Monday, April 30, 2007

NASCAR IN THE BACKGROUND

It was a great Sunday afternoon for beer, burgers, and the beach. Something very refreshing when you're not counting carbs, calories, or content.

Ahhhh, comfort food for some of us.

I'm not sure when I noticed that a TV was tuned to NASCAR. They were racing at a track in Alabama called Talladega. As I understand it the cars have devices - restrictor plates - that limit the speed of the car (hey NASCAR fans no flames please, I'm trying here) which seems to contradict the reason for a race.

I can't help but think of Lake Wobegone where all the kids are above average. That comment always irritated the syllogism in me. It simply underscored the boredom that happens when nobody pops up with an observation or the absence of comedic relief when somebody doesn't quite get it. Dull.

A driver named Tony had to talk to the officials about some criticism he leveled at somebody important and I think he was called into an office and "spanked".

There is something called "The Car of Tomorrow" which a guy named "Jesse" tried to explain to me. Suddenly all I could think of was "No Car Left Behind".

Each "Car of Tomorrow" had to have the same size fuel tank and it struck me as "The Gas Size Amendment". I kept all of this to myself.

Everything was aggressive. Strategy. Shortcuts. Adjustments. Something called drafting, a technique where you use someone else's air to gain an advantage at almost 200 MPH! Short-term stuff but all part of the job.

They waved a yellow caution flag and most everybody scrambled to the pits for gas and water and repairs and adjustments. It was chaos. Rather than enjoy the break they left as soon as possible. This happened many times. Next year maybe we should build and assign restroom stalls in our Teacher Pit Area so nobody tries racing to use the only one.

As the race went on little mistakes seemed to create major problems for both the driver that made the mistake as well as the drivers around him. The continued intensity of trying to survive and thrive, and the resulting mistakes born from that stress, cost some participants dearly. More strategic planning for every pit stop.

The announcer was commenting on how the drivers question everything they do. Every move they make. Every decision. Every alliance. Looking for improvement, and an edge.

One little mistake and it could really cost you. No margin for error.

The winner was actually booed by some fans. Others threw beer cans at him, some got arrested.

I don't get it but I know how he must have felt. He sure seemed like a class act.


NASCAR Napkin Notes:
Some former winners didn't qualify to race this year?
They pray publicly before the start of the race.
Everybody stands for the prayer and the National Anthem.
One driver wore a helmet marking Autism Month.
There was a driver from Mexico and a car made in Japan.
A car advertised the National Day of Prayer among cars with military, beer, candy and I think an E.D. sponsor.


I really enjoyed watching the race but the similarities with teaching made me uncomfortable.

So much for comfort food.

Some Comic Relief


Click below and read a GREAT response from the "Out In Left Field" blogger. Then tell me you're not fired up for Tuesday! NICE WORK Catherine! A Slam Dunk all the way from Wesley Chapel!

Teachers Fight For What's Right


3 comments:

Goader said...

What other endeavor pays that much to finish where you start.

A clever parody, which goes to show education, is everything!

Anonymous said...

Todays editorial in Tampa Trib:

http://www.tbo.com/news/opinion/commentary/MGBT105E81F.html

Good Job Catherine!

Goader said...

I have to fix this link, it is too good a read to miss.

Teachers Fight For What's Right