Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist

I spent my mornings this past week working the camp run by the baseball program at the high school. 9am to noon each day shepherding about eighty 7-to-14-year-olds from station to station working on their game. The 7-9 crowd left me amazed that any elementary school teacher can survive their job. Don't get me wrong, they're all nice, good kids, but they've got practically no attention span, they're interrupts that have to be polled near-constantly to keep them on task. After fifteen minutes, when it's time for them to rotate to the next station, I'm happy for the respite. I could never deal with them for seven hours a day nine months of the year. (How the hell did my teachers survive me?) People that can... wow. We don't pay them enough. We really don't.

In spite of the exhausting demands of the younger children, the camp's still a lot of fun. It's pretty neat to see the kids respond to the high school players that comprise most of the camp staff (the rest are their coaches, plus me, their itinerant PA announcer.) They're seen more like older brothers (occasionally that's literally true,) a lot less distant than the teachers or dads that usually coach them. The players enjoy the work too... a lot of them were campers once too, and it's a trip to pass on the stuff they learned to another half-generation.

Either Thursday or Friday we set up what's probably the favorite single element of the camp. We run a sliding drill behind the bleachers, using a couple of tarps and a hose as giant slip 'n slides. After the morning gloom burns off and the temperature shoots up past 80 or 90, it's a nice finish. Mrs. Faraci was around to take pictures. For the hell of it, I tossed mine below.

I also signed up for the baseball class offered by the local community college. I knew going into it that I'd be the only one who wasn't a recent high school graduate looking to play college ball. I was afraid that might be a problem--it seemed quite likely that the class was a means for the college's coaches to work with returning and incoming players--if it was, I would've dropped without argument. Given how brutally competitive baseball is in southern California, I won't stand in anyone's way, particularly at a school that gets a couple of Poway alums every so often. But Coach Vetter flatly stated they're prepared to work with players of any skill level. I'm there to work on my game, even if I'm only playing weekend single-A rec ball, so I'm staying with it.

I didn't embarass myself on Monday, either. Okay, I wasn't blasting shots to the fence with a wood bat like some of those guys, but I made solid (aluminum) contact past the infield.

Argh! I'm somehow cursed that I can't take a decent photo these days. Either my shirt collar's curled in, I'm wearing my glasses, I need a shave, or the light's at a bad angle and my face is oddly shaded. On this occasion, I'm realizing that the water splashing in my face could possibly dislodge my contact lenses. At the same time, I need to see in order to keep from smacking my chin on the base that's rapidly approaching. It's little crises like this that actually cause me to panic. That, and the knowledge I can't curse (my customary response to crises and roller coaster drops) because of all the young children and their parents within earshot.

We tell the kids to bring swim suits to change into. The players did the same, since they had a 2pm doubleheader which calls for presentable (dry) baseball gear. I didn't have that problem, so I kept my change of clothes for afterwards. Next time, I'll wear sunglasses.

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