You may or may not have noticed, but the Dawg tries to be somewhat lighthearted, if not downright humorous, in this space on Fridays. We are aware that much (all?) of the popularity of the Law Dawg column over the years was based on the humor content.  Here in the EdLawDaily we cannot possibly be funny every day, but we are trying to maintain a 20% quota for Law Dawg style humor by reserving Friday for amusing developments.

So with that in mind, let me just make note of the fact that the Chicago Cubs will play their first game of the season this Sunday night.  The Cubs are full of hope this year. They have a new manager (Joe Maddon), some promising new players (including John Lester), Wrigley Field is being renovated and they start the season on Easter!  Time for a RESURRECTION!

I don’t look for that to happen.  Jesus spent only three days in the tomb, but the Cubs have been there for 114 years.  Someone once quipped about the Cubs, “Anyone can have a bad century.” But the Cubs are now past the century mark and still losing.  As someone who grew up on the South Side of Chicago—White Sox territory—I take some pleasure in pointing these things out.

The good news, of course, is that baseball is back.  Of all our athletic entertainments, baseball is the most like life…or like school administration for that matter.

How is baseball like school administration you ask?  Let me count the ways.

First, it is daily.  As a school administrator you do not get to practice for six days and play on one.  No—you have to show up and play every day. Have you ever had a practice day of school?  No, you haven’t. Real kids are there every day and you are expected to be at your best every day.  Like in baseball.

Baseball is like school administration because baseball is the only game in which the defense controls the ball.  Have you ever felt really in control of your life? Have you ever felt totally on top of everything in your school district, in control of all events as you survey your domain?  If so, I suggest that you are delusional. You are not in control of Life, nor are you in control of the many students, parents, taxpayers, colleagues and teachers you will encounter today. You are not in control of the budget, the law, the curriculum or just about anything else.  You don’t have the ball—someone else does.  Just like in baseball.

Baseball is like school administration because you do not improve your performance simply by trying harder.  You have to play smart.  You have to be responsive to situations. All you can really do is prepare and make yourself ready for whatever comes.  Basketball and football are adrenaline games—trying harder improves performance.  But baseball is like golf or tennis. Gripping the bat, club or racket tighter will not improve your game.  You can’t play the game with clenched teeth and white knuckles. Being an educator is like that too.

Baseball is like school administration because every player has to be a good team player, but has to be able to handle the solo spotlight also.  When the ball is hit to you, you can’t just pass it to someone else.  When it’s your turn at bat, there is no one who can help you.  (This is why the Designated Hitter rule is an abomination and spawn of the devil).  So you have to be able to perform alone—but you are a member of a team as well.  Kind of like being a principal or assistant principal.

Baseball is like school administration because you have to have a variety of skills.   You can’t be successful with just a single skill, as you can in many other sports.  You have to be able to play the entire game—hitting, fielding, throwing, running--with some degree of skill.  Life is like this.  Schools are like this.  Educators need to be able to think, to learn, to create, to perform, to speak, to write, to relate.

Baseball is like school administration because the whole idea is to get home safely.  The batter approaches the plate in a state of alert focus, well prepared for whatever may come his way.  If he meets with success, he begins his heroic journey around the bases, moving from station to station, avoiding danger with the aid of his teammates until he reaches the safe port of home plate.

Think on these things and have a Good Friday.