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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Retired English Teacher's Lament & etc

I know, I know, so many of our NBA players leave college early, some after their freshman year, but they all went to high school, so there's no reason to make the following Russell Westbrook grammatical errors:

"We just wasn't ready. Just wasn't ready tonight, starting with myself. . . I could have did  a lot of things better, man. . . " You could have started by paying attention in your English class, Russell.

Should you be embarrassed? I think so. You are a model for other young men. If Russell talks like that, hey, that's cool. You are not the only professional athlete who hasn't the slightest idea about English grammar and usage, so consider yourself one of a number of failed English students playing professional sports.

Should we blame your failure on our public school system to teach you? Probably. But that doesn't mean, later, on your own, you can learn to speak correctly, if not for yourself, for little boys and girls that call themselves your fans. The Thunder is paying you plenty of money. Go back to school during the off season. Hire a tutor. I'm available, and my fees are reasonable.

Etc: If the Kings can play defense as aggressively as they did last night against a very strong team like the Toronto Raptors, they will no longer be disrespected around the league. Nothing excites an ex NBA player who built his career on defense, more than to see players flying around the court, swiping at passes and dribbles, closing out strong, making steals, blocking off the borders, working their butts off. Congratulations to Coach Jaeger and his staff for emphasizing this part of the game.

In these troubled times we need poetry to enrich our souls. This poem seems perfect to me. I read the following section and felt better.

Running   by Richard Wilbur

1. 1933
   (North Caldwell, New Jersey)

What were we playing? Was it prisoner's base?
I ran with whacking keds
Down the cart-road past Rickard's place,
And where it dropped beside the tractor-sheds

Leapt out into the air above a blurred
Terrain, through jolted light,
Took two hard lopes, and at the third
Spanked off a hummock-side exactly right,

And made the turn, and with delighted strain
Sprinted across the flat
By the bull-pen, and up the lane,
Thinking of happiness, I think of that.

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