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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.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sports Academies

In this morning's sports page I read about Jordan Brown, Woodcreek High School's (Roseville, CA) 6'11" talented power forward rated #6 overall in the country opting to leave his school and enroll in Christian High School, a national powerhouse sports academy in Napa, CA. Jordan's father is quoted as saying he wants his son to be in a setting where he's challenged atheltically at a higher level. He's probably right from the point of view of the sport. But is he right from the point of view of his son's overall personal growth?

This last question bears on my problem with sports academies. Does it do young  athletes any good to lump them all into an environment where there is very little intellectual, social, and cultural diversity? By their nature, sports academies are elitist. Public high schools, by their nature, are not. They more closely imitate the democratic pluralism of our country's society. It seems to me that it would be pretty easy, perhaps even likely, for teenagers in sports academies to see themselves as special, a idea that will not help them once their sports days are over, and they have to fit into the normal day to day life. And, except for a tiny percentage who go on to become first round draft choices, those days come faster then they or their parents anticipated.

Sports academies, like charter schools, (another form of elitism in education) are not, unfortunately, going to disappear, and will more than likely increase in numbers as sports continue to become more and more big biz. So, I'm just blowing off a little retired teacher steam. I've always believed strongly, warts and all, in our public schools system being the best way to educate youngsters to be inclusive and compassionate thinking adults.

I Bless This Man   Pindar from Nemea 11 translated by Richmond Lattimore

I bless this man for Agesias, his father,
for the splendor and linked serenity of his limbs.
Yet if one, keeping wealth, surpass in beauty likewise
and show his strength by excellence in the games,
let him remember the limbs he appoints are mortal
and that he must put upon him earth, the end of all things.

In the speech of good citizens he should win praise
and be a theme of elaboration in the deep, sweet singing.  

2 comments:

DTB-56 said...

If you go back to the Top 30 high school players ten years ago only 12 are in the NBA. Sending a young guy into an athletic academy defines him as something he may not be by the time he's 30 years old. You may be giving with one hand, but you're taking away with the other. Often it seems the decisions are made based on what the parent perceives as a financial benefit to themselves as opposed to what is good for the athlete.

DTB-56 said...

Mr. Meschery:

Was just reading the NY Times and saw an obituary for Jim McDaniels. I'm guessing you probably have heard elsewhere of his passing, but in case you haven't the details are in today's (9/11) NY Times. Obviously this is not a comment and doesn't need to be published on the blog.