Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy 100th! And Self-Improvement!

This entry marks the 100th post of my blog. I started this blog last January during an ice storm when I was forced to write in a Starbucks that still had power. You can read that inaugural entry here. Eleven months of posts rambling over a wide range of topics, and here we are.

The writer in me loves the instant gratification of blogging. Novel-writing is a long, lonely, laborious process. You spend hours inside your own head. Self-doubt is a constant companion. Am I any good? Is this crap? Finally finishing and getting feedback is a rush, but it's a long time coming. Blogging is immediate. You spend an hour or so writing, click a button, and shazam! You're published!

I've chosen to use my 100th post to update you on my road to self-improvement. If you've been reading awhile, then you know I struggle with an extremely competitive nature. To put it bluntly, I'm a sore loser. One might even say I'm an obnoxious loser. You can read more about that here. I'm working on it, though, and I'm happy to share a couple of recent events pointing to improvement in that area.

Thursday, the staff participated in another of the dreaded team competitions at school. This one was an indoor golf competition. Plastic cups representing tees and holes were strategically placed around the building, and teams had to navigate obstacles to sink the putt...a twisted version of miniature golf.

The fun started when the putters were distributed. I haven't decided if teaching freshmen changes a person or if a certain personality type is naturally drawn to teach freshmen. Either way, we found ourselves talking over the administrator while the rules were explained, swinging our clubs, and repeating Tiger Woods jokes we'd heard from the kids. (Did you hear he's changing his name? He's sticking with the cat theme and changing it to Cheetah.)

Things did not improve when we started to play. We sent golf balls careening off of walls, furniture, and members of other teams. Golf etiquette was thrown out the window as players intentionally aimed for the other teams' ball. Grown men shouted gleefully down the hall, "Hey, leave my balls alone!" And no, alcohol was not involved. Although, one could argue living through the last week before Winter Break produces the same disorientation and lack of inhibition as downing a six pack. (What's the difference between a golf ball and a Cadillac? Tiger can drive a golf ball.)

When the dust settled, my team came in dead last. This despite Amanda's incredible bank shot off a classroom door for a par two on the last hole. Dead last. We would have come in third (out of four teams) except that just as a member of another team hit the ball, a student opened an outside door, and the ball sailed into the parking lot. That team initially held the doors open and played the ball from outside, but the powers that be decided to let them play the hole over. The urge to cry foul welled up inside of me, but instead of indulging it, I bit my tongue. It helped that I had to leave before they finished replaying the hole and was not there when the final score was tallied. Still, I recognized I would have screamed bloody murder if it had been my ball in the parking lot. This is improvement, don't you think?

Then again last night, I played bunco with some teacher friends. I tied for the most buncos but lost the roll-off that determined who took the money home. I smiled and congratulated the winner with nary a bitter word.

Maybe it's the holiday season, or maybe it's my recent reminder of my own mortality, but I just couldn't work up the righteous indignation. I love my job, and I love the people I work with. Maybe, I was just having too much fun to be mad. (What's the difference between Santa and Tiger? Santa stops at three ho's.)

I hope you have a weekend filled with holiday shopping and parties!

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