Thursday, May 21, 2009

My kids, students and the Luau

School is over in a week. The more years I pile on in my career, the quicker they seem to fly by.

With each year, I have become more and more thankful for the career path that I have chosen. I love my job and 14 years doing it has shown me that there is no better career for me.

What fuels my love for the job isn't the satisfaction I get from teaching kids about the positives of being physically fit for a lifetime. Rather, it is the joy of building relationships with the high school kids.

I love them. Each and everyone of them. Sure, there are times when they piss me off or disappoint me. But, there is no greater satisfaction than watching them come in as freshman and seeing them grow, mature and turn into young adults who appreciate the hard work that myself and the rest of the faculty, administration and other school employees do for the kids.

My favorite event at the end of each year is the Luau. Having graduated from the school that I have been employed at since 1994, I have missed this event only six times since 1985.

Yearbooks are passed out, carnival-like games are played, great food is eaten, and memories from the last year are reminisced. Since I spend so much time at the school as both a teacher and the school's head football coach, my daughters go with me so they can say goodbye to so many students who have watched my kids during football practices and games.

My girls love it. They dance with the students and eat more crap than any 4- to 7-year-old should ever eat. The students love to see them and take them from me for much of the night and teach them dance moves like the "Jerk". It is a move that has been a craze on our campus all year and is one that I could never duplicate.

While my girls are off having fun with cheerleaders and watergirls from my football team, I am able to walk around and talk to kids that I have spent so much time with over the last fours.

During this time, I run into a kid who was my quarterback during my first two years as the head coach. A kid that I would gladly and proudly call my own son.

With no reservations or doubts, I tell him that I will never coach a kid again who has his tireless work ethic in the classroom and football field. He was and is everything a coach could want from a player.

As easy as it was for me to Coach my quarterback, my Most Valubale Player from last season was without a doubt the most challenging athlete I had when I took over the program two years ago. I saw a kid who had more potential than any other player on the field who didn't work as hard as I would like, and he saw a 5-7, 150-pounder who looked like he never played the game.

We yelled at eachother, cursed at eachother, and sometimes went a week or two without saying a word to one another. He drove me mad as I tried everything to get him to see that all I ever wanted was for him to become to best player and person he could be.

I don't know when it happened, or how it happened, but, sometime during the last year the tension between us went away and we quickly became eachother's greatest ally. When I saw him at the Luau, we took a picture together and had a few words that I will never forget.

"Who would thought that you and I would actually like eachother after the start we had together?"

"I know Coach. I hated you when you got the job. But, I would do anything for you now. I can't thank you enough for everything you did for me. I owe you so much."

Little do his he know, that I owe him.

It has been kids like him over the last 14 years that has made a career, my passion.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Be careful what you text

I love to text message. I find it to be a perfect outlet to get straight to the point with a person without the annoyance of having to acually have a real conversation with someone.

Nothing worse to have to be on the phone for 10 minutes with someone when all you need is a one- to two-word response from the person. Text a simple question and wait a few minutes for the answer.

"Hey, what time is the meeting tonight?"

"7 p.m."

Perfect. Didn't have to hear about his or her day and got the information I was looking to get. Impersonal as hell, however, gets straight to the point.

But... text messaging does have its' drawbacks. Like when you text something personal as hell to the wrong person.

Oh, the problems that can cause. I have been guilty of it many times.

The first time was three years ago when my ex-wife picked up my kids from me on a night I was to entertain the Most Beautiful Woman in the World. As soon as she was gone, I quickly typed up the following text:

"Hey... I am finally alone. Hurry up! I want you now!"

Instead of sending it to the Most Beautiful Woman in the World, I sent it to the last person I texted. My ex-wife.

Needless to say, my night didn't go as planned. Instead, I ended up driving to the exes house to pick up my kids because the ex threatened to leave town for good with my girls if I didn't come get them.

You would think I learned my lesson after that. Nope. Yesterday, I did it again.

This time a new coach I just hired was on the receiving of one of my personal texts that went to an innocent receiver.

I spent last weekend with two women co-workers in Las Vegas to help put an end to a recent but lingering funk I have been in. We had a blast going from club to club watching each other hitting on and being hit on by other patrons.

It was great fun. The highlight of the night was listening to one of my friends having to endure one of the worst lines I have ever heard.

"Excuse me. . . can I be blunt?", said an obviously drunk man in his late 50s from New York.

"Absolutely,", said my friend.

I sat in excitement with what he was about to say to my very attractive friend. After hearing what he said, I knew I would never make the same mistake.

"You have real nice boobies."

My friend laughed and said thank you for stating the obvious and kindly asked him to leave.

We laughed all weekend about it and I thought I would have a little fun with her by sending that line to her yesterday afternoon in a text message. But, instead, I sent it to my newly hired coach that I have only known briefly for a month.

While he is a big guy, I would never say he has man boobs. Even if he did, I would never tell him, "You have real nice boobies."

I realized my mistake when I got a text from the coach.

"Hey Coach... While I am flattered, I really think we should keep our relationship strictly to football. But, again, thanks for the compliment."

Damn, I did it again. And, I did it to a guy who I am so thankful that I was able to steal from a rival school. While I was kicking myself for the fuck up, I got another text from him.

"You know Coach, if you take me to Vegas, I will show you my boobies."

Well... at least this time the recipient of my wrong text had a sense of humor about it.