Thursday, February 09, 2017

Friday Fragments

Last weekend The Girl had another Jersey Shore Debate League tournament.  I volunteered to judge again, like I always do, so the team could bring more kids.  (They can bring six kids per judge.)  The tournaments are set up carefully so I don’t judge TG’s team, or any of the teams from her school.  Typically the day will consist of four matchups, of which I’ll judge one or two.  I watch her teams in the others.

Judging is great fun.  It reminds me of my teaching days.  The students are in grades six through eight, so you have to set your expectations appropriately.  The really important part of judging is the “how to improve next time” feedback.  Some of the debaters clearly learn from it and some don’t, but I make a point of phrasing the feedback to be useful in preparing for the next match.

The Girl has improved dramatically since her first debates in sixth grade.  She has always been uncommonly good at taking feedback constructively, and she’s certainly well-spoken.

But I wasn’t expecting this.

Her team took first place, and she won the Golden Gavel!

That’s the award given to the student with the highest total score in the tournament.  She won in a tournament of probably 50 kids from a half-dozen schools, including kids a grade ahead of her.

We knew she was having a good day.  As the scores started to roll in, my only advice to her was to tune it out and just focus on doing the next one well.  She did.

But the kicker was when we got home.  The Wife was effusive when TG told her about the win.  TW responded “You’re going to do great things!”

TG came back with “I know.”

World, you are on notice.  


Thursday was a snow day with lots of advance notice.  That’s the best kind.  Both kids’ schools closed, as did the college.  And they all gave notice the night before, so we were able to get some sleep in the morning.

I expected the kids to be psyched, and they were.  But I had to smile throughout the day on Wednesday at how giddy the adults on campus were at the prospect of a free day.

Something about the prospect of a snow day makes us all kids again.  

When I was a kid, we had to listen to the alphabetical listing on the radio to see if we were closed.  Now we get texts and tweets, and can check online.  

Something something moral fiber.

We usually go old-school on snow days, and break out a board game just to interrupt the screen time.  We’ve pretty much settled on Monopoly, where each of us has a signature strategy.  I buy whatever I can get my paws on.  TB likes to make trades.  TW prefers the expensive properties.  TG hoards cash.  The Dog likes to settle down on her pillow and watch, getting up occasionally to stretch or to play ‘fetch’ with her stuffed lobster, Lorenzo.  

Yes, I also worked from home, but hey.  Those houses aren’t gonna build themselves.


Program Note: I don’t expect to post on Monday, because I’m spending most of Sunday in transit.  I hope to be back online on Tuesday.