Friday, September 18, 2009

The Ref.

The New York Times is running an article entitled, "Earning Her Stripes in College Football." The article states, "Thomas, 35, is big-time college football’s only female referee. She has grown accustomed to startling players and coaches on Saturdays but says it does not occur as often as one might think."

It continues, "Neither Thomas nor those who work with and supervise her believe it is odd that she has found her avocation amid big games and marching bands. She always loved sports and became the first athlete ever at Pascagoula High School to earn a letter five times in a sport, softball. She received a basketball scholarship to the University of Mobile, helped the team make the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament and earned academic All-American honors."

Questions for Younger Children
1. Do you think that there is anything that a boy can do that a girl should not do? Is there anything that a girl can do that a boy should not do? Explain!

2. Do you think it would be fun to be the only boy in a room full of girls or the only girl in a room full of boys? Why or why not? (Note: It's funny that you can ask young children some questions that you might not want to ask older students.)

3. What is your favorite sport? What do you like about this sport? Do you think that this is a hard sport to play? Why or why not?

4. Do you think that it might be fun to watch people playing a sport to make sure that they play by the rules? Why or why not?

Questions for Older Students

1. Vocabulary terms to discuss: Lilting; Avocation; Intrigued; and, "In Concert".

2. What do you think would be the hardest part about being a woman referee in college football? Why?

3. If you could ask Sarah Thomas one question, what would you ask her? How do you think that she might respond?

4. Why do you think that the New York Times would run an article about Sarah Thomas on the home page of its website? What does this say about the way that the New York Times thinks about news? What can we learn about the N.Y. Times' readership from the placement of this article? Explain!

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