Tag Archives: kids

On the Horizon: CSI Science Class

When I was in high school, science class was always fun. We would spend our time looking through microscopes and growing mold on bread. And let’s not forget the cool frog and cow heart dissections. Those were definitely fun memories. However, the things I learned in my science classes do not hold a candle to the students we introduce you to in this week’s video blog.

The students in the Biotech program at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center are learning in-depth science techniques that will catapult them into the field of bioscience. From DNA testing to growing cultures, these up and coming scientists are on their way to becoming the best in the industry.

~Andy Barth


On the Horizon: CSI Science Class from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.

On the Horizon: Green Learning

The green energy push has been around now for several years. It seems as though more and more people are moving toward a greener way of living. From individual wind turbines to household solar panels, people are making a conscious effort to help conserve our planet.

Students attending Metro Tech Career Academy in Oklahoma City are getting a firsthand education at what it is like to live green. They recycle, have energy saving lights, and oh yeah, their entire building is made from green materials. In this video blog we take you on a tour of this year-old campus and show you what it is like to live green.

Andy Barth


On the Horizon: Green Learning from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.

On the Horizon: “Lesson” of the Day – Eating Healthy Can Be Fun

Human health has been an issue for as long as I can remember. We see more and more people losing an uphill battle to weight gain and fast food chains are profiting from it. It seems like every channel has a new weight loss reality show starting that promises to change our lives. My question is why do we wait and let it get so bad?

In this week’s video blog, we show you how an Oklahoma woman is teaching kids to cook and eat healthy. The recipes are simple and quite tasty. Just a glimpse of a fun and proactive way to help battle the obesity beast before it gets out of control.

~ Andy Barth


On the Horizon: Eating Healthy Can Be Fun from Alisa Hines on Vimeo.

Coaching IS Worth It

My team and the people I'm most proud of.

A few months back, I wrote an article detailing all the reasons why people shouldn’t go into coaching.  You can read here about all the stresses and frustrations coaches have to put up with.  The pressure to win is overwhelming, rarely is anyone satisfied, and at almost every level of coaching you have someone telling you how to do your job.

Well, call me a flip-flopper if you want, but I have to disagree with my past self.  I think I was letting off some steam when I wrote that piece.  In fact, I know that was the case.  Truth is coaching has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life.

Why the sudden change of heart? Our high school tennis team had its year end banquet the other night and I always give a little speech about each one of my players.  As I was writing my remarks, I found myself smiling at all the stories, the inside jokes, and the closeness of our team.  I’m not going to remember our record, or where we finished in the conference standings.   Laughing with those guys on the bus rides and poking fun at each other on the practice court, those are the irreplaceable memories that take the work right out of the job.

How can I forget one of my sophomores asking, “Coach, will you take us to eat at Hooters? I promise we won’t tell anyone.”  How can I possibly describe the satisfaction of talking to one of my volatile freshman about maturity and character, then having him be the one to ask if he can stay after practice and if he could organize off-season workouts?  Of course, parents complained and sometimes the effort level in our practices wasn’t what it should have been.  There were several difficult days.  The kind of days when I lost my cool and I wondered if I was really having any kind of impact at all. Then there was the day when my lone senior told me how he hated tennis his first two years, how he thought about quitting because the team had no chemistry.  He said, “I’m so glad I didn’t Coach Loeber.  In these last two seasons, I’ve had more fun than at any other time in school.  I love this team, and I’m gonna miss you guys.”

And that’s when it hit me.  This is all worth it. Who cares about backhand technique or doubles strategy? In the end what matters are the friendships, and that’s why being a coach is one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done.  I have a connection with a group of guys that will last forever, and they’ve made me a better man along the way.  The best part for me is watching them become young men with drive, passion, and integrity.

So I guess I get it now.  I understand why coaches go gray and lose their hair, Continue reading Coaching IS Worth It

Meet Your New Role Model…Kevin Durant

Gather around kids, and listen carefully.

You know that Kobe Bryant jersey you got for Christmas?  Try selling it a garage sale.  The Carmelo Anthony bobblehead on your nightstand?  Let’s find a shoebox for ‘Melo.  Lebron James may be taking his talents to South Beach, but why don’t you take that poster of his to the trash can.

