January 27, 2006

All in a day's work

So I'm sitting in my office yesterday when the director of the Sport and Recreation Complex brings a guy by to see me. This guy came to Wheaton yesterday and wanted to talk to the wrestling coach. All right, I'm thinking, perhaps he's interested in coming to Wheaton. He tells me his name and that he's coming to Wheaton next fall after working for a year in the area after high school.

Now, this was odd for two reasons. First, freshman applications were due three weeks ago and no student has been notified of the admissions decision, and won't until the end of March at the earliest. The only other option is that he applied early, got in, and now decided to come strolling on by. Secondly, anyone who wrestled for his high school (which is IN WHEATON) should have probably talked to me or the head coach at some point earlier in the process.

Anyhow, he says he wrestled in high school, so I ask him how he did. Did he qualify for Sectionals, that sort of thing. He gives me a vague answer that involves something about Springfield and mentions guys from other schools. None of this inspires confidence, but he says he got into the school and is coming in the fall. I take down his information and tell him we'll be in touch. At this point, I'm seriosuly skeptical, because none of this made any sense. So, I send a message to the admissions office with his name and address, trying to get some answers.

Meanwhile, I go to practice and ask one of our wrestlers who would have been his high school teammate for three years, had he actually wrestled. Our guy had never heard of him. I had my answer from admissions this morning. They'd never heard of this kid either, which means he's not coming here in the fall. He seemed a little out of it when we talked, and I'm wondering if he realized that you have to, you know, fill out an application and take the ACT if you want to come to Wheaton.

The final act of this play involves me searching for his name on Google. All I can come up with is a result that lists his name, his address, and his age in an old newspaper story in which it appears he was sentenced to 20 days in jail for retail theft. All I get is the summary, because the actual page isn't listed. Unfortunately, the DuPage County court records aren't online. Frankly, I hope he doesn't come back, because I don't want to be the one to explain the whole college application process.

I bet John Smith doesn't have to deal with this.

January 24, 2006

It's cold and I wish I were there

See Janet in New Zealand in 2003

January 22, 2006

Lots to say, but no place to say it

Sorry for the lack of updates. It's not for lack of things to say, but more the fact that a lot of what's been on my mind doesn't have a blog as the proper forum. I can air a lot of frustrations on here, but not some of these.

I'll say this much at least. I've been pretty busy, and the team wrestled better this weekend than last. Thank goodness. I hope we keep some positive momentum going forward.

January 18, 2006

My weekend

This past weekend was the North Central Invitational Tournament. Wheaton did not wrestle particularly well, but we're hoping to remedy that in the next few weeks. We are still making progress, and I've looked at this year as building for next, and tried not to get too wrapped up in the individual details of wins and losses. Still, at some point I wonder if some of this is my fault. I always eventually decided that, no, it's not all my fault, because I know what I'm doing, and I know how to teach this sport. There are a lot of things going on that will take more than some hotshot young coach from Messiah sashaying into practice to fix. There will be some hard work after the sashaying.

Also, I met the Speaker of the House at the wrestling tournament. Mr. Hastert wrestled for Wheaton back when he was in college, and he often comes back to this tournament. His college roommate at Wheaton was a national champ who now is the athletic director and head coach at Manchester College. Mr. Hastert also keeps in touch with some of the people I work with. Also, I believe part of Wheaton is in his district. I got the chance to tell him about what we're doing with Strider. Wrestling needs more high-profile supporters like him.

One last funny story. Coach Norton, David, and I are sitting with the Speaker when a few wrestlers from the University of Chicago ask to have a picture taken with him. After he gets up to go do it, the people sitting behind him tap Coach Norton on the shoulder and ask who he is that they would want a picture. Even after Coach told them he was the Speaker of the House and told them his name, the blank look on their faces was priceless. Coach clarified that it was the U.S. Congress and not some state office, and they still sort of looked puzzled. Now, I can understand not recognizing him on site, but I would think most people would understand what you mean when you say "Speaker of the House."

January 8, 2006

Scariest Commercial on TV

It's for Ameriprise. It's simply a middle aged man playing an electric guitar while some text flashes across the screen. The text includes something like "Baby Boomers start to turn 60 this year." Sweet fancy Moses! People who have been producing for this country for years and in huge numbers are reaching retirement age. Then they cease producing and start goign into full time consumption mode. Consumption of food, health care, Florida condos, and Social Security. As pensions are rapidly being depleted and Social Security is going away, the burder of taking care of the aging boomers falls on their own savings and the goodwill of their children. Those that don't have either will either depend on the public at large or they will finish their lives in a very depressing situation.

There are lessons here, kids. Save for retirement. Don't count on the government or your company to fund your golden years. Make sure you bring those kids up right so they will take care of you should you need it some day. Oh, and if your parents still work, encourage them to put more in the old 401(k).

January 5, 2006

There, I posted

Sorry for the delay.