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It’s Not About the Prize at the End

For those readers who are not baseball fans, bear with me as there is a tie-in at the end!

I was brought up with the Blue Jays as a big part of my life. My Dad was an avid sports fan. I remember the contest to name the new baseball team when Toronto announced they would be having a Major League team; I remember with great fondness getting my scorecard drawn up on my Dad’s pad of work paper so that I could score the games as I listened on the radio, and I remember both World Series wins and was one of thousands celebrating on Yonge Street. While I don’t get to watch or hear every game, the last several months have been very nostalgic for me, and, regardless of the loss on Friday evening, I have a great sense of pride for what our Jays have done.

In The Globe and Mail on Saturday, Cathal Kelly wrote a wonderful article about The Blue Jays’ season and I was struck by the following line: “The secret to baseball is that it gives you time to think and then feel. You see both the possibilities- connect/miss; catch it/ drop it; win/ lose- coming a long way off.” This line illustrated why engagement and investment in anything is as important to the experience as is to the result.

Kelly could have just as easily been speaking about engaged learning, which also requires the need to think and feel, where there are always possibilities of success and failure. An engaged learner works hard and hopes for success but can also see ‘both the possibilities’ at the end.

When I reflect on last half of the Jays’ season, I am reminded of the enthusiasm, hard work and dogged determination the team demonstrated. Despite the team’s loss, I feel nothing but pride in their effort and teamwork. The same is true for our Clementines. Regardless of the prizes at the end, the effort, challenges and support, in my mind, mean the most as they learn and grow.

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