HW posted on "mydsd"

Beginning October 2, 2017, homework will be listed on "myDSD" where your grades are calculated. It will be shown as "practice" which means it does NOT count as part of your actual grade but it is listed to help you and your parents keep on top of your work and make certain you do not have missing "stuff". It will be posted under the heading of "participation points" for 7th graders and under the heading of "listening and participation points" for 8th graders.

As posted on our disclosure: ALL homework must be done AND you need a score of 6 or higher to be allowed to retake concepts.

Basketball story (about your teacher)

Many years ago, when I taught High School in England, I had many different responsibilities. One of these was coaching basketball. My first two years, I coached Girls' Varsity and Junior Varsity Basketball, and my last year, I coached Boys' Junior Varsity Basketball. That was a new experience for me - it was my first time coaching boys, and it was their first time having a woman coach. But, we worked it out. We had a very successful season, tying for first place in the United Kingdom. I learned to love and respect those 14-18-year old young men greatly.

One of the schools we played against was American School of London, ASL. These teams were always well-coached and highly competitive. Often, they would go to Switzerland and participate in International Basketball clinics. They were children of privilege, children of diplomats and International business-men and women. They were also very cocky in their skills and wins. I often thought it was a shame that they were not the American School of Sweden, then their initials would have been AS-... well, you get the picture.

On this particular Saturday, we made our way into London to play them. We were excited. Enthused. Full of energy. Our goal was to win. The game began. We did well. They did well. Back and forth the game went. Eventually, they managed to get a 13-point lead over us. Nothing we did seemed to make any difference. With 1:17 left on the clock in the fourth period, I called a time-out. As we gathered in our huddle, I, impassioned, told those young men, "For the rest of this game, we are going full-court press. You do not let them touch the ball. I do not care if you foul them going for the ball- you do not let them touch it! Do you understand? " All nodded their heads in agreement.

As play began again, I noticed a definite shift in the game. My players played harder than I had ever seen them play before. The applied pressure they put on ASL became very noticeable. They denied them every pass, every in-bounds play, every rebound. We began scoring easy points because of this pressure. We were down by 11, then 7,.. 5, 3 points, then 0! We had tied up the game! Now, there were two seconds left on the clock.

One of our players, Brian, took the ball and was immediately fouled. It was a one-and-one situation. All he had to do was step to the line, make one free-throw, and in all likelihood, we would win the game. He stepped up, took a deep breath- just how we had practiced so many times- and shot the ball. It hit the rim, bounced around, and fell off. The horn blared and regulation time was over. We were now headed into overtime. 

Overtime was as hectic a period as I had ever seen. ASL went up by two points, we went up by two points, on and on. Eventually the game ended- we had been outscored by one point.

My young men were devastated. Crying. Heads held down. Bodies slumped. They could not speak. They were inconsolable. I felt their pain. Completely. Fully. They had wanted to win so badly. They had needed to win. This was ASL. Our foe. Our arch enemy.

As we met in the locker room, I struggled to find the right words to say to them. I quietly began, "No one could be prouder of you than I am right now. You gave your all. I could not have asked for one more thing from any of you! You may have gotten outscored by one point, but you did not lose. I love you. Thank you for letting me be a part of what happened today." Then, I left so that they could change their clothes. 

Our drive back to the Base was long. And, silent. In time, we overcame our loss and were able to move on. I have thought about this experience. In life, the expectation is if I give my all to something, I will win. I expect it. I want it. But, this is not always the case. I may not come out the victor. One might say, "If I am going to work so hard, and I want it so badly, what is the freaking point if I do not come out the "winner"? The point is there is so much to learn, to be gained- the feelings, the effort. I never lose unless I stop trying. There will always be another "game"- another chance to prove my character, another chance to practice my "skills", another chance to learn, another opportunity to grow, another chance to "win."

The due date for term 1 is Wednesday, October 14 , 2015, 3 PM. Please remember to include your first and last name and period on all assignments and tests.