Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Report Cards

Okay class, front'n'center. It's time for your first-quarter report cards.

Now, I'm just a student teacher -- that's Ms. BJ to you Mr. Williams and don't think I didn't see that eye-roll -- and your actual grades for the quarter will come from Prof. Fisher. I just want you to know what I think before you go out to the arcade this afternoon [AN: true, the team's hosting a party at a place in Plano, God I wish I could go, video games plus Mavs equals Very Happy Beej].

Please take your seats, I'll be calling you up one at a time.

Barea, Jose Juan "JJ"
A+, with a gold star
What can I say? You've been doing your homework and your in-class work has been spectacular. I know I haven't been very supportive. I've said some unkind things. And I'm sorry, I had no right. You're an excellent student. One of the best in the class. Keep it up!

Bass, Brandon
Is it that you miss your old coach? Is it something else that made you fumble a little the first few weeks of the semester? The grade is what it is because you're capable of improving. And lately you've been doing that, taking care of the little things we all know you do well. You're a natural. And dunks after catching full-court passes? Outta sight.

Carlisle, Rick
no grade
Ahem, yes well. I know it's against protocol, technically, for a student teacher to evaluate the coach. Please pardon me, I thought it would be good for the class. May I give you my impressions? Thank you. I think this group is a work in progress. Yeah I know that's obvious, but logic is right at first. What I'm seeing, and why I'm easy in my mind with you as the leader is I see everyone working together. Homework is on time, everyone is organized, even the kids at the back of the class feel like they're a part of something great. By the end of the school year these men should be playing out of their minds because anything less would be treason to their trade.

Dampier, Erick
You do the dirty work and by and large you do it well. The kids on the playground know they will pay if they try and play silly buggers. My only complaint is consistancy. Some nights you're a beast, but other nights you look like a tree.

Diop, Desegana
This should be lower. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. I see sloppy work, I see shot opportunities missed, I see bad judgement. And I see a free-throw percentage just short of shameful. Desagana, free-throws-- this is basic basketball! With you and Erick filling the center position . . . games aren't won at the five, but they sure as hell can be lost there. For your extra homework, shoot a thousand free-throws a day. Every day.

George, Devean
You're here because Dean Cuban and Principal Nelson think you can contribute. I don't see it. Your defense is hit-or-miss, your shot percentage is nothing I want to rely on, and I don't see the effort I want. I don't like not liking you. Please don't make me write you off at the semester break.

Green, Gerald
Sigh, I just don't know what I'm going to do with you, young man! You keep saying you're willing to learn, and I keep watching you made bad decisions. I don't see you showing off as much as you have in other classes, which is encouraging. Look, you're surrounded by examples of what an A student looks like, the school is committed to helping you excel. I'm willing to be patient; you should be willing to put in the extra work.

Howard, Josh
How's your paw? Ouch, man. Listen, getting hurt wasn't your fault. Your classmates believe in you and your work up until was solid. The important thing is making sure you're at a hundred percent. If that means staying home from school for a while, I'm okay with that. It's early in the year. What you've missed you can make up later. You might have to accept being asked to sit at the back of the class for a while; please don't let it bother you. The record's not telling the full story. Your classmates miss you.

Kidd, Jason
New ring? Oooh, shiny! Of the upperclassmen in the school, you're a standout. Everyone likes to say how the younger guns can run rings around you; haven't seen it. The only complaint I have is your work isn't as tidy as it could be. Things slip through your fingers sometimes. And you need to remind some of your classmates that just because you can get away with putting the extra flash on your papers doesn't mean they can. Their handwriting isn't as nice; ink splotches everywhere.

Nowitzki, Dirk
Well. How do I objectively evaluate the teacher's pet? You stumbled out of the gate, there's no point denying that. I remember the Chicago game and I'm not sure whether to laugh or throw up. So. You're the one who said the best is yet to come. I believe that. And if the roll you're on continues . . . the ring's the thing and you know that. You're doing what you can, and doing it in monster fashion. Keep up the good work. You make us all proud.

Singleton, James
Ah, I see the look. You see yourself sliding in the rotation, back into the trunk with the rest of the children. I don't need to give you the lecture about roleplayers being just as important as starters on a basketball team, do I? Course not. You're doing good work.

Stackhouse, Jerry
How's your heel? I'm coping with that myself; hurts like a sonofabitch. You want to transfer classes; okay that's fine. It is to your credit that you're being seen and not heard just lately. If I may be allowed a personal observation -- you're not going to get what you want. Not without throwing mud all over your permanent record. Accept it. And start looking into teaching opportunities.

Terry, Jason
Wow. Just . . . wow. If you're not Sixth Man of the Year this year there is no justice. I love most of what you do, and I love how beautifully you do it. Seriously, you look like a dancer; did you take ballet when you were a teenager? Bless your coach if you did. I love your unselfish attitude, I love how you work to get everyone fired up, I love the Wing Stop radio spot ('Hhhhheeey . . ."). There's only one thing I don't like; your penmanship can get awfully sloppy, loose balls all over the place. For what the class needs, that's not good.

Williams, Shawne
I understand Principal Bird doesn't like you much. I don't see why. Was it just that you weren't happy in Indiana? Are you happier here? Never mind; that's private. You look like you've taken Coach's Prime Directive -- Semper Paratus (Always Prepared) -- to heart and you've been pretty damned good. Not just good; coldly professional. Continue, and the good things will come.

Wright, Antoine
Hey, how's your area? Forget I asked, tacky question. You seem to have hopped right back into the swing of things though. The improvements needed have mostly to do with consistancy. That will come with time and more hard work. You should be at the head of the class.

Okay guys, that's it for today. Have fun at the arcade!

Yes? Oh, thank you! Apple for the teacher.

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