The phone rang at oh-six-dark-hundred this morning and that could only mean one thing.
Fumbling in the dark, I answered and accepted a half day subbing assignment starting at noon, then happily went back to sleep until 09:00am.
My three hour assignment commenced at the start of lunch for the 3rd grade class. That meant a quiet 40min paperback reading period for me. A book to read in any spare moment is one of the subbing essentials I carry in my backpack.
The lesson plan for the remainder of the day was very light. With only four days until summer break the day was shortened even more by a final hour break for the whole school to attend the annual, end of year “Teachers .vs. 6th Graders” kick-ball/baseball game.
That cut my “in class” assignment to little more than a single hour. What could be easier?
At the appointed time, I had the class pick up their chairs and haul them out to the ball field as every other class was doing. My class quickly disappeared into the mix of other classes lining the field. The teachers not playing in the game were monitoring the boundaries to thwart anyone from wandering off school property or onto the playing field during the game.
The teams gathered on the sidelines and it was immediately apparent that something was wrong. There were only seven teachers on the field. The teachers were outnumbered by a factor of almost 4-to-1.
There was an announcement calling for one or two more teacher “volunteers” to play that went unheeded. All the male staff, including the principal, were already on the field. Some of last year’s female players were on the sidelines in various stages of pregnancy or injury.
Now, substitute teachers are kinda like Rudolphs. We usually aren’t invited to play in any reindeer games with the rest of the herd and I’m happy with that arrangement. I have about 20yrs “advantage” over the oldest of the teacher players. Sitting on the sidelines enjoying the warm sun is AOK by me. But, it wasn’t to be.
I was gently coerced and eventually agreed to play the catcher position to minimize any “running” participation in the game. The teachers then drafted one of the sixth graders to act as pitcher and fill out the rest of the team.
The rules of the game seemed to be a bit free form and biased in favor of 6th graders. The rules are:
Three outs and done for the teachers. The 6th graders get one pass through all of their players and at least three outs before switching sides.
Teachers had eight playing positions including me as catcher.
The 6th graders had twelve outfielders (four in each field), two on every infield position and the rest sprinkled throughout the rest of field.
The game was tied nine each when time was almost gone but the teachers had “last ups”. The principle suggested ending it in a draw, but the guy teachers overruled him to play out the rest of the inning.
Teachers prevailed -- 10-9.