Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rachel's Challenge

My school had a special guest talk to us today. It wasn't a normal assembly like the ones we usually have at school. This assembly was a lot more touching and inspirational than any other assembly. This assembly was Rachel's Challenge where the speakers challenged us to make a difference in other's lives.

On April 20, 1999, the worst high school shooting occurred in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School. 2 students walked into the school with guns and fired at the students and teachers. 12 students and one teacher were killed and the gunmen shot themselves. The first to be killed of the students was Rachel Joy Scott. Rachel had this theory that if someone went out of their way to show kindness, it would start a chain reaction. A few weeks before the shooting, Rachel wrote an essay about her ethics and her codes of life. In the essay she said, "If one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness will go." Rachel lived her life by that standard.

A few weeks her death, her family found something that she had written when she was 13. On the back of her dresser, she drew the outlines of her hands and in the middle she wrote, "These hands belong to Rachel Joey Scott and will someday touch millions of people's hearts." Rachel had a premonition that she was going to die young. She wrote about it in her journal and also about her codes of life. On the back of her journal, she wrote,"I will not be labeled as average." Rachel wanted to make sure that she would start a chain reaction of compassion and kindness and that is exactly what she did.

At the end of Rachel's Challenge, they challenged us to 5 things;
  1. Look for the best in others- eliminate prejudice
  2. Dare to dream- set goals and keep a journal
  3. choose positive influences- input determines output
  4. Little acts of kindness- use kind words
  5. Start a chain reaction!

Rachel reached out to 3 groups of kids; the new students, the disabled students, and the ones that have been put down or pushed down. During Rachel's Challenge, they talked about a new student who had just moved to Colorado from Georgia. She was sitting alone at a lunch table and Rachel was the only one who seemed to notice. Rachel went over to the table and introduced herself, and even though the girl said she didn't want to sit with Rachel and her friends, Rachel still brought her friends over to her table. Later Rachel would find out that a month earlier, the girl's mom had just died in a car accident and that is why her dad moved her and her brother to Colorado.

They also told a story of a boy who was disabled and picked on all the time. The day Rachel became his friend, two other boys were picking on him and pushing him against the lockers. Rachel intervened and told the boys to back off or they could fight her. The boys backed off and Rachel became friends with the boy. It wasn't until after Rachel's death that the boy told Rachel's family that the day she intervened, was the day the boy had planned to take his own life. Rachel had no idea that she had saved his life.

Rachel's challenge has inspired me to make a difference. Rachel lived by her theory that a little bit of kindness would start a chain reaction. I agree with Rachel's way of life. Just because someone may be different or even new to the school doesn't mean that they should be treated differently. This doesn't have to be just in school. You can do this anywhere you want to. Whether its at school, work, or even if you see someone that may need help carrying groceries to their car. Even a simple hello or a smile can make someones day. You too can start a chain reaction. The chain reaction has to start with you.

*I got all the information from Rachelschallenge.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Will to Win

In order for a team to be successful, they need the will to win. Whether its the will to win a game, a series, or even the championship, teams need to have that will. The other important thing that a team needs is chemistry. A team could have 20 player that all have the will to win but if they can't work together as a team, they won't win games.

Let's start off with the Colorado Rockies. I am just going to talk about one Rockies game where it definitely took a will to win. The game was August 25, 2010 against the Atlanta Braves in Denver. Esmil Rogers, the starting pitcher for the Rockies lasted 2 and 2/3 innings before having to be replaced. It was 7-0 when Rogers he was pulled. The third inning wasn't much better as the Rockies then went behind 10-1. After 5 innings, the Rockies slowly started to pick away at the Braves' lead, trailing 10-5. The Rockies weren't quite done in the 6th, scoring 3 runs, now it was 10-8. Bottom of the 8th, Rockies score 4 runs to make it 12-10. They needed 3 more outs to win. Top of the 9th, batter 1, pops out to Shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki. Batter 2, grounds out to third baseman, Melvin Mora. Batter 3, flies out to left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, game over. The Rockies scored 11 runs in the last 5 innings to win the game 12-10, sweeping the series against the Braves.

