The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Education

Coaching the Y Combinator

October20

So… as most of you know, I’ve been coaching my daughters in Soccer (and, it seems, everyone else’s sons in Lacrosse) for quite some time. In Georgia, the reputation of Shockers Nation has prevailed going on ten years now.

I sent the following to my Soccer parents this morning:

Shockers!

Some light reading for your hectic Sunday:

I’ll look for you, my hearty-and-ferocious Shockers all, later this afternoon at Bethesday Park as we march on Gerogia FC. This is a reminder to be at the fields no later than 430pm. Cheryl sent out special approach instructions earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, I’m going to share with you a long-standing theory of mine that has driven my coaching style for almost two decades. This takes my approach with “life lessons” to something of an extreme. However, I suspect the more technical amongst you might appreciate this, if just a bit

I’m certain you’ve noticed that we try to rotate our players through positions, and attempt to sub when practical, if not possible. The objective is to maintain good form, and keep the match interesting (this is how athletes learn best). That said, there are always a few players that play the entire match, or close to it. In the case of Soccer, it’s almost always a Stryker, our unique “Stopper”, and our Wing Defenders. For me, the variable, here, is Stopper. In any event, this consistent player formation is based upon the “Y Combinator” theory:

In computer science, a fixed-point combinator (or fixpoint combinator) is a higher-order function that computes a fixed point of other functions. If the effect of the other function is to advance a particular computation one step, or to do nothing if the computation is finished, then the fixed point will be a function that advances the same computation by as many steps as required to complete it. This can be used for anonymous recursion: to construct recursive anonymous functions.

Think about that for awhile, and you understand how this description elegantly applies itself to Soccer (and, Lacrosse), and helps explain why our Shockers can remain devastating against most other clubs despite our rotation (and, often because of it). It might also help you understand why you see me sub the way we do.

By the way… Thank you for having your dughters.

Who Wants The Ball!

– Coach Brian

invest with me, Apple and Schools

October2

Brian Patrick Cork:

I will pay $500 to any developer that can come up with a meaningful solution that solves this problem and is adopted by the school system. will anyone match me?

“Hilariously, officials at high schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District are now taking back a couple thousand iPads a week or so after giving them to students as part of a 47-school pilot…”

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

self indulgence for the betterment of mankind

March21

 

Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos today announced that his underwater expedition had successfully recovered the mangled wreckage of two rocket engines from NASA’s Apollo program from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. After…”

Brian Patrick Cork: so… my immediate thoughts were:

  1. Bezos has too much time on his hands;
  2. this is an example of doing something for the sake of doing it, not because people need or want it (sort of like how developers go about creating pointless apps); and,
  3. our country was proving itself innovative beyond measure in the space-age era with so much technology being developed (smaller computers and components, food stuff, insulation, etc).

this is ultimately about self-indulgence, which is fine. however,  I do think I would have preferred to see the money to go higher academic scholarships or related programs in High School. we need that more than anything in this country to groom future leaders.

UPDATE 032213:

on the other hand… and, to be fair, I was reminded this very morning that,

“Bezo’s is fascinated w space exploration. He has been involved in projects with Branson, Elon Musk and others. Musk has the only private contract w NASA & ESA for space station transport. Recovering these engines will be the ultimate green & recycle gig. Elon Musk has been perfecting his Dragon launch systems. A post on LinkedInn tonite showed where Musk was not filing patents on his engine technology. Bezo = Why re-invent, they are just sitting there, go get them!”

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

milestones and memories

December23

so…

the only being I’m probably really important to is my dog, Rowdy.

reference:

Rowdy can run.

Rowdy is alive and well.

and, with my vital role in the world always vitally suspect, my wife Joanne constantly rolling her eyes at me is telling.

but, that said, the point of this post, today, is to correlate two stories (and, a personal mission):

last night, against the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions receiver, Calvin Johnson, aka “Megatron”, broke the legendary Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record.

(sorry about the obnoxious advertisement)

he’s said some great things leading up to that. and, it’s likely the stage is set for many more a terrific bon mot, but the following quote caught me straight between the eyes, and to heart…

“It’s an accomplishment that took a lot of work,” Johnson said after the game. “You’re still in the moment – in the play that just happened, so I was still focused. I don’t think I even said anything when I gave my dad the ball. I just gave him a hug. But when I think back on it, it’s a special moment.”

as soon as I read that, my mind instantly went to the day of my college graduation from Radford University.

