Dear Journal: Resilience gets another viral teaching moment

Editor’s note: Karen Harris Tully is a writer who lives in Raymond and has agreed to keep a journal to share with Daily World readers during the odd and uncertain time we’re all navigating.

Dear Journal:

It’s been some week. Do I say that every week? Anyway, these past few days saw the cancellation of high school volleyball at Raymond due to five positive Covid tests (that I know of). My husband Mike is the Athletic Director, so he’s been through it all recently. First scheduling and rescheduling games, working with the Pacific County Health Department and limiting attendance just so they could have a limited season. And now, having to cancel the rest of volleyball, not because he wants to, but because the Health Department says that’s what has to happen for health and public safety. And I don’t blame the Health Department either. They are making the best call they can with the rules in place and considering community spread, because it’s not only those five girls. It has also spread to quite a few of their family members and close contacts, who I pray will all recover quickly, with no lasting effects.

Mike and athletic directors around the state have fought hard to even have school sports this year. They’ve fought for every student athlete, and they’ve been pulled in all directions, as has the Health Department, I’m sure. It’s never possible to make everyone happy, but it’s even more impossible this year. Some folks want schools fully reopened, with no restrictions on sports or anything else. Others don’t want school to be in person at all yet, and no sports either. That tightrope is a hard one to walk and everyone’s got an opinion, as evidenced by some of the adult temper tantrums being thrown this week at Mike, at the school, and at the Health Department over this one issue.

Mike reminded me last night what school sports are all about: Learning to handle adversity. The vast majority of student athletes won’t go on to play college sports, let alone go pro. The importance of playing is not only about winning. It’s about learning to lose too, with grace, with maturity. Ahem, like adults.

When things don’t go our way, like they haven’t in this situation, we have to remember that we’re teaching kids with our actions. When they see adults picking fights with the refs and throwing a fit on the court of life, how can we possibly expect them to act with maturity when things don’t go their way?

Having to deal with a pandemic sucks. No one is winning. It’s now that we have to show that we DID learn good sportsmanship back in high school, and those values carry over into real life.

Song of the day: Roll with the Changes, REO Speedwagon

Karen Harris Tully is a novelist living in Raymond with her husband and two small children. She writes sci-fi/fantasy for teens and adults and can be found at