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March 13th, 2006

I am almost recovered from this weekend’s regional Destination Imagination competition.

The groundhog of creativity came out of its hole and saw its shadow.
There will be four more weeks of DI.

I knew my team was going to state, whining all the way, because of a lack of competition in their category. The same for one of the elementary teams, only without the whining, since they have the sense to be happy. This year, they are sending both 2nd and 1st place, and the little kids were guaranteed at least a red ribbon. But they played hard and took the blue.

The other two teams were in full categories with lots of competition. And they both took second. Poor coaches. I feel their pain. I always thought there was nothing better than a second place trophy, since it proved that everyone worked their little hearts out. But that the season was over, right at the moment when I was ready to shed innocent blood.

Who am I kidding? By the last week before regional competition, there is no innocence left. Time to get the little buggers out of my house and wash the pizza off the walls.

With the top two teams going to state, you have to try really hard for third place, and this is much harder to pull off than a close second.

But this year, in my first year as coordinator of the program, we all go to state.
Frankly, I had very little to do with most of it. I sent the money in, made sure the forms got processed, and generally worried a lot. But if it floats I’m the captain, and if it sinks I was on board. For a moment, I am the captain!

Captain of the ship of fools. My own team surprised me by winning a special Da Vinci award for innovation and creativity in use of humor and music during their skit. going in, I informed them that their performance side trip, for additional points, was going to have to be CPR, because I was going to die of shock if they managed to pull this off. Since they’d never actually performed the skit with all team members and full music, I was doubtful. The fact that they were rarely all in the same room to practice, and generally not speaking to each other when they managed to gather, along with a healthy dose of procrastination all around, had me convinced that I was about to watch my team come in second, or perhaps third, in a field of one.

They told me afterward I ‘looked worried’.

Hell, yes. As they performed I had my fist stuffed in my mouth to keep from screaming. And yet, they did better than fine. They built a two-part balsa wood structure that weighed 12 grams and held 151 pounds.

They nearly killed me.

I figure this is a corollary of the mailbox theory of karma.

When you grow up, karma will see to it that you lose one mailbox to vandals for every night you spent hanging out of a car window with a baseball bat, vandalizing others. This is the wheel of life, turning back around to run over your toes. My husband and I never bashed mailboxes, so ours continues to be untouched.

However, in high school, I wrote the book on procrastination, slacking, spacing, and generally ‘not working up to my potential.’ I was so bad that it is not enough to have my own two kids following in the family footsteps.

They are doing their part, of course. We are he only family to invent a parent/teacher conference drinking game. Every time the teacher says, ‘not working up to ability’ we have to take a drink. Conferences are a bitch, but once we get home, the rest of the evening is toasty.

But two kids is not enough to work off the karmic burden of my high school years. For a couple of months a year, I take in a team of 7 slackers.

In a couple of more years, I’ll be at a spiritual break-even point and can give this up.