#65. The school board isn’t wanting to hear about adding social justice to their mission statement: we’re discouraged. But Elizabeth Warren has taught me to be persistent, no matter how improbable your chances of success. How about learning from Zack Greinke too?

The other day, the bank teller told Sam she’d give him a lollipop if he told her what he wanted to be when he grew up. Pop was with us—of course! We were withdrawing money from his account. I cringed at the question, Sam was dumbfounded; but Pop said, do you know, even at my age I have either no answer to that query or a different one from what I did choose. The teller gave us all lollipops and probably was glad to see us take the money and run.

Major League Pitcher Zack Greinke’s interviewer didn’t ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, because, well, he was grown up. He got a related question: What are your goals for the season? Zack’s answer: The only milestone I’m attending to is joining the 10-10 Club.

When I read this in the sports column, I  laughed and laughed at his answer.

Walking home from cross country practice with Oliver, I told both stories, juxtaposing the one with the other.

Oliver is confused. I get why Pop said what he said, and I think I get why you coupled that story to Zack;  but why is what he said so funny? 

This isn’t my big point but…SIDEBAR! Oliver’s underwhelmedness is understandable. It has to do with file cabinets. 

Often when I’m perplexed it’s because I haven’t asked myself if I know anything about the perplexing item; I haven’t activated my background knowledge. Visualize an old-fashioned file cabinet. (Now we store info in the “cloud,” so file cabinets are not seen much, maybe only in Perry Mason reruns.) In order to know what’s in the file drawers—in the files—you need to physically PULL the drawer open. The habit of mind that is analogous to file drawer pulling is to actually ask, what do I know about this? Funnily enough, asking yourself the question opens the file. Activating the Schemata is how Mr Grim describes it.

Here’s the Knowledge that Oliver either needs to activate or add to his store of info: Greinke plays with the Astros, an American League team. Oliver, he’s in the league where the pitchers don’t hit. So, it’s a hard goal; he could have “settled.” I use hand quotes around the word settled

Settled? Whajamean, Isabel?

Well, “settled” is ironic, because it’s a hard goal, but when he gets 311 strikeouts, he’ll reach 3,000, putting him in the top 100. For starters.

I know a ton of baseball trivia, don’t I? Here’s why: Thus far I’ve lived in homes where sports was always part of our breakfast menu, along with cereal, Four-square,  politics, the crossword puzzle, the day’s events, etc. But always sports.  I know stuff.

In contrast, Oliver was deprived. First, he essentially had absentee parents; second, Zia cared for him up to the age of 8 and she doesn’t know much on this topic; and third, Oliver’s private school focused on non-competitive activities. That said, Oliver sorts my explanation out nicely by activating his prior knowledge, scant though it may be.

So, for Zeinke to join this 10-10 Club, he will have to count on interleague play? Say when the Astros play the Brewers? He’ll have to be the unicorn pitcher who can hit or get on base with a good eye? 

He has a file on this after all, doesn’t he?

Right! In the American League the pitchers get no practice at bat unless they’re playing with their kids in the backyard. Currently he’s got nine homers and nine steals. He’s had 22 starts since joining the Astros but only hit in one of them. He got a single and was thrown out trying to steal. If he reaches his 10-10 goal, it’ll be…(I grapple for a good word.)

…Amazing says Oliver. And he laughs.

I think we could grab inspiration from Zack when we go back to the School Board with our Scipio “monologue.” Maybe see if we can hit a few out of the ball park? Or at least steal second?

-Isabel Scheherazade