Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Return to Syracuse University

Here's a really old photo me covering Hobart's Mark Moore who sent me this shot. Thanks Mark! This was a Lacrosse Day of Champions game at Jim Brown's Manhasset High School on the Island. SU vs Hobart in the early spring of 1984--it was freezing! Brown was inducted in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame this year and there was a short ceremony at half time. I got a chance to me him (see the story in the blog archive for Feb 20100)

Talking about the time in my life when I spent so much time and money playing lacrosse for free. I was indeed passionate about the game and it showed on my credit card bill. I didn’t need to play that well in the club championship I returned from Mexico to play in because opponents just didn’t take me on very often. I felt terrible that day and I am glad they did not try me. After the game, which we won, I returned from the Spanish Immersion program in Guadalajara that lasted three months. I didn’t gain fluency over those three months but I was on my way. I found that a combination of work habits developed while playing competitive lacrosse along with my knowledge of scripture helped greatly. Principles are parallel; for example, I learned that as an athlete I had to train at least 5 out of 7 days a week and be mentally tough. The same thing was true with learning Spanish. I also surrounded myself with the best players and coaches over my career and that made a difference. In Mexico I made a point of getting to know students who excelled at Spanish and asked them about what worked for them. In addition, I made a point of spending more time with Mexicans who did not speak English which forced me to speak Spanish. At the end of August I returned to Syracuse University to begin work on a doctorate degree in history. I returned with lots of sermons and praise music in Spanish on cassette which I listened to daily then and now. I also audited a Spanish class and made friends with graduate students who were native speakers of Spanish. This all worked to keep me immersed in a Spanish language environment that developed my Spanish language skills. Also, once again, I went in the closet as a lacrosse player even as I prepared for the 1993 National Team tryouts a year away.

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