Sure I played football, baseball and basketball from an early age -- 7 or 8 -- like most kids where I lived. It taught me a lot about sport, commitment and that internal drive. But those lessons paled in comparison to what I got from those countless hours spent playing at Dottie Jordan, and the intangible gifts from Mr. Armistead, even if we didn't realize how much he was investing in our lives at the time.
The intransigence of administrators over these issues reflects the broader corporatization of American higher education, where research is increasingly a commodity to be bought and sold, education a product to be made as cheaply as possible, and professors are laborers stripped of rights and job security.
I should appreciate these moments, out shopping with my sons, giving my opinion about the pros and cons of high-tops and color choices. But, wait. Halfway in, they're pulling out their phones, snapping pictures of their three-pair final line-up, asking their "friends" and "followers "Which ones should I get?" on Instagram.