Thursday, September 15, 2011

Math and Texts

Good morning. It seems that during the off-season, I am probably going to try blogging every other day rather than every day unless something happens that requires documentation. Thanks again to all of you who read my writing and probably wonder if it is all true. Well, guess what? I don't have much of an imagination and cannot possibly create these scenarios. Therefore to answer that's all fabrications...none whatsoever. Now, however, I have to rely on Buddy to call in and share with me what is happening in the world of Division I baseball, college life, apartment life, and the drive to play in the major leagues. First, kudos to the Phils for wrapping up a play off spot. No agonizing late into the season for this one...way to go!

The past few days have been filled with ups and downs. It seems Nemesis is always the topic of conversation as I try to turn a deaf ear to the complaints. Besides not sharing his food or oreos with Buddy, it seems that he is a pretty bad Caucasian rapper who wakes the guys up in the middle of the night to share his newest lyrics. Buddy, The Angel, and Big Red have begun to place hard items by their beds to throw at him when he makes his 2 am wake up calls. As a guy, doesn't he know that he should never 'poke the bear' when he is sleeping? I guess not.

Every other day I receive a text or two while Buddy is in math class. Granted, math was not my best subject either, but I tried to listen to the professor and pray for some divine inspiration to pass each test. Unfortunately Buddy's mind wanders incessantly and he texts people, including his mother. As much as I love the communication, I am concerned about his lack of attention in class. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this week's texts: "God, I'm bored. Math is dumb." ...."What do you think about me dropping out of school, moving to Columbia and becoming a baseball player/drug dealer?"..."Girl in math did not shave legs..."...."Twenty more minutes until freedom"...."Words cannot express my hatred for the greek system. I want to shut them down how could I go about doing this."

Deciphering the texts are not always easy, but I will give it a try. "God, I'm bored. Math is dumb." ...."What do you think about me dropping out of school, moving to Columbia and becoming a baseball player/drug dealer?"..."Girl in math did not shave legs..."...."Twenty more minutes until freedom"...These texts come to me during class as he struggles to even care about the course. Picture a tall, lanky, bored kid in a large lecture hall with 400 students looking at a few powerpoint presentations and trying his best to unlock the mystery of trigonometry. Knowing the big guy, he would rather look around and pray that soon there would be time travel where he can push a button and be finished with class before it even starts...but that is not the point. Is the professor unable to capture his attention? Why or why not? As a teacher, I look into my students eyes to see if they are following me. I do not allow texting, but how would I know with 399 other students in class? There is no way...therefore, how could this be a good learning experience for any of the students? Am I inferring that I am an intuitive professor? fact, I have discovered while walking around in class, that some of my students order shoes while I am speaking, update their facebook status, sleep with their eyes open, doodle, answer email, and pray that the class ends very very soon. Am I insulted? Naw, I actually pray that class is over soon too. I am human too, ya know....

Now, as far as his comment about Columbia and drug's his crazy idea of scaring his mom. The part about playing baseball is true...the part about dealing drugs is not. He is anti-drug and anti-doping....whew! Now, as far as the Greek system goes, I have not seen it at the level that he has. Last week, he saw a girl in a dress crying because she was not "pretty enough" to gain entrance into a sorority. He saw the devastation of the selection process on the students especially the girls and is fuming. The team (not me...) call the sorority system...soro-stitutes....ouch! He refuses to have anything to do with it. There are parties and drinking every night of the week and he feels that this is quite pathetic. As far as fraternities are concerned, he is incensed by them. There is quite a bit of drinking and lots of drugs. Some of partiers use "ruffies" to 'score' with the girls. One of his friends woke up at a party with her underwear in her pocket. She had no idea what happened and never reported it. I can understand his disdain for the system. What makes this process worse is that his math tutor is one of the girls who is on the sorority selection committee...a system that he loathes. They have not hit it off at all and I have encouraged him to ask for another tutor. They have such a divide in their philosophies, that this cannot possibly be a good relationship unless they are able to talk about their personal differences and get by them. Otherwise, I have no confidence in his ability to get through this class with this tutor. Yet, I have to leave it to him to work it out. He needs to be eligible for the season and therefore has to make this work. Again, what a tremendous learning experience. Not only will he learn math, but he will learn how to get along with a person who is his polar opposite.

Stay tuned for more....

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