I decided to get to Fenway early so I could walk around, take things in, absorb the atmosphere. On an impulse, and for the first time in years, I walked into a clothing shop. Looking at the wide variety of colours, styles, and cuts, I couldn’t help but think how far we’ve come. Remember when Major League Baseball suddenly realized that if they actually reached out to women, they might be able to greatly expand their fan base? Overnight, you could, if you wanted, get pink t-shirts and pink caps. Only, it developed that’s not necessarily what women wanted from Major League Baseball, at least not exclusively. Women all over the country raised their voices and said, “You want us as loyal fans? Take us seriously. One good way to do that would be to actually ask us what we want rather than just assuming we all love pink. Another good way would be to acknowledge a lot of us not only already like the game but also know a lot about it.” Major League Baseball took the hint.
It’s an axiom of the teaching profession that summer is a time to rest and recharge. Most frequently, we’ll talk about the chance to catch up on sleep, spend more time with family and friends, take the time to delve into those longer reads we’ve been meaning to explore for months now, and use what we’ve learned the preceding year to prepare for the upcoming year. And as I sleep in until my body wakes me up, descend the stairs to our living room where my wife is already hard at work scheduling kids into classes for her school, greet her and the cat, and settle in over breakfast to peruse social media for my daily school postings before taking a run and then turning to one of several books I’ve downloaded onto my iPad, I get the importance of every one of those things.
Early this morning, one of our English teachers posted that she would be needing someone to cover E period because one of her children was sick. Four minutes later, I saw it and immediately wrote and offered to help. But I was too late, as it turned out - one of my colleagues in the Performing Arts Department had already grabbed the chance.
When you combine sound with goals, happiness, possibilities, you’ve got the perfect storm. - June Millington, from her TEDxShelburneFalls talk, “Rocking the Boat:How Playing Like a Girl Can Change the World.”
A guitar strums a four-chord progression. A bass joins in. A rat-a-tat-a-tat on the drums kicking off a solid backbeat. The first lyric, “With your feet in the air and your head on the ground. Try this trick and spin it, yeah.” (Where Is My Mind? by the Pixies) resonates through the gym. Last night’s benefit concert for Girls Rising was off to a great start.
Only rarely have I ever looked forward to a game more than my beloved UConn women’s basketball team going up against Mississippi State in this year’s March Madness semis. After all, one of our school’s alumnae, Chinwe Okorie, played for MSU and was likely to get significant playing time. It would be wonderful to root her on as well as my own favourite team. I confess, though, I was a little jittery as to how UConn would do. At one point in the season, MSU had been ranked #2, and they were the only highly ranked team UConn had not yet faced. I felt in my bones that, if anyone was going to stop UConn in this tournament, and I knew that was possible, MSU had perhaps the best chance.
As a Rock Band teacher, I try to keep my eye out for kids, especially girls, who have talent and whom I can help promote on social media. One such artist is Sina from Germany, a 16-year-old girl who first came to YouTube fame at the age of 14; her drum cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” now has nearly 3,000,000 views. Earlier today, YouTube recommended I listen to her (amazing!) international collaboration with two 12-year-old girls of the classic “Smoke in the Water”; it’s nearing 100,000 views after just three weeks.
Since the rescinding of Obama-era guidance extending Title IX protections against discrimination to transgender and gender non-conforming children, there has been an outpouring of support for LGBTQ+ kids. TransLifeline saw their website crash under the weight of donations pouring in, multiple organizations have shared ways to protect, support, and reassure transgender and gender non-conforming children, and governors, other elected representatives, parents, and citizens have shared their own words of support and comfort.
You all probably know the poem,
- “First they came for [group of people] and I did not speak out, because I was not [part of that group of people]...
- then they came for…
- and then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
This Declaration of Sentiments, modeled on the original, was written by the Humanities 7 class along with the middle school girls from Bancroft School, Center School, Eaglebrook School, Four Rivers Charter Public School, Hampshire Regional School, and Hilltop Montessori School who attended their Convention on Women's Rights on January 9, 2017.
- The general public has viewed her sports as lesser; his sports are more widely regarded and compensated than hers.
- Media has favored his sports over hers.
From the updated “Declaration of Sentiments” written by the Humanities 7 class along with girls from Bancroft School, Center School, Eaglebrook School, Four Rivers Charter Public School, Hampshire Regional School, and Hilltop Montessori School.
I often feel like I have to apologize for being a fan of the UConn women’s basketball team. They’ve won four straight NCAA Division-I championships, their current win streak (which broke their own record of 90) stands at 95, and their average margin of victory is in the double digits. Other than the UCLA men’s basketball team of the John Wooden era, no program that I can think of has dominated a college sport to this extent. So some baggage comes with identifying as a UConn fan, especially if you didn’t actually go there.