Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Looking back over the speech season

Speech club ~~~~~~~~~~ Essential Beverage ~~~~~~~~~~ Coach Pals

Speech 2007-2008 - The Recipe

Gather a bunch of speech students (aka: speechies)
Add three speech coaches
Add all the other gifted parents
Spend hours and drops of blood cutting, blocking, practicing, changing and perfecting speeches
Travel hours and miles to tournaments
Lose plenty of sleep in strange beds
Make at least two wrong turns on strange highways on each trip
Discover the secrets of affordable travel food
Leave the cooler of travel food at the hosts' house at least once
Perfect the art of Travel Espresso
Jump and squeal with excitement as students win
Cry private tears of disappointment when students don't win
Spend more hours and blood on even-more-perfecting of speeches
Win again. Lose again. Squeal again. Cry again.

Is all the shenanigans worth it?

Even as I spend a few quiet days savoring the rare joy of being home, I can say, "YES!" Every family decides what they can and cannot do with their time and resources, and this is one of the few activities we have chosen. Our students (both our own children and the others in our club) learned so much through the writing, the practicing, the performing, the winning and the losing. They learned to rejoice with those who rejoice, and they learned to weep with those who weep. They got up in front of crowds and performed when they were sick, tired and afraid. And some of them qualified for the national tournament in June. With the level of competition in our state, that is a huge accomplishment.

We won't be heading to nationals, but I am already hearing speech plans for next year being muttered. Books are being pulled from shelves for potential interpretive pieces; ballots are being studied so that content choices can be stronger for next year's platform pieces; limited preparation categories are being considered and decided upon.

I am a little slower. I am still working my way through the Amazing Laundry Pile, discovering and dealing with neglected corners of our house, and resting a lot. I'll be ready soon, though, because this is something I truly love. I can't stay away for long.

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