Captain’s Log. Daddy Chronicles. Diaper Date 1682. The Captain has been stuck in middle school for 13 years. Middle school is such a strange place which is what makes it so enjoyable.
One of the perks of the job is that it keeps you young. At least one of the side effects is that you feel younger, at times, than you actually are. The kids do that to you.
Of course, one of the nasty side effects is that you can suddenly feel very old in the matter of a short conversation.
Student: One Direction is awesome. I LOVE THEM.
Student:OMG, how do you not know who they are?
Captain: One way is not my type of music. Sorry.
Student:It’s One DIRECTION. Not One Way.
Captain: I just figured they would have one direction to go…down the charts. Who are they anyways?
Student: (Stunned. Rattles off incoherent list of names, birth dates, relative list of hotness and availability, favorite colors, birth weights, and other drivel that assaulted my brain capacity.)
Captain: So basically, they are your generation’s New Kids whom you will love and overpay for tickets 20 years from now when they go on a reunion tour, but in the meantime they will be off the charts and out of music in 14 months? Are they related to that Beiber guy?
Student: (Clearly offended and at a lost for words.) I don’t know who Block kids are, but One Direction ROCKS and will be here forever! (Stomps off.)
Captain:What is a Beiber anyways…
The other cool thing about the Captain’s job is that he gets to coach. This is problematic because he mind tells him he can still play. Until he throws a ball or runs with the kids. The Captain “worked out” with the squad on Tuesday. Today is Thursday. The muscles are still sore.
The kids keep you young though. Trust me. I hear a lot of the same questions every year (sometimes hear them everyday). I see a lot of the same behavior every year. But each class, each student brings a different flavor to the table. Teaches you a different lesson.
Our baseball team lost a close game last night. After the game there were some tears. That’s the cruelty of this age – the purgatory of emotions. Two hours prior the same students were bounding with glee and bravado only to be humbled by perceived failure. Despite the loss, I thought it was their best game. They showed heart, determination, and stared down adversity. Those qualities will serve them in the future off of the baseball field.
This job does keep you young. My grandfather used to say that you are constantly learning. The minute you stop learning is when you die. Granted, he probably was paraphrashing a bumper sticker he saw once, but he truly believed it. And it is true.
These kids teach me more than the latest fads. We see a lot mistakes on a daily basis – this is what makes baseball a great metaphor for life. On the highest level, if you are successful 30% of the time you are considered elite. But, no matter how many times you fail (boot a ball, strikeout, make a bad throw, etc.) you gotta step to the plate and take your hacks.
Middle school, like life, is predictably unpredictable. And that is what makes it great.
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