- Title IX Memories - 1978 AIAW Basketball Championship
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- I Became a Basketball Coach — Even Though I'm a Girl
- Pat McKinzie
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Back home people were out and about in shorts and shirtsleeves enjoying a balmy 50F. Arriving in Geneva airport, felt like landing in Florida. We never begrudged a minute of our holiday on ice because warmhearted northlanders magically thaw winter souls by welcoming travelers into their homes and hearth with open arms and a joie de vivre. Gotta love Minn-A-so-Ta. You betcha. After the letdown of the holidays, I decided to beat the blues with a little home improvement. In the past, my mess was limited by frequent relocations. What a revelation! I never realized that dust could inhabit so many places- ledges of drawers, behind chair legs, under the coffee table.
Like trapeze artists, spiders swung from lamp fixtures, bookshelves, and window ledges. Ze Frenchman pushed, pulled, and turned tables, couches, chairs for my viewing pleasure. I journeyed across Europe sifting through mementos from school trips to the Camargue, Venice, Strasbourg, Florence, Paris, and Barcelona. I relived games when I uncovered certificates and medals from each of their teams. Like a kid on a scavenger hunt, I found silly putty, magic pens, a set of acrylics, a stack of cards, five kinds of tape and coins from fifteen different countries.
What bliss filling the recycling bins! I pitched a phone book collection, dating back to , and papers galore: college applications, chemistry exams, history notes, math graphs, and English essays. I discarded broken flashlights, old cassettes, sticker books, yoyos, Legos and marbles. While my husband moved furniture half a dozen times, I remained glued to my desk drawer, lost in the past until he interrupted my reverie, shouting,.
Aspi is short for aspirateur French for vacuum cleaner. His ploy worked; I quit nagging in time for him to collapse into his chair to enjoy his favorite sports program. Where did I relocate the remote control? Now I am settled in my nice, clean salle de sejour notice I did not say house so from my living room to yours best wishes for Thanks for following my exploits. Stay with me… the New Year promises more adventures from X-pat. Wear fur lined Grumpy Old Man hats with ear flaps down. Tuck hand warmers in mittens. Embrace the season. Bundle up and play outside! Take up ice fishing.
Read a book —curl up under a duvet and read a good book. Stoke up the fire. Warm your tootsies, melt you heart, and mellow out while flame gazing. Enjoy the show. Wear boots! Heavy, lined, and laced up! Off you go! Start with undies, the ultimate chill chaser Cuddle duds! Set out The Red Plate and engage in the time honored custom of our ancestors. American pioneer families acknowledged when friends and loved ones deserved praise or special attention by serving them on the red plate. Hug a lot. Laugh a little. Love each day. What an innovative idea to promote reading.
In Hudson, Wisconsin , in a tribute to his mom, who was a book lover and a teacher, Todd Bol built a miniature little red school house , stuck it on a post in his front yard, and filled it with books to share. The goal was to create over 2, Little Free Libraries to exceed the number of large libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie from to It also commemorated a courageous librarian, Miss Lucie Stearns, who between brought nearly little traveling libraries to different parts of Wisconsin.
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Under a cobalt sky, the snow-covered, rooftop of a dollhouse-sized hut, brimmed full of books. I would have loved to browse and pick up a book for my flight home, but my fingers froze merely posing for the photo. What an honor to discover that Karen had tucked a copy of my book, Home Sweet Hardwood into her neighborhood library. I shared the gift of reading, a love passed on from my grandparents and parents, with my children. The ultimate taboo in a French family to focus on anything other than food while dining!
Though reading may seem like a lost art and books sales have dropped, surprising The Little Free Library movement is booming. All 50 states and 40 countries have been involved. Grass roots movements to bring books to remote parts of the world and help produce literacy in India and Africa have grown. Hudson High School Wisconsin students built mini libraries and shipped them to Africa where local Rotary Clubs installed them. As of January , an estimated 15, Little Free Libraries exist worldwide. To find one in your neighborhood, consult the index.
Title IX Memories - 1978 AIAW Basketball Championship
Join the movement. Take a book, return a book, meet a neighbor, make a friend, build a library, create a community. In support of Little Free Libraries worldwide, I am giving away a copy of my memoir Home Sweet Hardwood to a commentator whose name will be selected in a random drawing. The winner will be announced next week. I spent the first half of my life fighting to be allowed on the court and the second half learning to graciously cheer for others when I could no longer play the game I loved.
Teamwork is a beautiful thing. None of that coast-to-coast garbage. But high school basketball is best. Players put their heart and soul on the line every week in front of the family, friends and community that shaped them. They play, not for money, or prestige, but for the camaraderie and love of the game.
But the lessons learned on the hardwood during their chaotic, fleeting adolescence last forever. I am grateful to be in the game even if only from the sidelines. I love giving halftime talks, drawing up last second plays, and encouraging kids to gut it out in tough circumstances.
