One Shining Moment

After rummaging through my psychic sock drawer this morning, I found 3 loose socks.

Sock One: It was 50 years ago this week that Betty Friedan published “The Feminine Mystique,” a groundbreaking book that sparked a social revolution. In 1963, in the time of “Madmen”, Wonder-bread and June and Ward Cleaver, women didn’t have many career opportunities, outside of becoming housewives and mothers, and society looked critically at women who wanted something more for themselves.

Friedan begins her book with this:

“The problem lay buried, unspoken for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone, as she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured cub scouts and brownies, lay beside her husband at night. She was afraid to even ask of herself the silent question: Is this all?”

You probably haven’t read the book, but you might ask your parents what they think of “The Feminine Mystique.” And Betty’s existential question, “Is this all?” is a question we should ask ourselves from time to time.


Sock Two: I am happy to announce the results of our caption contest. You may remember this fellow from a few weeks ago.

One Shining Moment


I’m delighted to report that the competition for the ever-so-prestigious Principal’s Cup was quite intense. The top ten responses were

10.       You should see me in my kilt

9.         I AM smiling!

8.         I wear the skirt in this family

7.         Do you find this somewhat slimming?

6.         How come the paintings from Hogwarts never call me anymore?

5.         I’m really more of an abstract painting at heart, but this gig pays better – plus they let me work out in the SAS.

4.         I’m starting to think my ride’s not coming.

3.         I’d describe myself as the strong, silent type and I’m told I’m a good listener

2.         This is the photo I sent to “Christian Mingles. Com” but for some strange reason, I’m still waiting to find God’s match for me.

And the winner of caption contest is Dr. Morris for his response:

“Oh, my first period teacher already gave me a DCI.”*

* This is UCC speak for “Dress Code Infraction.”


Sock Three: This is about the man in the corner, our man in the corner, Graham Vehovec. Some of you may remember Graham, UCC’11. He was a great student, a wonderful basketball player, and a terrific head of Jacksons, while he was with us here on Lonsdale Road. Graham is now a second year student at Duke University.

There are probably a lot of universities where Graham could have continued to play basketball, but because he wanted to go to Duke, and because he is seldom mistaken for being the 4th Plumlee brother, Graham is not actually on the varsity Blue Devil team. (At least not yet!)

Because Graham still has a passion for the game, he tried out to be a manager for Duke’s team last year. By the way, it is very difficult to land a manager’s position on a high profile team at a place like Duke; last year 250 students applied for the 4 freshmen positions. Even though Graham wasn’t offered a spot last year, he stayed with it, and this year he was fortunate enough to be selected.

If you know something about sports, you may know that Duke vs  UNC is the most heated rivalry in college basketball. What you might not know, though, is that the day before the Duke Carolina contest, the managers of both teams play a spirited game of their own.

Two weeks ago, in Cameron Indoor Arena, with the score tied and just 7 seconds left on the clock, the Blue Devil’s point guard brought the ball up-court against heavy pressure from the Tar-heel defense. He dribbled into the paint, where he was quickly double-teamed under the basket. All he could see was the man in the corner, Graham Vehovec. Take a look –

Graham’s game-winning three-ball from behind the arc has already had over 150,000 hits on Youtube. (By contrast, after a full year, Austin River’s game winning shot in the “real” game against Carolina has had 40,000 fewer viewers.) ESPN actually featured the clip of Graham’s shot during their national broadcast of the Duke Carolina game, and Dick Vitale, of all people, talked about the shot and about the moment.

Part of what makes this so appealing is that it’s easier for most of us to relate to Graham Vehovec than to Austin Rivers. That’s no slam on Austin, whose father is Doc Rivers, the former Atlanta Hawks star and present day coach of the Boston Celtics.

High profile athletes often live privileged lives, and they are sometimes sheltered from the reality the rest of us experience. By contrast, Graham’s accomplishment speaks to the everyman in all of us.  (If you’ve ever read James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” you’ll know what I’m talking about.)

It’s reassuring to know that you don’t need to be 6’9” to take an important shot. Because you never really know just where the ball will go, once it leaves your fingers. Especially when you’re shooting from behind the arc, in the corner, with time running out at Cameron Indoor Arena.



8 thoughts on “One Shining Moment

  1. That last one makes sense to me Jim.

    perhaps the best day in my life was when i took my kids to duke to see the duke unc game.

    we spent the entire day from 10am till after midnight on the campus. never had a drink. duke lost game on jj redick’s senior night but was awesome.

  2. Good morning, James!

    LOVED the youtube clip. 🙂
    So true–you never know…
    Another thought–
    Graham was READY to take that shot. It wasn’t a lucky shot; he had trained himself and was ready when the opportunity came.
    How much like life?
    I have been studying worldview, vice & virtue with 14 jr & sr boys this term. I’ve been impressing upon them that we are becoming–
    each and every one of us–becoming. Choice by choice we are becoming the person we will be in 5, 10, 20 years. Whatever we choose,
    whatever we practice now will become habit and that habit will be a virtue or a vice. It will rise up to praise us or damn us in the end.
    (In Lewis’ words, these choices will make us into “a creature fit for heaven or a creature fit for hell.”)
    Looking at the cardinal virtues, if we are practicing these qualities, we will become a virtuous person–ready to make points in the
    game of life because our inner muscles will be trained to respond to any need that arises. Just like Graham. He hit that shot because
    of all the other shots and hours of training his muscles. I hope that the young man’s character is getting equal time and training!

    I worry that there is far too much “decision by indecision” occurring in the realm of character development, and in the words of the wise
    Rt. Rev. Bishop Alfred Stanway: “If you aim at nothing, you are bound to hit it.”

    God bless you today and every day, dear Jim.

  3. Jim,
    That utube video is heart warming. I watched it several times to experience the hero in each of us! Kate Pershing

  4. OK, let me take them in order.

    Betty screwed up a perfectly acceptable way of life. The slow but certain emasculation of the male sex began about one week after the release of her book. (Although I must say, I did like the bra burning.)

    I really can’t comment on the picture but it does give me a new perspective of UCC. Also, can you further clarify what the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) has to do with a cross dresser.

    Lastly, you may not need to be 6’9″ to take an important shot, but you do to be an overpaid, under-performing NBA player with a posse (and a criminal record).

  5. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for this. I needed it this morning. I am having a tough day, full of internal struggles. My socks are mostly dirty and smelly at the moment. These three, however, lifted me up and made me smile and ponder things that are a little bigger than, well, my sock drawer.

    I hope you have a great day. Keep the great posts coming!


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