Clipper Fan Moment

It's tough enough being a middle grade teacher in the Los Angeles area. Late nights of grading papers...putting up with adolescent attitudes...being constantly interrupted by the tapping of pencils on desks...scraping gum from classroom furniture. However, it's even tougher being a middle grade teacher in the Los Angeles area when you are a huge Clipper fan.

In this land where the Lakers seem to be god, it's as if I am treated as the anti-Christ when I remind everyone of my pledge of loyalty to the Clipper Nation. I am reminded of the recent school carnival in which I nobly signed up to be in the dunk tank. As I walked to the tank proudly wearing my Clipper jersey, I heard the usual calls of "Clippers suck" and "Go Lakers". But I kept my head high, climbed into the tank, and unrolled the Laker shirt that I had brought with me. Of course, it was altered a bit. The "L" in Lakers had been changed to an "F" and an addition of "can't throw" was included. Waving the shirt as student after student and parent after parent, tried to put on their best impersonation of Nolan Ryan in order to knock me into the cold water. I was dunked many times that day and I think that some of the throwers wished that there was not a cage between me and their tosses. But I got up each time, waving my anti-Laker shirt more, while displaying the bright red of my Clipper jersey. As I climbed out of the tank that day, I told everyone who would listen that I would be back in the tank the next year to show off the love I have for my team.    

Yes, it is hard being a middle grade teacher. And it's just as hard being a Clipper fan. I think enduring all the hard times following the Clips have given me the perseverance to deal with anything junior high students throw my way. And, during the school day, as I look upon my class, I get the same feeling that I get when a new N.B.A. season begins. I get the feeling of hope; the hope that each year will turn into a successful one, whether it be for a group of teenagers or a team of basketball players. Go Clips!

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