Wednesday, January 30, 2013

THBT life goes on

I spent yesterday at an all-day seminar for the DJ, with marginal iPhone connectivity and no wireless. Granted, I was not supposed to be distracted from the business at hand, but when it comes time to brainstorm, I like to have the internet in front of me, especially if I’m brainstorming, uh, the internet. Oh, well. I do admit that I have the attention span of a flea these days, and I do spend a lot of time during the day checking my mail and keeping things as shipshape as possible for the next upcoming tournament. This week it’s Newark, both the invitational and the RR. I spent a lot of time last night trying to find my RR notes, which eventually turned up on my virtual Windows XP module. I know I also put them somewhere else more accessible, and I’ll find them after I’ve done the RR, but still, I wasted more time than I would have liked. So it goes. Anyhow, I’ve got it now and begun setting things up. I tabbed it long distance last year. With Newark tabbing, it’s mostly a question of judge wrangling. Each tournament/school has its own personality. Newark is dedicated and smart but not necessarily where you physically think they ought to be at any given time. I’ve gotten used to it. Given that Newark is one of my personal models in the chemistry of how the students remain attached to the school and the activity long after they graduate, I can mellow out on other stuff. That’s a key thing to me, and perhaps the best measure of the true success of a program. Are the alums active? If so, they’ve recognized what they gained from the activity, they established relationships that they still honor, and they keep their programs alive and thriving. Do the alums disappear five minutes after their last tournament as seniors? Something is sadly missing.

At Sailorville last night I wanted to talk about some technical stuff that was rendered pointless because the chief audience for the material was buried under too much homework and therefore didn't show up. So I dealt a joker from the bottom of the deck. I don’t claim to know much about Parliamentary debate, except that who doesn’t like the idea of voting for the judges. But I pulled some resolutions off a Snider posting, because I liked them as impromptu topics, and we spent last night arguing about them. Should MGM cast a woman as the next Bond? Should Bert and Ernie get married? Should Hip Hop classics be taught in schools? Rather than address the silly side of all of these, the HenHudonauts latched on to the serious underlying issues (but didn’t miss the fun either). Quite an evening of discussion. The thing is, we attract the kind of student that likes to sit around noodling about stuff like this, and as often as not, we direct them into RVIs and deep research on Chinese economics. How nice to just shoot the breeze but with serious intent, airing ideas and impacts and cultural issues freely. After all, the season is drawing to a close in another month or so, aside from the qualifiers at the end of the year. Why not relax a little bit, but exercise the brain at the same time?

No comments: