Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stuff About Sal, Part 1

My wife and my sister, among others, have been posting lists of 100 random facts about themselves on their blogs. And since I haven't posted in a while, have very few good ideas, and think that likely no one but Matthew would care much for a multi-page rumination on how to deal with the 47 million Americans currently without health insurance, here's installment #1 on the Coach Sal trivia list:
  1. I have never weighed over 147 lbs, and that was after 40 days of not running and eating fast food every day. I was only 120 lbs when I graduated from high school (at 5'10").
  2. I took my wife to my senior prom.
  3. I took my school's homecoming queen to my junior prom.
  4. My favorite recording artist is Billy Joel.
  5. I never won a championship race in high school (two conference runner-up medals).
  6. Although I was a member of a state championship team (1985), I never personally qualified to run in the state finals (eliminated at Lower State, 1987).
  7. I set a school record in the 100 meter dash that stood for 13 years, but didn't win the race that day. I didn't even know I had set the record until I took my son to my old school to watch a basketball scrimmage and saw my name on the record board.
  8. My first name is David, the same as my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and my son. We're not very original.
  9. I take a nap every Sunday afternoon, religiously.
  10. Speaking of religiously, I have read the Bible cover-to-cover 6 times (currently working on #7).
  11. I find Bible reading/study easy, but prayer difficult.
  12. From the time I was 12, I was sure I was going to be a lawyer, and then a judge. Unless Matthew becomes president and appoints me, that one's likely not gonna happen.
  13. I'm a fan of politics and the NBA, but both have been less fun for me in the past few years.
  14. I love anything with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it, including "Pumping Iron."
  15. I also love the Rocky movies. II is best, then I, III, VI (Balboa), IV, and finally V.
  16. I read a lot in the summers, but not nearly as much in the school year. My bedside table looks like the re-shelve rack at the library.
  17. I love biographies, the Harry Potter books, books on organization, and spy novels (esp. Tom Clancy).
  18. I raced through college in 3 years so I could marry my wife, but then spent the next four years pursuing a master's degree.
  19. My original master's program was in Medieval European History, but I never finished it--I transferred my credits to the Master's in Teaching program just in time to get a job when my oldest son was born.
  20. I got my first DayTimer planner when I was 19, and have had one ever since.
  21. I got my first glasses at age 14, and within a couple of months lost them by diving into a river to go water skiing without taking them off.
  22. I've worn a flattop haircut for almost 15 years, and in that time have only been to two barbershops (in two different cities--I would NEVER cheat on my barber).
  23. My teams are the Boston Celtics, Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Braves, and Carolina Gamecocks.
  24. I gave up Cub Scouts because it interfered with me playing pee wee football. looking back, I would have been a better Eagle Scout than defensive end.
  25. I have taught about 1500 students.
  26. My oldest students are now in their 30's.
  27. When I first began teaching, some of my students had children older than mine. Now my children are older than my students.
  28. Until three years ago, I had never crossed the Mississippi River; until this past summer I had never left the country.
  29. My favorite foods in the world are my Grandmama's fried chicken and my mother-in-law's roast beef.
  30. I drove a 1978 Ford Mustang in high school and college.
  31. I once got a speeding ticket on my way to court-mandated defensive driving class.
  32. I also drove a school bus.
  33. I met my current brother-in-law when we worked together bagging groceries at a Winn-Dixie.

Well, that's 33, a good first installment. I can't think of that many interesting items. Maybe I'm boring. More to come when time permits.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


While on a run (itself a miracle) this morning, I got a good excuse to stop for a second or two--I ran into a family I know. We live near a synagogue, so Saturday morning runs involve passing lots of devoted Jews walking to services. This particular family is the parents of a former athlete, a state-champion hurdler who is now a senior at Cornell. (Yes, my 2-miler is at Yale, my long jumper is at Harvard, and my hurdler is at Cornell--it was a really, really smart track team!) Anyway, since I know these guys pretty well, I had a chance to ask a question that has crossed my mind on many of my Saturday runs. Is going for a run "work" that a devout Jew should not do on the sabbath? After all, it IS strenuous, and it's a "workout." But it's also a hobby, and if you're barely jogging like I was this morning, it's relaxing, and a pleasure. Their answer was that the run itself, since it's just a faster form of locomotion, is permissible. But the shower after the run, that's work. Now obviously, as a gentile, this doesn't apply to me (and all my family is happy that I have showered). But it does lead to a couple of theological thoughts. First, the concept of the letter vs. the spirit of the law. I believe that Christ came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it. So the details may no longer be required (ritual sacrifice, legalistic sabbath keeping, etc), but the heart should be the same (sacrificial, whole-hearted love of God). Much ink has been spilled on whether it is easier or harder to keep the Christian version of the covenant, but either way, it's just different. And secondly, the sabbath itself. Now, like most Christians, "my" sabbath is Sunday. But our family does try to observe it seriously. We generally turn down social invitations on Sundays, and we not only attend morning and evening worship services, we almost always have a set period of "down-time" (for me, a nap) in between. I also usually take Sundays as one of my rest days from running. Lots of folks kid me about how much I love my Sunday naps, but it really is my favorite day of the week--the one day that my calendar accurately reflects what I say are my deepest priorities--faith and family. Shalom, ya'll.