November 7

It’s been a long day. I took our speech team to another tournament and thus it was a 13.5 hour work day for me. Even though most of that time was spent sitting for one reason or another, it was still tiring. But it was fun to see how much improvement the students have made since the last tournament just a couple of weeks ago. I also find it interesting in a couple of ways: first that they made a lot of progress in a short period because they were motivated by the competition, and second that their exposure to watching others perform made a much greater impact on their improvement than any suggestions I made previously. As an educator, it makes me wonder how to bring that kind of learning to the classroom, if it’s at all possible. At any rate, I’m thankful today that my students had a good time at the meet and that we made it home safely. Tomorrow they go with another instructor because I have a conflict. More on that later…

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August 28

It’s Thursday. One more day to get to the long weekend. I thought about taking tomorrow off just to give myself an even longer weekend, but I have an afternoon meeting that I maybe should attend. Maybe. After all, I’m rather anxious to get my class notes and readings organized. I started already but have plenty more to do. I did get some more “school supplies” and even a few things for my desk at home that will help me keep track of what I’m working on. No more piles of paper. Now I just need to get my home office clean enough to work in. That’s next on the agenda. I did get my office cleaned up at work and emails sent out for the first speech team meeting next week. And I connected with a coach from another college who forwarded me some tournament information and got me in touch with a colleague for a list serve for forensics information for our region. So it’s been a productive week for me on the getting organized front. I finally feel like I’ve got a handle on some things. I’m very thankful for that.

July 28

I had a lunch meeting today with a couple people to discuss one of my upcoming projects. We are going to revive a long-dormant forensics program at the college and yours truly will be the speech coach. I was on the speech team when I was in college, and since I’m starting my masters degree in speech this fall, it seemed like a good fit. The discussion today was productive. One of the men is generously planning to fund the seed money to get our program started. He has done well for himself financially and wants to give back to the college in this way. At one point, I laid out what I felt would be obstacles to getting a forensics program off the ground, which led to some interesting ideas on how to collaborate with the local high schools. By the end of our lunch I was both energized and daunted by the possibilities this project will bring. It’s an area I’m obviously interested in, and I’m excited by the idea of starting anew from the ground up. And the “investor” is a guy who is not only generous but well-connected in our community. It will be interesting to get outside involvement in the program. Yet he made it very clear that while he will help out however I need him to, he has no personal agenda outside of wanting to provide a way to involve students in leadership roles with potential scholarship opportunities. Basically, he gave me the reins and told me to let him know what the budget needs would be. I hope someday I’m in that kind of financial position. I left lunch with a hundred ideas going through my head. And came home to a puppy crated too long and a mess to clean up and immediately wondered what else I had gotten myself into. In a month I start classes myself and now have a forensics program to build, a day job to maintain, a puppy to potty train, a half-painted house to finish…Good thing I don’t have time to have people to my house a lot. I have the feeling the dust is going to build up. I’ve been able to talk myself out of panic mode lately (most of the time), which is a good thing. I know things will come together. They always do. The puppy will grow up. I’ll have one daughter back at home soon to help out. And for that I’m thankful.