What I Learned from McFarland, USA

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.58.35 PMYesterday we went to see a movie that I have been wanting to see because of all the rave reviews I was reading about on Facebook! And, oh, were those reviews right on the money! What an amazing story… and it was based on a true story. (Read about the true story here.)

Today, I am in Digital Reboot training at Region 10 Education Service Center, and we are working on our Genius Hour projects. My particular Genius Hour project is on learning more about the key functions and Widgets on my Blog page. (I, embarrassingly, have only posted 4 times on my Blog, since I started it 7 months ago! Unacceptable!) So, I have been experimenting with JetPack options and Sharing options to my Social Media sites and thought…”Why not go ahead a post a Blog entry?!”

Okay…back to McFarland, USA. The 2 hour and 8 minutes that you spend watching this PG-flick will be some of the best 128 minutes you will spend in a movie theater. Here is the synopsis…

Track coach Jim White (Kevin Costner) is a newcomer to a predominantly Latino high-school in California’s Central Valley. Coach White and his new students find that they have much to learn about one another, but things begin to change when White realizes the boys’ exceptional running ability. More than just physical prowess drives the teens to succeed; their strong family ties, incredible work ethic and commitment to their team all play a factor in forging these novice runners into champions.

Before you keep reading, watch the trailer for McFarland, USA:

These are the Top 10 things that I learned (or remembered), as an educator, runner, Christian, and just life in general:

10. There will always be challenges and obstacles in life. How you react to them will determine whether you have a positive or negative outcome.

9. When you get to a hill…SMILE. Lean in (physically and spiritually) and just get up the hill. You will get to the top eventually. Just keep moving and praying.

8. Running, like life, requires putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t quit and don’t stop. If you fall, get back up.

7. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ~Henry Ford (Think: Growth Mindset.)

6.  Failure can make you bitter or better. It’s a choice. YOUR choice.

5. Relationships matter. Surround yourself with family, friends, and people who believe in you. And, stay away from those who don’t. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31 (NIV)

4. Be the person, that you would want to be around, to others. Especially your students. Show your students that you believe in them by encouraging them, motivating them, and setting high-expectations and standards. Don’t allow them to settle for less than they are capable of achieving.

3. If you’re going to be a by-stander, be an encourager not a discourager. It takes the same amount of energy to be happy as it does to be miserable!

2. Live by the Golden Rule. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 (NIV) You never know what people are going through. Be kind.

1. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s what you do and learn on the journey that matters. Crossing the finish line and getting the medal is the reward for all the blood, sweat, and tears that it took to get to the start line. The medal means nothing without the work it took to earn that medal.

If you haven’t seen McFarland, USA, I strongly urge you to go see it. After you see it, come back here and post your thoughts and tell me what you learned from watching it!




  1. says

    KB!! You know this speaks to my VERY SOUL!!!

    I love this! Every single one of those bullet points I need to read daily!

    PS: jetpack is AWESOME, and yes, you should blog more!!

    • kristenbabovec says

      Awww…thank you, Amber! Yes, I may just print this blog post and hang it on my bathroom mirror! I need to remind myself every single day of these things!!!!
      I’m still learning about Jetpack!! I’m trying to merge Blogging with my Ed.D. work!!

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