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February 25th, 2006

FAQ files never seem to have the information I really need.

Tonight, my first question would be:

What have I gotten myself into?

I am coordinating the local Destination Imagination program for the school system. This is a gifted and talented thing, which involves problem solving, creative dramatic, large numbers of kids grinding cheetos into my furniture while creating props and sets out of the hardware store junk bin.

I pulled this job because my kids are in it, and everyone else on the planet turned it down first.

But now, with only a few weeks left in the season, I have to tie up all the loose ends. And I have finally, after several years of looking, gotten a full time job.

New employers are not happy with you if you need to take a long lunch to buy a gallon of tempra paint, followed by an early departure to go to the high school and find out if we can use

a room
a set of free weights
and
a couple of teachers. It’ll be fun. Really. I swear.

So I’ve been managing in my spare time. And trying not to look like a totally irresponsible flake to the other mothers involved or worse yet, my new boss.

Which brings me to my second question:
What happened to all my research sites?

Last year, I could find tons of stuff on the instant challenge phase of this project, where you give the kids a simple task (like building the Eiffel tower out of spaghetti) and fifteen minutes to complete it.

But I hear the wind howling in the empty spaces that were perfectly good websites last year. I found only one promising site this year. It gave me a challenge I can use. If I didn’t need to do this on Monday night, I’d be set. If I could get the challenge materials on short notice. I can find sticky labels, rubber bands, paperclips.

And a feather. I can find a feather. I can find everything in quadruplicate, so all four teams can play.

But where on this planet do I have to go to buy ping pong balls in bulk on such short notice?