Sunday, April 23, 2006

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

...for my BIG IRS refund to appear in my bank account!

Monday, April 17, 2006

What do you say?

This morning one of my former players lost her dad. He'd been sick (cancer) on and off since I started to coach her as an 8th grader (she's a senior this year), yet he was still one of the most supportive parents I've ever dealt with as a coach. There were days when he went directly from the hospital to the sidelines to watch his daughter play. Win, lose, or draw, he congratulated his daughter, her teammates, and her coaches on their efforts. This was especially meaningful given that he understood the game and just how much it takes to excel at it.

Beyond this, he and his wife opened their home to the team for numerous team functions and provide the team with t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants at almost no cost on two different occasions. Were all parents this supportive with their time, money, and presence, high school sports would always be the positive experience it is supposed to be for everyone involved.

So, Bruce, what kind of daughter did you raise?

One whose grades improved every year she was in school even though she sometimes stayed at your beside until the small hours of the morning before coming to school.

One who never once asked for more time to get her work done because she didn't want her teachers to think she was using your illness as an excuse.

One who, despite severely breaking her leg early in her sophomore season, came to every practice and game, even if it meant sitting next to me on the bench in the driving rain.

One whose smile, humor, and energy fill every room she enters and every field upon which she sets her very talented feet.

One with a big enough heart to let her former coach know- within twelve hours- that you had passed away.

Rest easy, Bruce, you did a great job.

And Stevi, hang in there...

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Immigration Controversy

I hesitate to break my silence on this issue, but as a student of history I just can't hold my tongue any longer. However, rather than prattle on and on and on I'm going to limit myself to two comments.

Philosophical: This country has always been (and should always be) a place of refuge for those fleeing political oppression, for those seeking economic opportunity, and for those searching for religious freedom.

It hasn't always gone smoothly (slavery, anti-semitism, etc.) and it probably never will, but we must continue to strive to come as close to reaching the ideals upon which this country was founded upon as possible. We are what we are- and most of what we are is "good"- because we have accepted (if not always "welcomed") wave after wave of immigrants from all parts of the world.

Each group has taken its lumps along the way- an unfortunate "tempering" process that was worse for some groups than it was for others- and become part of "us".

Practical: Keeping people out of the United States has never worked in the past, and it will never work in the future. First, the country is just too damn big. Close the seven hundred mile long border with Mexico? Okay, fine. Are you prepared to do the same with Canada? Including Alaska, the US-Canadian border is 5522 miles long! Furthermore, I personally know of plenty of places in Maine that ANYONE willing to make the walk through the woods could travel freely between the two countries.

Second, and more importantly, no barrier we can put up- no matter how strong- will be stronger that the will of those people who wish to come to America. The Irish came here in boats nicknamed "coffin ships," the Hatians and Cubans have come here on anything- oil drums, rafts, etc.- that could float, others have attempted to stow away in the landing gear of airplanes, the list goes on. No danger has been enough to keep motivated immigrants from risking life and limb to get to our country. A wall that will keep them out? Not a chance.

Solution: Let "them" in. Let "them" work. Let "them" pay taxes. Let "them go" to school. Let "them" serve in the military.

Why? Because once upon a time each one of "us," was one of "them."