Lance’s domestique on Mount Saint Helens today and then opted for a 10a club ride. Now I’ve performed the rare “double wuss”. My problem is I have nothing I HAVE to train for, not a single event on the calendar. I don’t even think I’ll do our local Oly triathlon in September. I’m 280th on the RAMROD waiting list. This is a desperate cry for help. Someone tell me what event should I do next and why? To add insult to injury, 14 informed me that if I had stayed in bed, her sister and her would have made me a “Dad’s Day” breakfast.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Notes

  1. As always, well-done. However, if I’m not mistaken $$$$$ “courses” through economies / events / things rather than “curses.”

    Love and my best to you and your family,

    Brother Don

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