When I was teaching many years ago, I would go on and on about Jackie Robinson. One of my favorite quotes is his: “A life is only important for the impact that it has on other people.” And in a few days, we’ll get to see his story told on screen.
Last year was Abraham Lincoln, and this year is Jackie Robinson. I wonder who will be next?
Part of me will always be a teacher at heart. I tried to make my living at this once, but so much of teaching has nothing at all to do with imparting knowledge to someone else. And since I had no patience for those other things, I went on to something else. But yesterday a teaching opportunity presented itself, and I took advantage. It felt pretty good, too.
My youngest daughter just ended her run with a Halloween-theme children’s play in Chicago. For a final hurrah with the others in the cast, there was a cast party held in a game room at a nearby university. I arrived late, for reasons I may explain someday, but by the time I got there, the party was in full swing. There were video games and ping-pong tables and pool tables and lots of pizza and other munchies available. It was just what you’d want such a gathering to be.
There were pool tables available, and at one point I had racked up for a game of 9-ball, and was looking for someone to play with when I heard on of the girls who had been in the play. She didn’t know if she was stripes or solids in a game of 8-ball she was playing against another girl who was also in the play. I told her that if she played 9-ball, it wouldn’t matter which one she was. She told me she didn’t know how to play, so I offered up my table to her and her cast mate.
They seemed to enjoy themselves, as I explained the concept behind “slop” shots in 8-ball, and how that didn’t apply to 9-ball. And how instead of avoiding the 8-ball, until after all of the stripes or solids had been sunk, the goal is to sink the 9-ball as quickly as possible, and thus win the game.
The game ended after about ten minutes, and the party began breaking up around that time. Whether either or both of these girls will ever shoot a game of 9-ball again, I have no idea. But I taught them something new, and they filled up some time at a party with their new knowledge. And I enjoyed that, much more than if I had actually played the game myself. As I said, I’m still a teacher at heart.