Sunday, November 16, 2014

Funding has been cut off

Good morning! It's cold outside and the pups do not like it at all. In fact, they have decided that they would prefer a warmer powder room and therefore are using their crates and playpen for their toilets.


 Fun, eh? I can tell that they hate the cold weather because they lift their legs up so that they do not have to walk on the cold ground. Diva-like behaviors, wouldn't you say? 

What is going on? Well, lots of work which hopefully will calm down in a week or two. I have been teaching three 3-credit courses in 6 weeks. This is an accelerated format and with that, everything is due on top of each other.

So, each week, there is a mountain of papers to tackle. I also teach another semester-based course and a clinical practicum that begins at 6 am and ends at 1 pm every Thursday. It has been challenging but worth the effort as I prepare for the spring.

The baseball schedule has been published. No Florida trips this year! That's right. No Florida! Sheesh! As Andy Williams sang: "It's the most wonderful time of the year...." with a trip to Florida....North and South Carolina....Texas...Virginia....Iowa....yep, Iowa....and my favorite....O-hi-ooooo! Actually, Ohio trips are not that bad. Fortunately and finally, the Big Kid has hit his stride and will be pitching on Friday nights or Saturday mornings.

This eliminates the guess work out of planning trips to his games. In other words, I will not be traveling during the week any more and only on Fridays. Even better.....he will not be in the bullpen (hence, my pen name) and be on the mound from the very beginning of the game. Whew! How about them apples? Uh-huh....finally....the eagle has landed and the boy hits another milestone goal which is to pitch on Friday nights. This is huge! More about that later.....

On to other things...he has had a bad week....very salty since he has had to pay for everything (with the help of my American Express card). His loan came through and now he needs another one to pay living expenses. He is salty because he had been promised a scholarship which did not come through, but he had already committed to the university. Then his parental four year scholarship ran out as he entered his 5th year. He had been repeatedly warned that the funding was coming to an end but never really considered that his dad would pull support. Surprise!

Anyway, he has had a major attitude problem because he blames us for his financial difficulties when all along it has been his 'failure to plan'. Hey, I have paid for everything from lessons to physical therapy to Texas trips and a month of housing and living expenses, to Ohio for three months to Illinois for another three months. I continue to get bills from old landlords for damages and the magistrate for unpaid parking tickets. In a word: WE ARE DONE (Ok, that's three get my point).

This week had been a tough one as he was exhausted from training, school projects, and being broke. He was angry and peeved....then it happened....he found someone who was in more dire straights than him. Suddenly, life is not that bad. In fact, he is a happier, more content guy. In other words, the phrase, "There by the grace of God go I" never rang truer.....and here is the story.....

A home town freshman has been having some problems. His mother stopped me and she told me that he was struggling at the university. "What a coincidence. So is my kid. Perhaps they can commiserate together. Tell him to touch base with my son." And so, he did...the Big lefty reached out to the young frosh and told me a story of angst, insomnia, and a very stupid reason for using pot.

Here it goes....the frosh had been busted by campus police for pot. The kid swears he uses it to sleep since he cannot sleep in the dorms. Ok.....uh huh.....

Here comes the big guy who takes the young man under his wings.

"Here is how it goes." he says. "You will stop using pot and begin to make better choices. In return, I will open up a world that freshman cannot enter, especially freshmen who are not athletes." The campus culture revolves around athletes, especially the elite ones....

"I will mentor you and take you places. Tonight, I will take you to an exclusive party held by the cheerleaders. Remember, you would not gain access to the party if you do not enter with me. The quarterback of the team and football players will be there. If I see you with a joint, we are through."

And with that, the young 18 year old swore off pot. Here is the question: "Is the attraction to cheerleaders more powerful than the attraction to marijuana?" In a word: "I THINK SO" (again, three words, but you get it).

And so, to end this story, I give a big shout out to Dr G who helped to straighten out the big kid after he shared his stories of eating ketchup and jelly sandwiches. Another shout out to the little frosh who needs an older guy to help him to figure out life. Can we say "the blind leading the blind?" No? OK, who cares.

Gotta go!

Go Eagles!

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