When I went to high school, I had a job as a swimming instructor and lifeguard at the local public pool. It was a great job but it did cut into one of my loves – baseball. I couldn’t reliably have the evenings or weekends off in order to play. So, I had to give that up but I took up umpiring in its place. That way, I could schedule games on days that I knew I wasn’t scheduled to work.
Now, we were serious about umpiring in the OBA and the WOAA. We were required to wear a full umpire uniform; black pants, white or blue shirts depending upon the game and of course a mask when umpiring behind the plate. It certainly is different from today’s with sloppy t-shirts and cut off shorts. We just looked good.
And, it was really hot dressed like that in the summer sun. Even today, I sympathize with professional umpires when watching games on television.
Now, there’s a great deal to be said about baseball players being superstitious. But, how about umpires? I had one. Not Sparky Anderson and foul line famous but something nonetheless.
For me, with the heat, it’s that first pitch from each pitcher. A pitch that goes wild or bounces to the plate always served as a foreshadowing of a long game. I always hoped to be able to call the first pitch of the game a strike. I thought that it showed the pitcher that she/he could be on top of things and would throw a good game. The same applied to relief pitchers.
Recently, I read a parenting article that said that you should have a child make his/her bed every morning. It wasn’t out of neatness; it was to start them off on the right foot by accomplishing something. It’s sort of a getting off on the right foot deal. It makes sense.
I’m thinking of yesterday’s post where I drew a distinction between younger students skipping to school and older students dragging it.
I wonder. Could things be changed with a little superstitious behaviour?
Is there a difference in how they start their day? Is the first thing that they do guaranteed to be positive and successful? I think of so many ways that we start school – lining up at the bell, everyone standing for the national anthem, students forced to be quiet and listen to announcements, starting a lesson by taking up homework, and I’m sure that you can complete the list. There’s nothing that to inspire or invigorate anyone.
What if there was a concerted effort to make sure that the day started successfully for everyone? Things like having social conversations, introduce a new concept in the classroom that nobody saw coming, making it clear that the challenges that were there yesterday remain yesterday, … It wouldn’t have to be major; just something that guarantees that the first thing done will be successful.
Would that be enough to get students to skip to class?