Life took on new meaning after I came so close to losing mine. Some win. Some lose. Some survive. Some die. Cancer, a formidable foe, strikes down opponents indiscriminately, but the loss is particularly painful when the disease steals the life of a child. When an innovative basketball coach at Bishop McGuinness High School in Greensboro suggested that his players dedicate the game to someone who had influenced their lives, he never expected his idea to go global. One of his players, Spencer Wilson dedicated his game ball to an inspirational friend on the cancer ward, Josh Rominger.
On January 24 th in that North Carolinian gym filled to capacity, a boy made a foot last second shot to win the game in memory of a friend and found the courage to carry on. Sooner or later, we will be faced with those defining moments when our best laid plans and deepest hopes are derailed by injury, illness, accidents and unforeseen disaster.
Do we give up or go on? Congratulations, Debbie! Today anyone can find a team and play at any age and skill level. In , I left my homeland to continue playing basketball abroad, after my professional team collapsed due to lack of support. I thought one of the best things about living in Europe was their club system where anyone could play any kind of ball.
Now basketball clubs exist for women, all ages, many who grew up pre Title IX and never had the opportunity to play as children. Kirsten never let physical limitations define her. Women have arrived! Want more proof? With one hand, Mom beckons her toddler forward, while the other hand lingers behind ready to catch the fall. In the push-pull of motherhood, moms encourage children to step up to the next challenge, while longing to hold them back in the warm, safe, cocoon of unconditional love, knowing full well the world will never be so nonjudgmental and forgiving.
My mom cringed each time I got knocked flat playing sports. After every concussion, broken bone, and heart wrenching disappointment, never did she suggest that I should give up the game I love. In turn, when the time came, I perched on the edge of a hard bleacher — my heart was lodged in my throat each time my child hit the hardwood. Yet, I continued to drive my kids to and from practices and games, doctors and chiropractors.
My daughter, long and lean, had so many injuries during her career that she received birthday cards from the urgent care center. Sprained ankles, twisted knees, separated ribs, compressed vertebrae, broken fingers. Would his right leg be shorter than the left one? A shattered finger. A bruised rib. A broken dream. An ice pack, a back rub, a favorite meal. Moms know instinctively how to comfort, to console, to care.
After every setback, I cheered. Very few kids will stand on an Olympic podium, but whether they play sports or put their energy into other interests, our children will be stronger for having given it their best shot. Life will knock them on their butts. More than once. When children need the extra oomph to rise after those discouraging losses, thwarted goals, career-ending injuries, Mom will be there with a helping hand, a kind word, and a chocolate cookie. My dad taught me how to throw a ball and shoot a basket, but Mom was the one who listened to my fears, wiped away my tears and encouraged me to follow my dream.
God gave me broad shoulders.
For teaching us that falling only makes us stronger. Congratulations to all the competitors at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games! And to the moms that picked them up every step of the way. So I brushed off the dust of a manuscript I had worked on with 3 agents and a dozen different editors and started over again. Unite a pragmatic, logical, French, feet-on-the-ground-no-nonsense-businessman and a flighty, idealistic, touchy-feely artsy American writer and then watch the fireworks! I live in my dreams. He worries about reality — about spaces, margins, and quality of images. Ze Frenchman, a CEO in printing, formerly headed a French book printing company; now he manages newspapers in Switzerland on a hour deadline.
However, I have worked on this memoir nearly half a century changing the content according to the whims of a regiment of editors. Ze American loves words. I am driven by words. Do they dance across the page delighting the reader? Meanwhile the website crashes. Spammers from outer space invaded the blog. Drafts are lost in cyberspace. I learn new curse word every time something goes wrong upstairs in the attic.
I jump, fearing his foot, slammed so hard, will smash through the floorboards. What in the heck were we thinking publish a book? He wants it to be done; I want it to be perfect. I press forward, trying to sneak in one more rewrite quickly, so the Boss will get off my back! There is no hand holding, no coddling, no ego stroking, back patting, confidence boosting. It is just YOU and your idea flying solo through the universe on a wing and a prayer. Self-doubt is your sidekick.
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I second-guess myself on every sentence. My English language fluency regresses daily. I live in a country with four national languages — none of which are English -and work in an international school where students speak in 84 different mother tongues. Ze Frenchman adds a comma. I take it out. He questions the origins of a word. Ta da boom! Three decades later, longer than it took to raise our doctor daughter, my dream, -his nightmare- takes shape. I hope that my story inspires readers of all ages to never give up on their dreams. He hopes that after publication, I will quit writing. I could never, ever have attempted to publish a book without my techie sidekick, to whom I am forever grateful for standing by me.
It also reminds us of the challenges, struggles and inequality faced by women worldwide. Growing up in the infancy of Title IX, I sat on the sideline longing for the right to participate in sports like the boys. I had a dream. That one day, I too, would be allowed on center court. In , Title IX mandated gender equity in all schools, which opened doors in education and sport. I slouched through adolescence, feeling ashamed for my talents, ridiculed for my love of sports.
