It’s that time of year again. I have been away for a week, helping my daughter with her new baby girl and two-year-old twin boys, but when I get back to my classroom next week I know what I will do first: I will put up THE SIGN.
This sign was made for me with love by one of last year’s graduates. She did a particularly great job on it because she knew it was her last. After she put in so much time and effort, someone wrote a smart-alecky comment on it. This fact is, in itself, an indication of why the sign is necessary. One of our wonderful TA’s found matching “beige-out” and fixed it right up. Then I had it laminated. I am ready.
I am speaking, of course, of this month of March and the period we call “Madness.” Tomorrow is the last game of the regular season, the big one: Duke/Carolina at home in the Dean Dome. A week from now the ACC Tournament will be in full swing, then Selection Sunday, and then…the brackets will come out and things will get tense and, potentially, volatile. In the classroom, it can be difficult to maintain a spirit of open discussion and the free sharing of ideas during this period. This is the reason for the sign. Inside my classroom, there is no basketball. We live in North Carolina. Along Tobacco Road, March can be dangerous.
Personally, I feel more calm this year than in the recent past. No matter what Carolina does, it will be more than anyone expected at the beginning of January. I freely admit that I am not a normal basketball fan. I am not going to write my thoughts on bracketology or what I think of Roy’s decision to “go small.” (I have only recently figured out what that even means.) I know now what the terms “half-court,” “fast-break,” “post,” and “down low” mean…vaguely, but that is not why I love basketball. I love the boys in sky-blue argyle with a mother’s love. I became a Carolina fan because my baby boy was a Carolina fan. My motherhood and my fandom are inseparable. When P.J. Hairston got hurt in Boston, I couldn’t go to sleep until I found out that he was okay. I prefer to watch games on Gamecast because I yell too much during live action and my husband makes embarrassing videos of my wise words of exhortation to the boys.
I have no clue how this period of madness will play out. My boys are young and inexperienced, but they are getting better with every game. I don’t know how far we’ll get, but I am happy that we will get a chance to try. There were times this season when that was in doubt, when all the normal sports people who do understand the terms had written us off. (But we have Roy!) I’ll watch and cheer and I will wish my son was home to cheer with me, but we always discuss victories post-game. If things get very exciting, there might even be a mid-game phone call…maybe even FaceTime!
So onward, into the Madness that is March! GO HEELS!