Roundabout 10.16.18

Next Meeting

Drs. Christopher and Sarah Lubienski, IU School of Education, at St. Mark’s Church, October 23. Note location. The Lubienskis are the authors of The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schools, which Slate magazine said strikes “a powerful blow against the central premise that students at charter and voucher schools get a better education than their public school counterparts.” Sarah is interim associate dean of graduate studies for the School of Education, and Christopher is professor of leadership and policy studies.

This Week’s News


The Indiana Business Outlook Panel will be Thursday November 1, at the Woolery Mill, 2250 W. Sunstone Drive. Lunch will be served at 11 a.m. The regular October 30 meeting is CANCELLED.

Rotary Leadership Institute will take place October 27 in Vincennes. For more details, contact President Loren Snyder.

As part of the “Twelve Months of Service” project, volunteers are invited to work in the garden at WonderLab on October 27 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

The Rotary Toast will be Friday, November 2, in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union. This year the Toast will honor Steve and Connie Ferguson. Get your tickets now – “It’s gonna be awesome!”
The new quarterly Lunch Buddies program has been launched. A list randomly pairs two Rotarians in our club. You may be good friends with the other Rotarian or you may not know her or him. Members of each pair are to contact one another and set up a time to meet and visit, perhaps for lunch or for coffee or a late afternoon drink. The list is available from our club assistant and has been distributed by email. Please get together before the end of the quarter. Next quarter a new Lunch Buddies list will be generated.

October 16 Guest Presentation: Jeff Mercer, IU Baseball Coach

The new head baseball coach at Indiana University, Jeff Mercer, spoke to our club at St. Mark’s Church. President Loren Snyder, a longtime friend, introduced him. Hailing from Bargersville, Indiana, Jeff was an athlete, pitching in Little League, and developed a love for outdoor pursuits, including hunting, fishing, and frog gigging. He first played college baseball at University of Dayton and then transferred to Wright State for his final two seasons, graduating in 2009. Serving as an assistant coach (2014-16) and head coach (2017-18) at Wright State, Jeff compiled a combined record of 199-92, with three league titles and three NCAA appearances, reaching the regional finals twice.

Jeff, who admitted that he “always wanted to be at Indiana,” was named head baseball coach at IU at the age of 32. He recounted a story about why adult elephants, weighing over 10,000 pounds, can be restrained by a rope tied to a stake. If the elephant wanted, it easily could pull the stake out of the ground. The secret: the elephant was trained starting as a baby, when its strength was insufficient to pull the stake out of the ground. The lesson: “We are bound only by our expectations.” What followed was a short course on speaking, doing, and believing in goals, not limitations.

Applying numerical analysis, Jeff proceeded to tell us how to gain advantage in baseball competition. First, he recruits the best athletes, not baseball stars, and then he teaches his repeatable system. Knowing that he can teach athletes to execute his system, he is a firm believer in player development. Rather than take his chances with winning by attrition, Jeff has a plan, a model for success that depends upon playing smarter.

He summarized his approach in four parts:

  • How you do some things, you do everything. There are no shortcuts or “cheat code.” You need to earn the right to be in charge.
  • If it matters enough, you’ll find a way.
  • No matter how good you are, you can be replaced.
  • Life is a matter of choice. Don’t choose to be a victim.

With his players, Jeff wants to build the foundation of team success on the baseball field and individual success in life.

In the question and answer following, we learned that Jeff’s favorite baseball movie is The Natural. His favorite ballpark is Wrigley Field.



Our October 16 Weekly Gathering

President Loren Snyder presided.

Bill Perkins greeted Rotarians and guests.

After leading the pledge, Martha Wailes reflected on voting — for the name of the fish weather vane atop Monroe County Courthouse. The choices are Gill, Finn, Hoagy, Bubble, Cutter, and Goldie. She told us that she voted for Hoagy, to memorialize Bloomington native Hoagy Carmichael, the great American songwriter. Her deeper message was to urge everybody to vote in upcoming election on November 6.

Hank Walter introduced our guests:

  • Evan Fruits, guest of Walt Koon
  • Cheryl & David Moella, guests of Martha Wailes
  • Jean Hemminger, guest of John Hobson
  • Jane Perry, guest of John Hobson
  • David Davila, guest of Katie Beck

Craig Spence memorialized club member Robert J. “Bob” Compton, who died last month at the age of 87. He was an Army veteran, serving in the Korean War, where he suffered frostbite. He was a 1956 graduate of IU’s business school and was an owner-operator of a major office products company in Terre Haute. Retiring to Bloomington in 1996, he joined our club in 2003. An avid IU sports fan, he was known for his sharp wit, concern for others, and indomitable spirit. The club stood in his honor for a moment of silence.


Membership Anniversaries This Week:

  • Loren Snyder, 3 years (in the Bloomington club)
  • Walt Koon, 17 years

Birthdays This Week:

  • Jim Capshew, October 14
  • Dave Meyer, October 18

Susie Graham collected Happy Dollars to support Teachers Warehouse. Among the topics members were happy about included The Christians, baseball in the state of Washington, WFIU fund drive, fairy gardens, stories of peace; 5:05 on Thursday, George Taliaferro, Wain Martin, a granddaughter’s wedding, a historic house, and a high school classmate.

Loren’s thought for the week:  “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”   —Edward Degas

Loren’s bonus thought, from Jeff Mercer Sr.: “To be early is to be on time; to be on time is to be late; to be late is to be forgotten.”

James Capshew, Reporter

Charlie Osborne, Photographer