But I am standing tall today. It was unheard of. We fought for the right to play ball and in doing so, paved the wave for our high-flying daughters of today including my own biological daughter, a pediatrician, who went onto to become the first doctor in our family. Forty-two years after the passage of the groundbreaking Title IX legislation, this international woman is stepping out, heading to the Big Dance.
March will be a month of celebration, but come April it will be back to work. The worst part about living abroad is that I can never be two places at once. Due to the logistics of a 7-hour time difference and miles distance, I grieved alone the passing of my grandparents and celebrated solo the accolades that mean little to folks here in Europe. But my favorite all time coach, my dad, stepped in for me. Why me? For years, I stuffed down the ridicule, the snide remarks, the insults and kept dreaming. That little girl scorned is afraid to stand tall and shine. Yet, I will rise to the occasion.
Because ultimately, I wrote Home Sweet Hardwood , not for my own bragging rights, but to pay tribute to the silent generation of women who fought so hard for the privileges we are have today. Countless times when my spirit was broken, when I felt like giving up, when my legs no longer held me upright, my sisters lifted me to battle on and off the court. If I am triumphant today, it is because of the efforts of the mothers and grandmothers of yesterday. If my daughter rises in glory tomorrow, it will be due to the generations of women who have risen before her in pursuit of their dreams. Historically, women have taken a back seat.
Yet, it is women who have worked so hard behind the scenes to help us reach our goals, beginning with the mothers who believed in us from the day we were born. Pause and pay tribute to the women who guided you. Repeat their names out loud. Make a call, write a letter, send a prayer. Then continue doing what we do best, extending a helping hand, supporting one another, passing it on, and paying it forward.
As a child, I stood, hand on my heart, singing the national anthem, then watching the boys charge down court and praying someone would throw a bad pass, so that I could scoop up that loose ball and fire it back to the official. That was the only game action I saw unless I could convince the boys to let me in their pick up games.
I Became a Basketball Coach — Even Though I'm a Girl
I never fathomed that one day girls would play on center court because when I was a growing up, the medical authorities at the time, believed that if girls played sports their hearts would burst or their ovaries would drop out their bodies. After Title IX passed in , mandating equal opportunity for girls in education, basketball took me around the globe. Every step of the way I met obstacles. In Europe, I washed my uniform in a bathtub and shopped daily because my refrigerator was the size of school lunch box.
Before Internet, my only connection with home was letters that took weeks to arrive. I battled back from injury to continue competing until a car accident 4, miles away from home ended my career.
How do you deal with those life-changing setbacks? How do you keep your dreams alive after defeat? A championship title is not the only sign of victory. Today every girl can participate. To my generation, this is our triumph. That one day girls like her would be celebrated. That one day women would be doctors, lawyers, and businesswomen. We fought for the right to play ball and in doing so opened doors for our daughters.
Though it is unlikely DIII athletes will play professionally, they will have the opportunity to pursue careers in the field of their choice. I am not famous, just a feisty tomboy who fell in love with basketball as a 5-year-old, and refused to take no for an answer. I spent the 1st half my life fighting for the right to play, the 2nd graciously cheering for others. I wrote Home Sweet Hardwood to bear witness, to give a voice to the silent generation who battled so hard for the rights we have today.
We cannot know who we are if we do not know where we came from. We stand on shoulders of the women who came before us. In my own life, it was my mom and coach. Play hard. Play fair. Play as long as possible. Then pay it forward. Pass it on. Encourage another little girl to chase her dream. Four decades after the passage Title IX, the little girl who grew up on the sideline finally made it to the Big Dance. I kicked my heels up for all women. Raise the roof. Ladies, we have arrived! During media interviews and community speeches culminating with my keynote speech at the NCAA Final Four Banquet, I held center stage and had a chance to share the story of the pioneers.
There is a lot to criticize about my birth land right now, and it makes me sad for my people, but there is one thing that America got right.
Millions of people suffer from mental illness and I am one of them. Millions more are affected because a friend or loved one suffers from a disease that may be difficult to diagnose, and even harder to endure.
Fall Means Football Season in my Family. Sugar maple seeds flutter to the ground like mini helicopters and leaves tinged in red signal fall and football season. As soon as my hand grew big enough to grasp the pigskin, my dad taught me to throw and catch a perfect spiral. On cool autumn evenings, we ran passing patterns — the down and out, button hook and v-slant […] The post Fall Means Football Season in my Family appeared first on Pat McKinzie. When Celestia Rice Colby was born in Ohio in , her life options were fairly typical.
She married, had five children, worked as a dairy farmer and housewife for much of her life, and died in This was her surface life. Like many other women of her time and place, Colby kept detailed and reflective diaries and writings. As a result, we see the implications of the term separate spheres not as a theoretical construct but applied to everyday lives. Brakebill points out that while many Northern women wanted to end slavery, they were disinclined to make themselves objects of public censure and, instead, worked within established organizations such as churches and benevolent societies.
Brakebill summarizes Colby not as a typical antebellum housewife and not as a radical who consistently defied societal conventions, but as similar to many women in her concerns. The detailed Index and extensive Bibliography are useful to readers and researchers alike.
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