Monday, June 4, 2012

Take me out to the Ball Game - Baseball Part 2

After singing the "Take me out to the ball game..." in the classroom and teaching the students how to say For it's one, two, three strikes... You're Out with great flourish and a sharp thumb pointing to the sky, I led my rowdy 4th grade class to the garden for their first baseball lesson. They loved running the bases and would have kept doing that, but I thought we should move on to batting and, hopefully, hitting so we would actually have a reason to run the bases. Because this is a large class, I divided them in half and sent the twos to the field and had the ones line up to bat. (Side note: I think I'll call them the Rockies and the Mariners tomorrow. It's a little easier to remember than ones and twos.)

The guy at first base was a sight to be seen. He was sporting his dress-black, pointy-toed concert performance shoes, a pair of black trousers cinched up nice and tight high above his waistline, and a long sleeved buttoned-to-the-very-top-button white dress shirt. He'd been giving the guy at second base, who appeared a bit more athletic in his genuine-resting-at-hip-level Adidas pants and t-shirt, a lot of Turkish threats and evil stares. To make matters more annoying, first base boy kept flaunting the electric key fob to someone's Passat and bragging that it was his car (he does talk about cars and driving all the time, and I'm always surprised at what I see over here, so maybe he DID drive to school..) But, seriously, how many kids carry a $150 key fob and flaunt it all day. I wanted to punch him.

Thank goodness I didn't have to because the boy at second was getting tired of first base's bravado and general idiocy. At least I think that was what was happening. I was actually in the process of pitching to a girly-girl in pink sandals, butterfly tights, and a pink headband, and was having to re position her hands on the bat after every pitch (right hand on top, left hand on bottom). It was while returning to the pitching mound after one of these "how to hold the bat" sessions that I looked up and saw the first base boy step out of his black imitation Florsheims , square off his shoulders, puff up his chest like a peacock, and throw his key fob to the ground like a knight throws down the gauntlet. He then started his stocking footed I'm-going-to-beat-the-crab-out-of-you strut to second base. The second base boy, also of proud Turkish male stock, matched the square shoulders, puffed up chest even bigger, but kept on his Adidas football cleats while marching in his equally threatening wanna-bet? strut towards first.

Not one to miss an opportunity to be a middle-aged-I'm-sick-of-the antics-from-you-two teacher, I pulled back my shoulders , marched to the center of the field, looked snug-pants nerd in the face and yelled, "Turkish football match, fight OK. American baseball game, fight NOT OK. You're OUT! ( I pointed my thumb to the exit of the field and tried not to spit as I gave shouted the command.) the... field... Now!"

Keeping with the cultural norm that commands and rules are "suggestions" but not actually meant to be followed, nerdy first base boy calmly stepped back into his shoes, gently tucked his key fob back in his pocket, carefully hiked his pants back up to their former just-below-the breast-bone snug position, and quietly took his place back at first base.

...Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks..

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