Monthly Archives: October 2010

Halloween

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved Halloween. I love the creative nature of the holiday. You have a day to be whatever you want. When I was in school I would start working on my costume during the summer. So you can imagine how excited I was when in third grade, we were given the assignment to write a poem about Halloween. I remember working really hard on it because I so loved Halloween. I wanted it to be the best poem ever.

I turned my assignment in with much happiness and pride, kind of like when Ralphie turns in his “theme” in the movie A Christmas Story. Anyway, a few days later, my teacher asked me to stay in while the other kids went out to recess. She pulled my poem out of a folder. I bubbled with excitement, but she quickly burst it.

She accused me of cheating. She said that either my Mom must have written it or I copied it from somewhere. Besides the tears that were welling in my eyes, I was frozen. I didn’t know how to defend myself, not that she was giving me a chance to do that. I hated the third grade from that point on. I also didn’t like writing poetry or any kind of creative writing after that.

Jump three years later. I’m in sixth grade. I’m cranky because our homework is to write a holiday poem. I hate this assignment. I calm down a bit and all of the sudden my third grade Halloween poem comes racing into my head. I wrote the words as I remembered them and submitted it. My sixth grade teacher liked my poem so much that it was published in our school newspaper.

I wonder sometimes if teachers realize the power they wield. Even though I got some positive recognition for my poem three years later, that incident in third grade made me very insecure about my writing for a long time. Was that time wasted? I don’t know. I do know that it didn’t effect how much I love Halloween.

I wish you all a Happy Halloween. Here is my poem as it appeared in the sixth grade newspaper.

Sychronicity: The Police

Sychronicity-PoliceOK. I admit it. As a teenager, I first got into The Police because I thought Sting was hot. But I got hooked when I listened to the words of his songs. Here was a band that was making songs with words that I needed to look up in a dictionary.

I had no idea who Carl Jung was before I heard the song Synchronicity I. I had heard of the word “synchronicity,” but not really the concept; that there are times in our lives when we experience a meaningful coincidence. Sting describes it as

A connecting principle

Linked to the invisible

Almost imperceptible

Something inexpressible

Science insusceptible

Logic so inflexible

Causally connectible

Yet nothing is invincible

Isn’t it the coolest feeling when the phone rings and it’s the person you were just thinking about? That’s synchronicity.

I love to crank up this song and think about synchronicities I have experienced and wonder and hope that new ones will come.

And yes, I still think Sting is hot.

Rudy

RudyRecent comments by the National Football League’s Hall of Fame, quarterback, Joe Montana, drove me to watch the 1993 movie Rudy again.

Rudy is based on the life of, Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger. Rudy came from a huge (thirteen siblings) catholic family and his dream was to play football for Notre Dame University. But there were some problems. Rudy’s grades were bad, the family didn’t have the money and at 5’ 7” he was a little small for college football. So off to the steel mill he went like most of the other kids who didn’t go to college. After the tragic death of a friend/co-worker, Rudy decided that his dream couldn’t die like his friend in the mill. He left home for Notre Dame.

Now if you haven’t seen the movie, I’m sure you know that if Hollywood made this into a movie, he must finally play football for Notre Dame. And if that’s what you guessed, you would be right. But playing in the football game is just part of the story. The part that stirs your soul is the fact that he did it at all. He didn’t give up when he was declined admission to Notre Dame not once, not twice, but three times. He worked hard to improve his grades and kept knocking down any other obstacles in front of him. He struggled to achieve his dream.

It turns out that Joe Montana was on the Notre Dame football team with Rudy. During a recent interview, Mr. Montana seemed tired of answering questions of his former teammate. He said that “it was just a movie,” and that as a player Rudy didn’t practice “any harder than anyone else.” He also said that pivotal scenes didn’t happen, like the one where the players one-by-one hand in their jerseys to give their spot on the team to Rudy.

I realized that Mr. Montana must not have understood that this movie wasn’t just a movie about football. And so what if all the players didn’t hand in their jerseys. It’s about the journey, Mr. Montana. I thought he was wiser than that. Say it aint so, Joe.