I probably did not belong in college at the on-set. but, my Mom and Dad leveraged an uncommon force-of-will to get me there. long story short, I’ve worked every day to have earned that. but, I can’t remember saying thanks to my Dad.

to wit…

“hey Dad. I sure to love you. and, I miss you. Haley Anne and Emma Jo have been out-right cheated by never having you in their lives, physically. but, almost every day they get a ‘Grandad story’. yeah… sometimes they roll their eyes. but, to be certain, another day they will realize the value.

two days, moments actually, often pop into my head, and typically at the seemingly most random times…

the last moment I saw you alive. we had just spent a couple of hours at your hotel while you were visiting Los Angeles on business. you had told me _____ was no good for me and to find the right girl (Dad never met Joanne, but he would adore her). I was listening. and, as I swaggered down the hall, I looked back and you were standing near the door to your room, sort of leaning against the wall with your hands shoved casually in your pockets gazing rather enigmatically at me. it was a tough read. but, I saw love, pride, sadness… a lot of stuff.

I took that moment for granted, just like I always took the too few years, months, weeks, days, hours and seconds I had with you.

then there was graduation day at Radford. Mom could not make it because she was dying of cancer at home. oddly, the import of that just struck me harder than ever before as I tap these words into existence. I know you were suffering. but, you were at Radford for me, and for the moment. a lot had gone-on the days leading up to that. I had sold a business and was sitting on some serious cash. Greg had drunk too much at a fraternity party and almost killed me, Eddie an himself driving back to my apartment. I had found Heather Hillier an hour before the ceremony, and then failed to look her in the eye and admit I had blown it by not ending-up with her instead of Dede (see below).

but, after the whooping-and-hollering and throwing of caps into the air, I found you standing off to the side by the fountain (Radford collective: you blew it by what you’ve relegated the fountain to). you had your coat looped through your arm with it being such a balmy Spring. and, of course, you had both that distant smile on your face – and, such a Gatsby air about yourself. were you a Last Gentleman a la, Walker Percy, after all?”

I do recall saying, “well… we did it”. however, I can’t recall much else. and, it was a bummer that you were distracted about Mom, and what lay ahead with Greg, the police, and all of that…

so…

Thank You.

despite my efforts to immortalize what I understood (or, not) about you on this blog over the years, and in stories to friends-and-family, I’ll probably never fully appreciate what that day meant to you, and on my behalf.

you grew up damn-dirt-poor (your words). but, your success is beyond measure. not just as a military officer. but, as a man and Dad. I know you had demons. and, they scarred us all. but, none of that could hide your efforts and the unflinching love and effort you put into your sons. Mom fought like hell to get me attention from college coaches despite my grades. but, you fought the odds and made it possible for me to be there. you never really talked about your own personal commitment to education, your advanced degrees (all long-after you were married and with kids), all that. what you cared about was Greg and me; our education. it was meaningful to you. so, graduation day was all the more special.

after you were gone, and I was able to get to Omaha, and while I was sorting through your affects, my mind a bit numb and body wracked with grief, I came upon a small box with my name neatly (nobody else ever had clean hand-writing like yours) stenciled across the top, and along one side (probably just for good measure). in that box were some momentos that you had carefully accumulated and I was unaware of… one of my running medals (why that one? …wait… I know why), a fishing hook, and a Political Science position paper I had written for Dr. Nick Pappas in my (ironically) Sophomore year with the words, “well done…” scrawled in a corner.

in my minds-eye, I see myself, with a re-wind like an old tape-to-tape reel, approaching you, giving you another hug, then stepping-back with an effort to be the man you saw, taking your hand firmly in my own (you taught me the importance of a firm hand-shake with eye-to-eye contact), and calmly state, “thank you Dad. I fully appreciate that everything you did since the day I was born was for, us. and, while you have given me an uncommon gift that will be measured more-and-more by the days yet ahead, this moment is for you. I want you to carry the memory of this day along with the notion that I could never conceive of the result without you being part of it every step leading up to, through, and beyond it”.

thanks for the ball, Dad.

today, I’m listening to Autumn Leaves, by Ed Sheeran. Haley Anne found this artist and shared him with me.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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