I’ve got a new role model for you and his name is Kevin Durant.  He is the man you should be imitating.  He is worthy of your admiration.  He won’t disappoint you on or off the court.  Let me tell you why you should be plastering your walls with images of Durant.  We’ll start with Kevin Durant the basketball player.

You may not have heard this since its football season and your dad has a death grip on the remote, but just last week Durant led Team USA to its first World Championship in 16 years.  Kobe wasn’t there.  Neither was Dwyane Wade.  At 21 years old, Durant was the clear-cut leader of the American squad.  In the semifinals Durant dropped 33 points on the Lithuanians.  Against Turkey in the championship, Durant drained seven 3-pointers on his way to 28 points and tournament MVP honors.  Durant didn’t have to be there in Turkey, half a world away representing his country.  He could have stayed home, rested, or taken a long vacation away from the game of basketball.  After all, NBA training camps start in just two weeks.  Most guys might want more of an offseason.  Durant just wants to play ball.

Durant leads Team USA to gold at World Championships (photo from kevindurant35.com) Click photo to travel to KD's website.

If there’s a way to defend Durant, NBA coaches haven’t figured it out.  Last season, Durant became the youngest player to ever lead the league in scoring with 30.1 points per game.  Consistency?  Durant has it.  He recorded a streak of 29 straight games with 25 points or more, the second longest streak of its kind in NBA history.  Durant never missed a game, and rarely missed a free throw.  He shot a blistering 47% from the field and finished his third season as a pro with 25 double doubles.   Each year, Durant’s numbers have gone up for points, rebounds, and assists.  All this while facing the best defender on every team he faces.  Most impressively, Durant propelled a young Thunder team to the playoffs and pushed the Lakers to six games in the first round.  Watch closely kids and you won’t see Durant whining to referees or demanding more shots.  He keeps his head down and his mouth shut.   You see kids, it’s a style we simply don’t see out of our idols too often. It’s a style that may not earn you maximum fame.  What it will get you is maximum respect.

Lebron James may have had a TV special dedicated to “the decision.”  James may have had millions of people hanging on his every word, but his shameless self-promotion turned him into a laughing-stock.  Trust me kids, trying to boost your own ego only makes you look petty, immature, and incredibly lame.  Durant signed a contract extension with Oklahoma City right around the same time as the Lebron spectacle.  Why didn’t you hear more about Durant’s signing you ask?  Because Durant is the anti-Lebron.  He announced his extension on Twitter.  No press conference, no media, no gimmicks, just 140 characters.  Truth is, Durant could have asked to opt out of his current deal in the fifth season.  You might have a hard time believing someone with Durant’s skills and star power would want to stay in Oklahoma for years to come.  It’s the truth.  Durant wanted a deal done quickly and easily because as he puts it, “This is where I’m committed, this is where I want to be.  I’m a loyal person.”  Remember that word kids…loyalty.  It’s becoming a thing of the past.

More than any accolade or accomplishment on the court, Durant understands the responsibility that comes with being a professional athlete.  In January, Durant wasted no time in donating $100,000 to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.  Thanks to Durant, a run down rec center in his home state of Maryland got a renovation and the kids in the neighborhood now have a safe place to play.  Durant recently partnered with a record label to build a new music studio for high school students in the Washington D.C. area.  Here in Oklahoma, Durant took a needy family on a grocery shopping spree to help a woman responsible for caring for her six nieces and nephews.  He is heavily involved with the March of Dimes organization and is becoming known for giving out free pairs of shoes to his fans on Facebook and Twitter.

Durant lends a helping hand in OKC (photo from kevindurant35.com). Click photo to visit his website.

In other words, Durant doesn’t just play for Oklahoma City, he has a presence in Oklahoma City.  A kid from Maryland, who went to school at Texas, now makes his home in Oklahoma.  One of the brightest stars in the league plays in one of the smallest markets.  But you see kids, it’s not about the size of the city.  It’s not about the money, the recognition, or even about what anyone else might think.  It’s about playing a game with passion, and being the same person on the court and off.  What you see is what you get with Kevin Durant.  I hope you see what I see.  I see a whole lot of heart, I see a man worthy of your admiration, a man who deserves that space on your wall.