Full of Pep

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Adolescence, Attitude, Confidence, Encouragement, Kindness, Life, Little Story, School, Teaching | Posted on 20-04-2016

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When I was in seventh grade, our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were to write our names on a piece of paper then pass it around the classroom. Each student was to anonymously write something nice about each person: a trait, a compliment, what you like about that person. As the papers circulated, kindness filled the pages.

It was a great exercise to express the good in everyone and boost confidence. I still remember one phrase written about me:

Full of pep.

pep: noun energy and high spirits; liveliness.

I ran across this picture of me when I was in the seventh grade. Curly hair in braids, a big smile, heart-shaped sunglasses perched on my head. This was taken on our seventh grade camping trip in Yosemite. The same trip where I dared the boys to see who could stand in the freezing-cold river the longest. (Full of grit!)

The girl in the forefront is the one who wrote “full of pep.” (After we got our papers returned, she had leaned across her desk and whispered to me I wrote that. I still remember beaming back.)

Those three words written oh-so-long-ago had an impact on me and still make me smile. I will always remember my friend’s kindness and friendship…and…her accurate assessment. Wink!

Thirty four years later and still full of pep, I now have a daughter in the seventh grade. I showed her this picture and she was like, “Mom, are look the same!”

Some things never change.

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

A photo posted by PeskyPippi (@peskypippi) on

Trophies…You Get What You Pay For

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 01-11-2011

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So it seems to me, that if a parent of a child who plays on a recreational soccer team really wants her child to receive a trophy–regardless of how well (or not so well) the child played during the season–she needs to pay for it. The whole thing. I’ll explain in a bit.

First off, I’m fine with giving out fake trophies. You know, not fake gold, but fake as in “these trophies don’t have meaning but are a symbol of completion.” Back in the day, we didn’t get trophies unless we won championships or tournaments. Or if we were singled out in high school as playing above-and-beyond. Shout out for me: I received Most Inspirational in tennis in high school. (Are you laughing at me?) I do realize that “Inspirational” has nothing to do with skill.

As a coach of youth soccer–six-year-old boys–I try to do the right thing. And if the parents want trophies, I will order them and collect money from the parents and then hand them out at the end of the season. I really do hate ponying up money ahead of time and then asking for reimbursement. It is belittling and makes me look desperate. But, oh well, it’s all part of being a volunteer coach. So, I find a good deal, supporting a local trophy shop, and place the order. The trophies are a great deal, at $6.43 each. I send the email to the parents explaining that I ordered them and to please pay me at practice.

Then I have to remind them at several practices and several games to please pay me. Now, I’m a nag (see post on being a nag). A nag pestering for a measly $6.43.

Finally, the parents pay. But one parent paid only $12 for two trophies, as if buying multiples gives her a discount. Shortchanged. Chumped again. I don’t really need the money (but some of these parents drive Range Rovers). I don’t really need the extra $.86 either. It’s the principle.

I should have broken off the trophy player’s arm or something and handed that out at our end-of-season celebration. Because, really, if you don’t pay the full amount, you shouldn’t get a total trophy. Hence the saying: “You get what you pay for.”