If someone put together a highlight reel of great moments in “Adult Unfocused History” they would include a video of former Atlanta Braves first baseman, Adam Laroche. LaRoche has ADD. In 2006, he fielded a routine ground ball and lost track of how many out there were. Jogging to first base he was beaten out by the runner, allowing the Washington Nationals to come back and win the game. ESPN reported:
LaRoche concedes that his mind occasionally drifts off to other things while he’s in the field or sitting in the dugout. Playing a sport that comes with so much idle time only makes things worse.
This likely sounds familiar to people presently forced to stay at home. We’re all playing baseball now. Idle time allows the mind to drift to other things.
I’m going to talk about those “other things”.
You learn quickly when you’re an educator that kids think you’re old. I was 23 when I first started teaching, I thought I was pretty young, cool even. To my students, I may as well have been Methuselah. In a Zoom class with a group of fifth-graders yesterday, I joked that I’m so old that I was around for the last pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918. They believed me. One kid asked me what it was like. I told him pretty much like it is now, the Wi-Fi wasn’t as good.
I need to get new equipment for listening to Zoom calls. I have a great deal of activity swirling around me as I work from the dining room table. I need earbuds to drown out the background noise. But I’m developing “earbud ears”. That’s when you’ve had those things in your ears so long that you feel like they’re still in there even when they’re not. Is this widening the opening to my ear cavity? I’m afraid the “murder hornet” is going to fly in there.
One of my favorite characters in the COVID crisis is Dr. Deborah Birx. She’s the image that comes to mind when you hear, “Elementary School Principal”.
When she cautioned us about going out to the supermarket, I heard:
“OK children, the temperature is below 55° and it might rain, you know that means we’re not having recess today. Don’t have your parents call, it’s right there on the website. Stop asking your teachers, it’s not their decision, it’s just the thermometer. We can’t go out to recess. Now lineup on both sides of the hallways we’re going to the library.”
Dr. Birx would also probably tell us, “Wash your hands, boys and girls, make sure you wash your hands. Do it as long as it takes to sing happy birthday. But you don’t have to sing it out loud, stop singing Happy Birthday out loud Donald. The bathroom is next to my office and you’re driving the secretary crazy.”
Best of luck focusing. There’s a ground ball coming your way and you can’t remember how many outs there are.