Category Archives: Sports

Day Seventeen: Teach Sweeps and Football Fever

Classroom with students and teachers - NARA - ...

Classroom with students and teachers – NARA – 285702 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The school is on this low high because this is the only full week of school this month.  After a four-day weekend students are moving around like slugs strapped down with salted backpacks, yet have outbreaks of silliness. No one is focusing on learning anything. Teachers are not much livelier having finished the posting of quarter grades and then have immediately go into to splitting their week with two nights of parent/teacher conferences.  It’s no wonder my teachers are showing movies. By showing movies, at least if students sleep it’s done with the lights off–less evidence of zoning out and maybe that lessens the guilt of not keeping students engaged. Some teachers require we write down facts learned while watching the movie and then turn these in.  A compromise I guess in case an admin member walks in and conducts a “teach sweep.“

Our school has periodic walk-throughs, or “teach sweeps” which I overheard two teachers call them.  This is where two or three of the administrators come in, sit down for ten minutes, watch the students, watch the teacher, and scribble away on their notepads.  Students call them “the posse.”  Some of my teachers get a little flustered when the posse arrives.  Others, you can tell, don’t give a flip and carry on doing their usual.

Some of the students get nervous  when an admin pops into the room.  When two or more admins arrive, a sense of drama unfolds, like they are on a search and destroy mission.  No matter how unobtrusive they attempt to be there is no way twenty-seven students are going to ignore being scrutinized.

This week there are few admin sightings in classrooms.  They are no doubt rooted in their beehive of offices.  Why?  Football.  Our football team won their second playoff game and are on their way to state championship.  Any remaining admin are hiding away in their offices posing with paperwork while listening to updates of how the football team is doing. I don’t blame them. After all, we haven’t made it to state for three years.  We haven’t won a state game for ten.  Going to state calls for suspended protocol, right? Especially if it’s football. *slight sarcasm insert*  Here’s my point: Our boys and girls soccer teams both won state.  Did the school shut down?  Nope.  Our cross country team went to state and so did our girls volleyball team.  Did we claim a minimum day so people could flock to see them?  Not even.  But football reigns. In our school, through the state, across the country.

Maybe if my dad had been more interested in football I would be more interested.  Our family life is so fragmented with him coming and going on writing assignments that he doesn’t have much time to watch sports. Therefore, sports I care not much or a whit for.  All around me though, people are passionate.

All week I hear murmurings of excitement. “Are you going?”  “I’m cutting last period to get there earlier.”  “I bet we watch movies in all our classes on Friday.”  Am I the only one who will stay behind in our fair town while all others travel three hours away to watch our Eagles fly to victory? I am wise enough to keep my opinions to myself.

Friday is essentially a half day.  There are so many students going down to the state game, it’s ridiculous for teachers to take attendance, let alone attempt any type of teaching.  The amount of make-up work to be done would justify an after-school activities bus.  Let’s see, there are about 30-40 guys on the varsity football team, and about four of the teachers on the staff are coaches.  Then there is the pep band, another 25-30.  Don’t forget about the 12 member squad of cheerleaders who go to encourage our fans and players and the 25 member dance team who will entertain at half-time. Maybe they should gather the remaining students in the gym for one good attempt at education consolidation.  I don’t dare mention my lack of football interest.  To anyone. I could pretend to care.  Maybe.

There is a pep bus that leaves right after school, and if traffic cooperates the bus will arrive at the Riley Memorial Dome with forty-five minutes to spare until kickoff.  I, for reasons I don’t understand, start this inner dilemma within myself.

Me: This will probably be the only state game I will have while in school.
Me Two: Since when do you care about football.
Me: It wouldn’t hurt to care just a smidge about the school, would it?
Me Two: YOU want to sit on a bus for three hours with noise and teenage nonsense?  Why?
Me: Good point.  I’d be like a fish on a bicycle.

I continue to dwell on going despite the good points I’ve made. I should go because going to a state game would be a memory I might treasure some day. Another reason I’m considering going is that I don’t know how long I will be in this school.  Every since Dad wrote that bridge article about the picturesque town of  Calder, I’ve noticed  Mom Googling information on it.  She better be checking out vacation rates instead of housing prices.

Three hours on a bus is a lonely time when you don’t really have anyone to hang out with.  Maybe I could convince Simone  in experiencing the event with me.

“What you call football is not,“ she explained to me at lunch, after turning me down. “What you call soccer is football. The bump crash game of Americans,“ she demonstrated with the smacking together of her hands, “does not make sense. You come to watch a soccer game with me.  The boys in their shorts all running,“ she sighs. “Yes, that is nice to watch.“ She does have a point there.   Football uniforms don’t do much for me either. Okay, so I’m good with staying


home doing my usual.

It’s weird that this is the only full week of school for this month.  Between school being off because of quarter ending, school being off because of parent/teacher conferences and next week being Thanksgiving week, and with a half day on Wednesday with school being closed Thursday and Friday, it’s amazing they bothered with even unlocking the front doors.  I guess somewhere in there they all figured we will get some edukashun.