In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. 
- Zen Concept of Shoshin

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball" - Patches O'Houlihan

In college I participated in some recreation sports, but dodgeball was not one of them. Why not? It should have been.

When I became a teacher, I was a substitute teacher for a year or so, and I had the displeasure of filling in for a phy ed teacher or two. Phy ed class as a substitute was typically a chaotic experience of volleyball or floor hockey, but never dodgeball. Even though students always wanted to play.

I loved playing dodgeball in elementary school, but when I started teaching, dodgeball was out of vogue. Dodgeball is, after all, a game of violence. The objective is to hit an opponent with a ball, and head-shots are sometimes allowed. And if they're not, it is usually worth it to a kid to have to sit out if they can get a good shot to the head of the kid who picks on them in the hallway and during lunch.

As for my playing days, I don't even know if dodgeball was available as a rec sport at the University of Minnesota when I attended. I stuck to playing broom ball and soccer. Had I discovered curling, I would have been doing that too. But, dodgeball still has a special place in my mind.

I found the movie "Dodgeball" quite entertaining, and even thought provoking. My favorite quote from the movie is a mantra that extends beyond the gym and dodgeball court.

"If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball" - Patches O'Houlihan.

I should've played dodgeball in college. I should have studied better too. So, I'll just add dodgeball to the list of would'a, should'a, could'a.

I'll have to check and see if the local YMCA has a dodgeball league. I'm sure my students would be willing to help me train. They'll gladly through stuff at me.

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