From the Stretch

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As March fades to April, change is all around. Days continue getting longer, the trees and grass start finding their colors again, and of course, America’s pastime revives and the long ball flies again; baseball is back.

In my opinion, the baseball season is a great analogy for the year-long work of a teacher. The year starts off strong and exciting: What will this year bring? How will the rookies surprise us this time? What do we expect to see from the veterans? Who will come out on top?

But just like baseball, the school year is long. A lot can change in 162 days (conveniently for this analogy, Arrupe Jesuit High School (Denver, CO) has about 150-odd days of class this year). The players become more experienced, the teams have good days and bad days, and the coaches learn from past mistakes.

At times, the season drags on, especially in the middle where one bad day can easily be made up tomorrow. But once the end is near, everything becomes significant. Everyone starts showing the wear and tear from a long year’s work. A simple error can cost you a season’s worth of effort and careful preparation. One small mistake can cost you your shot at the postseason – a summer free from classes. It’s a mad rush to get grades in and scores up, to get tests finished end the year with a W.

With spring break come and gone, the end looms closer than ever. The seventh inning stretch is done, everyone’s had their Cracker Jacks and all that’s left are those last three crucial outs. For a typical pitcher, it’s not every day you get the shot at pitching a complete game. But for the teachers out there, this is their yearly duty. It can be tiring, and our shoulders will hurt tomorrow when it’s done, but there’s a sense of exhilaration as well. It’s been your game all along, and now you get to finish it.

These last few weeks will be exhausting, sure. But I look forward to each one. These are my final pitches in this year-long game, and I want each and every one to count. That way, when the caps are thrown and the crowds leave the stadium, it’ll be in celebration of a successful season and one final W.

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