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Great Moments in Blogging: Middle School Career Day

May 18, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

career day

Reason for the light schedule from me this morning: I spoke at a career day at a middle school.  Check out that pic: that title is how the kids in that room knew I wasn’t Murray Chass.

Not gonna lie: it was kind of fun. I’ve long held that Jr. high school kids should be frozen in carbonite until they mature, but these kids — 7th and 8th graders mostly — were really good.  And totally not impressed with people who write on the Internet for a living the way people over 30 are because the Internet has always been a thing for them, so where the hell else would you write? Indeed, the biggest jaw-drop I got the entire time: telling them that when I was in the 7th grade in the fall of 1985, we did not have the Internet. Heck, even the year 1985 seemed exotic to them.

Biggest laugh: telling them that I interviewed Tim Lincecum while he was wearing no pants. Indeed, 95% of the positive response I got from these kids involved naked ballplayers and the fact that I can do my job in my pajamas. I’m probably gonna get a call from the school board for all of that.

Nosiest questions: what do I make (I told them, but I’m not telling you) and whether I’ve ever been sued for anything I wrote (I told them “not yet”).  One kid asked me “do you have to write things that are true?”  I told them, yes, all of us in the media have to do that with the exception of Jon Heyman who has his own set of rules.  I’ll probably get more calls from the school board for introducing the subject of Jon Heyman than I will for the pantsless Tim Lincecum stuff. Oh well.

Oh, and you guys came up too. There was an overhead projector hooked up to a laptop, so I pulled the blog up as I presented this morning. After quickly scrolling by the Brandon McCarthy “asshole” post — young eyes, you know — I pulled up the ATH thread to explain to them how I get feedback via comments.  Note: Jr. high schoolers in central Ohio think you people have anger issues you need to work on. “Why do they care?” one kid asked. I don’t know son … I just don’t know

Oh well, shaping young minds was fun. Almost as fun as ruining the presentation for the guy who followed me. He was a lawyer. Guessing my slagging on the legal profession for the first ten minutes of my thing made his pumping up the legal profession a little hard for him. But hey, all’s fair in love, war and Jr. High School career day.

  1. kopy - May 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    Like they wouldn’t sit at their desks and knock off for small breaks from (school)work to read/comment about baseball matters, given the opportunity. They’re just jealous that they don’t have laptops.

    • ajcardsfan - May 18, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Took the words right out of my fingers

    • natstowngreg - May 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Most of them probably do have laptops.

  2. shaggylocks - May 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    That’s amazing. And not just because of the sick Murray Chass burn…

    • 18thstreet - May 18, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      What kind of monster gave the above comment a thumbs down?

  3. ThatGuy - May 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Did you atleast see if there were any Philly fans in the crowd to troll?

    • heyblueyoustink - May 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      It’s not until we reach a solid drinking age ( you know, senior year of high school ) before we blossom into fully trollable material. So I would think the chances of running into one there would be low, personally.

      • davidpom50 - May 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        I think it would be a classic long-troll. Craig slaps around the Howard contract, kid goes home after school at 1PM and asks Daddy the Phillies fan about it, Daddy throws half empty can of Yuengling (his 7th of the day) across the room and screams “DAMN YOU, CALCATERRA!!!”

      • heyblueyoustink - May 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        7th of the day eh? Damn, i’m slacking here.

  4. davidpom50 - May 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    I like the Murray Chass burn, but shouldn’t he also have been included in the line about Heyman just making stuff up? Chass has a bad habit of quoting liars without checking facts, then going off on the subject of the lie, just like Heyman does.

    Also, I read your tweet about middle schools in late May to my fiancee, a 7th grade science teacher. I expected a laugh, but instead got a solemn nod and “That is completely accurate.”

  5. mybrunoblog - May 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Some poor kid went home and is crying to his mom “Why didn’t you tell me Jon Heyman lies? All this time I thought it was real. Now about that Santa Clause guy…..”

  6. stlouis1baseball - May 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    Great stuff Calcaterra. I have no doubt it was kind of fun. I also am surprised you told them your Salary. Did you at least squirm a little bit so they knew that was a question one doesn’t ask someone?

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      Yeah, a little. But they had these sheets from the teachers who organized it with suggested questions and that was one of them so I don’t blame them. I think the idea was to ask about salary ranges for the field, but you can’t expect 14 year-olds to have a ton of nuance in that department. I figured “what the hell?” and used as a moment to explain how salaries are all over the place on the web, partially because it’s so new and all of that.

  7. Francisco (FC) - May 18, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Good thing I didn’t make a lair post then. I can just imagine the questions: “What the heck is that all about?” “Oh, just some weirdo who seems to have an unhealthy fetish about me in a Bathrobe and a bubble pipe, moving along…”

  8. sdelmonte - May 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    But if you freeze them in carbonite, they will never mature. Han sure as heck didn’t mature much while he was frozen.

    • ptfu - May 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

      Chewie? Is that you?

    • bennoj - May 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      But he did get a haircut

  9. indaburg - May 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    Good stuff. Love that the kids think we have anger issues. They didn’t even see any halladaysbicepts’ posts. Why do we care? If Marx were alive today, he may call sports the opiate of the people. I can’t control war crimes in Somalia. Famines. The foreclosure crisis in our country. Children with cancer. I could go on, but you get the picture. It’s a lot of sucky shit. Baseball soothes me. It’s predictable for the most part. There’s a symmetry to it. Three strikes, three outs, nine innings, nine men. Just a bunch of Peter Pans playing a game through which we can live vicariously and long for a simpler time, when all we had to worry about is if my homework was finished or if the kid in third period liked-me-liked-me. During some of my darkest times, baseball was there for me, same as it ever was.

    • Gamera the Brave - May 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      indaburg,
      What troll thumbs-downed you? Good grief…
      People can be very strange, their behavior indecipherable…

      • indaburg - May 18, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        Someone pro-cancer? Anti-symmetry? Who knows.

  10. paperlions - May 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Man, if they thought we have anger issues based on comments in today’s ATH….what would they have thought if they saw any post with an actual heated debate?

    If they think tame comment sections are angry….we may really have a problem.

  11. mcsnide - May 18, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    I can’t believe these young people would think we are angry.

    Kids these days show no respect!

    Who are THEY to question their elders?!?!?!?!?!?!

    WHY, I OUGHTA….

    ARGLE BARGLE

  12. number42is1 - May 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    “You people”?

  13. wlschneider09 - May 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    If they think we’re angry you should send them over to ProFootballTalk. We’re positively urbane here.

    Argle Bargle!

    • Gamera the Brave - May 18, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      I think the level of vitriol on PFT would scar them for life…

  14. natstowngreg - May 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    “Note: Jr. high schoolers in central Ohio think you people have anger issues you need to work on. “Why do they care?” one kid asked. I don’t know son … I just don’t know …”

    Out of the mouths of babes comes great wisdom. Sometimes. Other times, out of the mouths of babes come belches.

    • umrguy42 - May 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      As the father of a three-week old… sometimes it’s projectile vomiting. (And sometimes it comes out the nose…)

  15. dennisund - May 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Anyone else find it ironic that Calcaterra shrugged off commenters being angry the same day he ranted about security having the audacity to ask a belligerent fan to move from a seat he didn’t pay for, even after escalating the issue to police? Why does he care so much commenters??? “I just don’t know…”

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