Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Chain Reaction~

Sometimes events, after going their unrelated ways for years, collide, creating a climax that no one could have foreseen.

Five years ago a couple divorced, and a thirteen year-old boy transferred to one high school from another. He entered the new school after completing his freshman year at the old one.

The guidance counselor in the new school enrolled the boy as a freshman again. I don't know why. The boy didn't say, "Hey! I finished my freshman year. I should be a sophomore?" I don't know why.

Four years passed. The boy was now a senior, and played on his high school basketball team, my son's team. They fought hard for their victories, and when they lost, it was close, a sweaty push-and-shove game decided at the buzzer.

Toward the end of the season, the boy was dropped from the team. He'd failed classes, had unexcused absences, and he had never turned in a doctor's form. He broke rules. The coach enforced them. He couldn't play the last six games.

The team played on with a missing link, and ended the season with a last second basket, a three-pointer by my son. They'd earned a spot in the play-offs.

Then the boy appealed his record of absences-- he wanted to play in the play-offs-- and that's when the young vice principal, her second year on the job, discovered that the boy was in his fifth year of high school.

She knew the rule, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association rule that says: after four years in high school, you are no longer eligible to play a sport. She called the MIAA to "self-report" the violation.

A divorce. A move. A mistake. A broken rule. An honest administrator. A rule enforced. The team forfeited seven of their wins to their opponents. A winning record became a losing one. Twelve members of the team lost their chance to play out the season in a final tournament.

Disappointment. Anger. Embarrassment. A lesson in honesty, even if it hurts. Each member of the team coped with disappointment in his own way. For my son, it's now baseball season. Life goes on.

But there is something-- a web of people, events, and situations-- that affects our lives. Things have been set in motion years ago that have yet to climax in our lives. Objects, once set in motion, remain in motion unless acted upon by an equal and opposing force.*

But you don't always see it coming.
* Law of Inertia: Isaac Newton- An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force. An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force.

Here's the story in the The Enterprise

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