Another day, another... well certainly not dollar

So today was the last day of work for my wife. She is officially unemployed. A few months ago, the company she worked for filed bankruptcy, and we were left wondering what was going to happen. They put the company up for auction and basically two different companies began bidding. One, a smaller company in the same field but would benefit from the structure her company had to offer and the significant client base they would have gained. If this company won, they might have even offered her a job.

The second company is the largest company in this field in the world. Pretty much, everyone knew they were bidding in order to quash their competition.

Guess who won.

My wife was the marketing and promotions manager so she was personally responsible for all of their online advertising, navigation banners, artwork, etc. Within three hours of the closing, the website was shutdown. In three hours they "blow'd up" all of her work for the past year. Luckily we will be moving in 5 or 6 months anyway so she would have been looking for a job then. Plus she gets unemployment benefits whereas she wouldn't have if she had simply quit.

So, she will be home a lot for the next few months, which is nice.



I read an article today about a coach getting fired for winning 100-0 in a girls varsity basketball game. I have to say that, after reading the article, I agree with the decision. At first, I didn't know what I thought, but the coach's response is what turned me against him. He was completely unapologetic and didn't see anything wrong with running the score up so high.

This story is a little personal to me. I coached basketball. I even coached girl's basketball. One year, I was the coach of a 7th & 8th grade girls team. The year before we had all 8th graders who were all fairly experienced, so we did pretty well. The following year, those girls all moved up to the freshman team, and my team consisted of all 7th graders, most of whom had never really picked up a basketball. We had three weeks (twice a week) of practice before our first game, and I was teach them how to dribble the ball and shoot. The team we were to play first was one of the better teams in the league, made up of mostly 8th graders, their practices were consisting of strategy, defense, different offensive sets, and the like.

The day of the game was rough. By halftime, their coach realized that we were severely outmatched. The score was 53-0. He had already, by the middle of the second quarter, shifted his team into a 2-3 zone so that there wouldn't be as many steals, but my girls didn't know yet how to change directions while dribbling and they basically dribbled the ball right into the opposing team's hands. In the third quarter, the other coach told his girls to just stand there with their hands up. Still, we would lose the ball and they would take it down for a lay up. The final score was 86-1. Our one point came from a free throw that banked in so hard I thought the girl had thrown the ball baseball style at the backboard.

I did not (and do not) fault the other coach. He tried to lessen the margin of loss by putting in his substitutes, changing his strategy, and even putting restrictions on his players' scoring. But, if a middle school girl has a wide open shot to score, so that her parents can see, I would never begrudge her that. Our girls were a little upset, but I tried to encourage them by pointing out the fact that they had all just begun to play while the other team had been playing together for a while. I promised them that if they worked hard in practice, we would improve.

We never won a game that season. However, our last 5 games of the year went down to the wire. The girls' skills improved to the point where we could implement different offensive and defensive sets. They could finally put the ball in the basket. We had one game that went into double overtime against a team that had previously beat us by 20 points.

Oh, and the team we played first and lost to by 85, we played 2nd to last and lost by 3. Despite the losses, the improvement throughout that year was astounding and it was one of my favorite years coaching.

I thank that coach for having mercy on us in that first game. The score could have been much worse. But I also thank him for the harsh wake up call to the girls on my team that they had a long way to go. It lit a fire under them to really work hard in practice (and out of practice). Some of them went on to be very good players at the high school level. Sometimes we need to get our asses kicked, but the other side doesn't need to be a jerk about it (as it seems this particular coach from the article was).



I know everyone will be posting this today, but it should never become so commonplace that we forget the impact this man actually had.



I read a great quote today about how to go about making decisions about the future.

"I always recommend to people that they follow
the Ignatian principle. Regardless of what is sensible,
and regardless of what you think you 'ought' to do,
which of the courses ahead of you makes you feel alive,
makes your heart open wider, makes you feel hopeful
and as if the future is opening up not closing down?
That is the route you should go."

It is this thinking that allowed the Jesuits, despite great opposition even from within their own church, to spread throughout the world.

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of the methods of some Jesuits were appalling. The way some Jesuit missionaries viewed Native Americans was racist and not in line with the values to which I believe God calls us. That being said, they were willing to go where others were unwilling. Many were martyred. The film "The Mission" is a fantastic story about Jesuit missionaries (by the way, I agree with Jeremy Irons' character rather than Robert DeNiro, but I understand DeNiro's thinking).

As Kristy and I think about the future, we are scared, excited, apprehensive, and gun-ho (BTW, this is correct... it is not "gung-ho") all at the same time. Now it is time to practice some of the other principles put forth by Ignatius of Loyola. We must, listen and look for the leading from God. But the fact that our next steps stir so much emotion is a sign that we might be headed in the right direction.