Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 31st

We have finally reached the last day of one of our busiest months out of the whole year.  I think this is the 13th March that Jay and I have survived.   That should leave us about (as long as Jay continues to teach) 17 more to get through.  At least that what Jay thinks.  The only problem with his plan is if we've done the math right he can retire after Camryn's Junior year.  I keep telling him he will need to teach one more year to get her out of high school but he is resisting.  But a lot can change in between that time.  I'm pretty certain that if Camryn is into FFA Jay will want to be her advisor and not leave her to some first year rookie. 

I got roped into helping with the District contest today.  I'm afraid I'm going to get the same call from Jim every year from now on.  I really don't mind doing it, but today was a long day!  Normally I only look at resumes for the Job Interview contest.  Today I had to be the one to conduct the mock interviews.  I asked the questions and three judges were in the room listening to it.  I was a little nervous doing this because I was never in FFA.  I don't have a clue about how the contests are supposed to go.  It also doesn't help that I hear the complaints about different judges from Jay every year.  One year an interviewer asked the kids to tell a joke.  When Jay told me that he was so mad his face got red.  These teachers take these contests extremely seriously.  I did not want to be the interviewer that every teacher in the Southwest district was cussing tonight. 

I think it went pretty well.  I was very impressed with the 12 kids I interviewed.  There was one though that didn't want to elaborate on his answers.  Fifteen minutes is a heck of a long time to fill with questions when the kid is giving you one or two word answers.  I had asked every one of my standard questions, we talked about everything he's done related to FFA, and I had asked everything humanly possible from what was on his resume.  I was afraid I was going to have to ask his favorite underwear brand.  It was painful.  I was exhausted by the time we were done with those 12 kids.

Then Jim threw in something else that was not discussed on our previous phone call.  He needed us all to stay and judge the Extemp contest.  I reluctantly agreed.  Ok, I admire all the kids who did it because it is a hard contest and they all did very good...but it was boring.  If I heard about animal rights activist and HSUS once I heard about it 10 times.  We had all been in the same room since 8 was hot and I was starting to get sleepy.  But I had to pay attention because after their 4-6 minute speech the judges had to ask 5 minutes worth of questions.  Poke my eyes out.  I left the house at 6:30 am today and I did not leave MSU until 4:00pm.  The only time I even saw Jay today was when I got a glance at him outside the open door smirking as he waved goodbye to me.  He didn't have a kid in that contest so he was heading home.  Then after we picked the winner it got worse....the kids came back in the room when the winners were announced.  The kids advancing to state went around and asked the judges for pointers.  Good grief....I was trying to decide why they painted the walls in the conference room two different shades of yellow that were clearly not from the same palette.  I had to tell these kids how they could improve???  One teacher followed his kid around making notes.

I will admit that every year I get something during March...not sure what to call it...resentful is a little harsh, but I do get weary of feeling like I'm fighting a bunch of kids for a sliver of Jay's attention.  But then when I sit through these things I understand why he does it.  Pretty much all of the kids interviewed very well, but some of their resumes were awful.  One poor girl meant to use stock but had stalk on it instead.  It made me so mad at their teachers.  I know that when Jay has kids with resumes we go over and over them.  I don't think some of those teachers even looked at the kids resumes.  How awful for those kids.  Then another girl had some hair in her eyes that she kept messing with.  When I told Jay he was irritated at that girls particular teacher because he should've known to tell the girl to pull her hair back.  Jay said he always tells his girls to keep their hair out of their face.  I am glad that I've had the opportunity to help with the contests the last three years.  It reminds me how hard Jay and Lyle work to make sure their kids don't look like those kids.  They really care about how their kids do and they want to give them every opportunity to succeed.  They are great teachers and it makes me proud.

 But I really only needed the Job Interview contest to remind me of that.  Extempt was a bit of an overkill.....

But I am thankful that today was definitely the beginning of the end!  The rest of districts are Monday and Tuesday and then State Convention starts on April 19th I believe.  But like always this time of year I tell myself it will get less crazy after such and such.  But after convention is the banquet then school's out then it's county fair time, etc.  Ahhh, the life of an Ag Teacher.  It never stops.

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