I blame Katie Wood Ray.

My husband plays on a kickball team, and I went to watch his game this afternoon. Not a lot of people come out to spectate so I figured I wouldn’t really have anyone to talk to. Plus it's not really my scene - full of hipsters who talk loudly and wear wacky clothes while smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap beer. So I brought Study Driven with me to continue planning for the year – I figured I could read bits and pieces in between watching plays.

I’m finding the book pretty engrossing as I try to imagine how this will look in my own classroom. I read and underline, annotate and think, reread, reread, think some more. It’s a process.

But I also wanted to pay attention to the game at least to a point, so I was half listening to the commotion on the field. When something sounded important, I’d look up and pay attention for a minute, then back down to the book. I’m quiet when I watch sports by myself, not a lot of yelling or cheering, so I just watched and listened. A steady cycle and it was working pretty well.

Turned out I wasn’t the only spectator today. A handful of people from another team were maybe 15 feet away from me, also watching the game. I didn’t know any of them and I’d gotten there first, so I was aware of their presence but that was it. At one point, though, I realized that maybe I was being rude.

A friend of theirs was umping, and he called out to them and asked why they weren’t mingling. They called back that there was only one person to mingle with and she was busy studying. I kept reading.

A minute later it sunk in – I was the person to whom they were referring. I wasn’t mingling. I was studying. Oh.

And then it felt too late to explain the whole teacher-on the verge of a new year and trying to avoid a nervous breakdown by being as prepared as possible thing. And then I felt rude for not talking to them and for not really cheering. And then I couldn’t think of a way to break the ice that I had apparently frozen myself (I’m actually kind of shy if I don’t feel comfortable in a situation). And then they wandered off. And then I kept on reading.

When I left, I gave my husband the rundown of what had happened in case he knew them or in case his team thought I’d been rude too; he didn’t, and didn’t think his team was upset, but still. I feel kinda bad.

Katie Wood Ray. Who knew she could cause so many problems?


"I'm a dreamer but I ain't the only one Got problems but we love to have fun" -K'naan, "Dreamer"

I teach eighth grade Language Arts at an urban school. My kids kick ass and will change the world. I want everyone to know.
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