Next, the 2001 Colorado Avalanche. It was Ray Bourque's last season in the NHL, he had never won the Stanley Cup and the Avs were trying to win it for Ray. The Avs had their best season that year. Patrick Roy got his NHL record 448th win, Denver hosted the all-star game and the Avs won the President's Trophy (awarded to the team who has the most points at the end of the regular season). The next step was to win 16 more games and the cup would be theirs. In the fourth and final round of the playoffs, the Avs faced the defending champions, the New Jersey Devils. The Avs fell back 3-2 in game five, bringing the series to New Jersey for game 6 in front of the Devil's fans. if the Devil's win, the season would be over for the Avs. If the Avs win, then they head back to Denver for game 7. The Avs won game six 4-0. Game seven brought more joy to the city of Denver as they defeated the Devils 3-1, bringing the Stanley Cup back to Denver and winning the Stanley Cup for Bourque.

Finally, the New Orleans Saints ( Yes I love the Saints!). The Saints had never won the Super Bowl and they had never even made an appearence to the Super Bowl before. That was until last season when they had the best season in Saint's history. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, things were never quite the same. The 2005 season for the Saints was spent away from their home arena, the Superdome. They played home games either at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas or in LSU's Tiger Stadium. In 2006, a year after Katrina, the Saint's were back in the Superdome in New Orleans. The Saint's owner announced before the season that the Superdome was sold out for the entire season with season tickets. The 2006 season came to an end when they lost to the Bears in the NFC Championship game. The 2007 and 2008 seasons were big losses for the Saints. They finished 7-9 and 8-8 respectively in each season. In 2009, the Saints started the season with 13 wins before losing the last 3 games of the season. For the first time in Saint's history, they made it to the Super Bowl to face the Indianapolis Colts. They won Super Bowl 44 by a score of 31-17 in Indianapolis.

There are many other teams that I could have written about but these teams are close to my heart. They work hard year after year and even though it doesn't always turn out how they wanted it to, they still work as a team and they have that will to win. The Avs won the Cup for Ray Bourque, the Saints won their first ever Super Bowl, 4 years after Hurricane Katrina and for the Rockies, hopefully that game was a sign for some good to come.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And let's root, root, root for the ROCKIES!!

As everyone knows, I am a huge hockey and Nascar fan. Well, now I am also a baseball fan! I started watching the Colorado Rockies earlier this summer and now I watch every game. As of right now, the Rockies are 5 games back of the Padres in the National League. It's the stretch run right now as the Rockies are in New York taking on the Mets.

This season, the Rockies have had their ups and their downs. But through it all, the Rockies have come together as a team and are making the playoff push.

The ups:
  • Ubaldo Jimenez had the first no-hitter in Rockies history
  • Carlos Gonzalez hit a walk-off homerun for his first cycle of his career
  • Jimenez has a season-record of 17 wins
The downs:
  • Shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki missed 7 weeks with a broken wrist after he was hit with a pitch
  • The Rockies went on a 7 game loosing streak in the month of July
  • 1st baseman Todd Helton missed a couple weeks with a back injury
My favorites:

Little Pony, Cargo and Gonzo are just a few names they call Carlos Gonzalez. He leads the Rockies in homeruns (25), batting average (.321), and RBI's (79). Although he is in a little slump at the moment, he is an awesome player and he is really cute! :)

Don't you agree?? :)

My other favorites are Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Stewart, Seth Smith, Ubaldo Jimenez, Todd Helton, Ryan Spilborghs, Dexter Fowler.... Ok I love them all! :)

The Rockies are 8 and half games back of the Padres who are first in the NL West. Hopefully the Rockies can get those games back and get through the final stretch of the season.


-I got the pic of Cargo from Coloradorockies.com