Strike Back!

Hot on the tail of the one-day Oakland’s Teacher’s Strike, 4 Square of the East Bay held games in solidarity with Oakland educators, the lowest paid in Alameda county. While we realize that the economy is far from healed and budgets are excruciatingly tight, we also know that we owe the youth in our education system the best possible. This includes the consistency of committed individuals who can positively affect and influence our future leaders. Our teachers struggle everyday to reach youth that society would rather forget in conditions that are almost unimaginable. The people who work these jobs do not do so for fame or glory, but to improve the quality of life for our world. The least we can do is say that we support them in the struggle to make a decent wage so that they can continue to provide mentorship for kids that will inherit our problems. Hopefully, these students will thrive today and enact the solutions of tomorrow.

The kids of yesterday who still hold on to the sensations of childhood showed up to play on Thursday. Much thanks to Robert who not only brought chalk to the parking lot last week, but brought cute Sponge Bob bouncy ball this week. Nothing I like more than smacking an animated sea-sponge around in the dark. The games were kind hearted and cut throat at the same time. Movement was paramount as ballers scrambled back and forth across the parking lot to return vicious hits. Smiles and shit talk abounded and we welcomed kids old and new to the court. Shout out to Lee, Uriah, Jordan, Robert, Sam, Mike, Gabby, Rachel, Joia, Erica, Liz, Paul, Adam and Mike for returning and making moves. Big shouts go out to long lost players Ori, Erin, Katerina, Martin and Rei who came back to the square after an extended break. And the loudest shouts go to Dick and Laura for being the new kids in school and fitting in just fine. That wasn’t such a rough first day, was it? Our frienemies, the BART Police, did a distant roll by, but kept away from the action. Guess dem kno who run tings ’round herr.

Earlyish in the night, Jordan called a successful 4 Square challenge. Many others came after her, but were all hit with the proverbial fail whale. Jordan walks away from Thursday with the only win penguin. Go ‘head wid urself!

Rules popped up now and again and everyone laughed. Countries of the World was big (as always) and the night saw the return of the Zombie Rule (act like a zombie). Other good ones were On Deck, a couple of Spin Rounds, Jump When You Hit, Jump Out of the Square After You Hit, and Jump Around, Jump Around, Jump Up, Jump Up and Get Down. But mostly, the night was about skill. Sam kept yelling at people about the all weekend party at the Oakland Museum this weekend and the fact that 4 Square would be putting on a 6 hour 4 Square Marathon on Sunday May 2nd (from 11am to 5pm). If you guys don’t know about this event, the Oakland Museum is having it’s big reopening party and will be open from Saturday May 1st through Sunday May 2nd for art, performance, culture and 4 Square. Check it out East Bay, it’s free and everyone is gonna be there.

The night ended around 11:30 as people yawned and said something about working early in the morning. While everyone fought hard for the top spot, there could only be one. Rachel gave Mike the win with a strong, but ill-placed hit propelling him to his 3rd elimination victory since this blog has started caring. Congrats, Mike, you deserve it. He’s a math teacher in East Oakland. Keep your head and your fist up!

That’s it for this week! April had a brilliant run with the help of Spring and our first 4 Square Tournament! ‘Bring a Friend’ month was a semi-success and we racked up some new faces. The prize goes to Jerome who managed to drag the most people out to the parking to ball out with the big kids. Now you just gotta come back and claim your prize Jerome… May is fixing to be a big month too as 4SEB goes into ‘Movie May’ mode! This means a video camera will be present at the next games so look cute so you can get on video. Or just make sure your moves look cute and we should be good. See you on Sunday!

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