This Tuesday night, when we’d normally be having our debate meeting if our season weren’t over, the Sailors threw me a nice retirement sendoff. We had dinner at a hibachi restaurant where the cook throws food at you, which seemed appropriate with this group. We reminisced, they gave me crappy prizes, and I have to admit I was touched by it all. I really can’t keep managing the team and doing my DJ, and honestly, there were things about team management, none of them having to do with dealing with the any of the members of the team, now or ever, that were getting me down. For instance, the stress of running Bump. It’s one thing to angel someone else’s tournament, but the worry of running your own from top to bottom is murder. This is probably why most people don’t do it in the first place, and why of those that do, not all are successful. There’s a million pieces to contend with, all the while worrying that some 15-year-old yabbo is going to fall into boiling acid or something on your watch. I recall, unfondly, when about 500 people had just descended on the school on Friday afternoon, clogging the hallways and filling all the crooks and nannies, and the head custodian came up to me and told me I had to send them all home because there was a water main break and no plumbing in the building. That’s just one incident. Then there’s the paperwork of running a team, which this last year blew up exponentially. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I might not mind so much if I hadn’t also gotten those new DJ responsibilities. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t working hard enough before, but then again, reading and editing aren’t exactly backbreaking. But now there’s all kinds of new business stuff and different sort of books (nonfiction vs. fiction), and the move from the revenue that is earned from regular series payments to the need to get revenue from each individual title in the stores. Big difference, and a lot more stress. And who needs too much stress? Action, yes. Stress, no. Anyhow, as I’ve said, 20 years of doing this as a volunteer night job is a lot, and although I regret leaving behind the students, who over the years have made my life so much more rich, it is time to move on. I only hope they get someone else to take over and keep things going for them. On the immediate front, though, they have committed parents who will certainly get them to tournaments, so they won’t miss out altogether.
Time moves on.
As I was writing the above, I realize that I’ve hardly ever said much about the DJ here. Of course, this is a blog about debate, and will continue to be so, even though I won’t be directing a team anymore. I’ll still be plenty involved in the activity, as long as I’m behind the curtain at my various tournaments that I tab and/or angel. Nevertheless, some of the DJ stuff is intrinsically interesting, and I may start sharing more of that. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear me talk about me reading books all day?