Manny Acta For Second Grade Teacher of the Year
He knows how to speak to kids. Immediately obvious. More so than radio guys Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler, no offense. Or Nook Logan. Manny commands the stage.
By the way, Jageler just introduced "one of the most exciting players in baseball," and it turned out to be Nook Logan. Go figure.
Also, I saw Giant Teddy disrobing, which was disturbing as anything. Also, the man inside Screech is now watching the events in normal person clothes, and is somehow keeping himself from grinding on the little kids.
Manny Acta's message to the kids: "You put us sometimes on a pedestal and think we're all that, and we're just like you. Stay in school, be a good citizen....Not all of us can do [professional sports], but you know what? A professional athlete needs an accountant, a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher. Stay in school, respect each other and become a good citizen, because we need a lot of those in this world."
Nook Logan's message to the kids: "Follow your heart, follow your dream, don't give up. You can be whatever you want to be. Actually, I wanted to be a basketball player; that didn't turn out....Always remember, you got a goal, set a goal and try to do whatever you've got to do to reach that goal. Don't let anybody steer you off the path that you want to be on. I came up just like all you guys, came out of a school just like this....I had some negative friends, but they were positive toward me and I just didn't stop, I just kept going....I grew up without a father, had a lot of fathers in the neighborhood, they were doing what they had to do to get by, but they never let me get involved with that. That's what makes it special to come here today and talk to you guys. Like Manny said, we need doctors, we need lawyers, we need teachers. Write a book, we need books to read. Whatever you want to do, work hard at it. Work hard."
Then the Q&A started. Someone asked if Manny and Nook would eat lunch with them.
"You have any rice and beans?" Manny responded.
Someone asked Nook why the hoops career didn't work out.
"I don't know, I was good," Nook insisted, blaming the end of his hoops career on the dominance of the tri-state area. "You only have two rounds to get drafted in basketball....I just took the percentages and ran with baseball. I wanted to play professionally, something, it didn't matter."
Then someone asked what was more important, baseball or family.
Manny got to talking about the Dominican at some point.
"We don't know what football is; we don't grow up to be that big so we can't play basketball," he said.
"Wow, what grade are you in?" Manny said. "Man. That's a heavy question."
The answer turned out to be family. Family always comes first.
Then the kids asked Manny to teach them Spanish.
"What do you want to say?" he replied. "Don't give me some fancy English word."
Also, it turns out that when you ask several hundred young kids if they have any questions, they all eventually think of a question. Or more than one question. Point being, we could be here for a while.
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