Thursday, 17 November 2011

Working in Ottawa today --Balls, Porn, and Growing up

Good morning folks, Not withstanding my earlier email (a legalese way of saying this new info trumps the previous) I will be working in the Nation's Capital.
Here's a shout-out to Toronto's Manpreet, Happy Birthday!
So I was going to write about this barrage of hoax emails that certain school principals, wine merchants, retired firemen, grocers, heavy equipment sales guys, computer repair dudes, data system managers (the guys I play Racquetball with on Wednesdays and Sundays not to be confused with the other set of people that I play Squash with on Mondays and some Saturdays) forward to me.
Particularly George.  George sends me two kinds of emails.  Porn, because apparently George thinks that there is a shortage of quality porn on the net, and should he find some, promptly forwards it along to everyone he knows.  I have tried to explain to George that the Internet is actually assembled from collections of porn, and that all other activity accounts for only perhaps 40% combined, and if I wanted to surf porn, I am more than capable.  But send, send, send he continues.
The other email the George sends out is right wing fundamentalist Christian propaganda.  Mostly false attacks on Christianity and why everyone should vote Republican.  I was going to explore the underlying strategy of straw man arguments and false flag attacks and the odd pairing of George's two hobbies then something caught my attention this morning.
Schools banning balls.
Eh?  Oh yes, schools in Ottawa and Toronto have started banning baseballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, footballs, basketballs, etc..  Except..  The NerfBall.  Oh, and a school in Ste. Catherines has banned cartwheels and other gymnastics.
The reason of course is that someone could, and a few have, got hurt.
I find this absurd.  Yes, one could get hurt, that of course is not the intended result of playing with a ball, but shit happens.  That is part of growing up, of learning.
When I was in grade 4 and my brother David was in grade 6, we were playing baseball at recess back at St. Pat's in Lethbridge.  I was on 3rd base waiting for a hit to bring me in when a pop fly when up towards David playing shortstop.  Bam!  David tried to catch the ball with his face.  Instead of bringing in the run, I went to see if he was okay.  Bloody lip.  He lived.
Two things were learned that day.  David never tried to catch a baseball with his face again, if it had been a NerfBall, that lesson would have been missed.  And I learned that tending to a hurt brother was better than bringing in another run.
We do our children a severe disservice if we shield them from all chance of injury, hurt feelings, disappointments, failure.  When I was kid I played Hockey and Basketball (I used to be taller).  When we lost, we lost, no "Yay, we're all winners" bull crap, loosing sucks, that's why we try to win.  A child's brain is still in that rapid development stage, when it is taking all in and developing the base set of Stimuli/Process/Responses.  If we delay all of the best lessons till adulthood we will end up with some really screwed up adults.
Getting hit with a ball in the face hurts, that's why you should avoid it.
Have a good day, throw a ball at some kid.

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