Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tomorrow's David Beckham

The grand experiment where I am placed in charge of kids comes to an end this week. Like any last week of school, there are lots of tests. Today, I had the pleasure of grading the writing comprehension tests...for 2 hours. Luckily, I had another tutor (G) there to share in the pain.

Anyway, we were comparing scores - basically, trying to outdo one another as to who had the stupider kid - when G goes, "Okay, what's your lowest score?" I proudly hold up a 29, thinking what can possibly beat a kid who spells garden with an "n-e," when G says, "I have an 8."

Me: You mean a kid only got 8 questions right?

G: No, I mean he got an 8. Percent.

Me: Please don't let it be Carl, please don't let it be Carl.

G: No, it was Kevin.

Me: That dumbass. I believe it. I swear the boy doesn't even know his own name. I was calling him the other night and he just walked on by like he didn't have a thought in the world.

G: I know, he’s in my class. I asked everybody what they wanted to be when they grew up and Kevin said he wanted to be a professional soccer player.

Me: Shit, that may be the smartest thing he's ever said. Let me see his test. (Pause while I look at Mensa Boy’s test.) Motherfucker spelled flower f-o-l-w-e-r. Forget books. His parents need to invest in good cleats and a coach.

After grading the rest of the tests, G and I went to the gym where the kids were playing dodgeball. They get an hour in the gym every night after tutoring. Anyway, I had previously recommended to all the kids that they read Harry Potter or whatever book caught their fancy. I saw Kevin demolishing all the other kids in dodgeball and said, “JR, get over here, boy!” No response. “Okay, fine, Kevin, get over here.” Still no response. “Kevin! KEVIN! KEVIN! Finally, contact. He trotted over and I told him, “Boy, forget Harry Potter. That’s only going to confuse you. Stick with a book called Harold and the Purple Crayon, okay? And stay in the gym for another hour today. Keep kicking the ball and practicing, okay?”

Kevin: Huh? We’re playing dodgeball, not soccer.

Me: Yup, that’s pretty much 8%. Okay, go back to the game, Kevin. Good luck…in life.

So that pretty much sums up my life as a teacher. I’m rather shocked that more teachers don’t end up killing themselves. Imagine if Kevin makes it as a professional soccer player – which means nothing here in the US, but luckily for Kevin, he’s from what the Bush administration likes to call “the rest of the world.” Provided he follows the David Beckham model, and he’s already well on his way – for the talent show, he and his friends dressed up as girls and put on a little fashion show…what’s more Becks than that – he stands to make bank, or at least a hell of a lot more than those people for whom “flower” is not a trick question.

Actually, I was watching Letterman tonight and one of the guests was Drew Rosenhaus. Dave brought up the T.O. contract situation and when Rosenhaus said that T.O. was underpaid, Dave started in on a holier-than-thou tirade about how teachers, not T.O., are underpaid. This coming from the man getting paid over $100 million to sit on his ass and give us another reason not to watch CBS. Out of all the arguments about how athletes are overpaid, I hate the teacher one the most. Do I think teachers are underpaid? Very much so. Do I think athletes are overpaid? Yes, but not when considering how much they bring in. Then Dave went on about how an athlete demanding more money means the fans are the ones who have to pay, blah, blah, blah. Once again, this coming from the man who inflicted Ed and that creepy ass Paul Schaffer on us. Worst of all, he had me defending that douchebag Rosenhaus. But really, I can’t stand it when uninformed people try to get in the sports salary debate and use the “what about the poor teachers” line. You really can’t compare the two. People don’t pay 100 bucks to watch a teacher in the classroom. Networks don’t pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights to televise classes. If they did, teachers would be getting million dollar contracts, too. And it's not like athletes' getting paid is what prevents teachers from getting a raise. You can’t even compare football to basketball or baseball. In a sport like football, which is more physically demanding and damaging than basketball, baseball, or Dave’s go-karts, and in which your contract can be cancelled for any reason whatsoever, I think players like T.O. have every reason to holdout when they feel they’re not getting market price for their services. Doesn’t mean I think T.O. deserves all that money, but I don’t think Jeff Lurie deserves $833 million either. And you better believe if I thought I was a main reason why Lurie and the Eagles were in the Superbowl and made all that green last year, I’d be demanding a bigger check, too.

Ahh, aren’t you glad to have me back? Be careful what you wish for!


Henrik Löwenhamn said...

Kevin might be dyslectic. Or really stupid.

Courtside said...

No, he really is that dumb. But it's okay - he can kick a ball far and he's popular with the ladies. Isn't that all a man needs in life?

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!