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April 9th, 2006

I am back from the Destination Imagination state competition, and still alive.

Of the 4 teams I was loosely in charge of, all four qualified for state and only three went.

The team that ditched was my the one I actually managed. Three were missing because of a band trip and the remaining four elected to tell me, with only a week to spare and much money and time wasted (by me), that they would not be going to state because “it wasn’t fair” to send them alone, and that because of an early performance time they would be unable to get a full eight hours sleep.

And thus, apparently, they would be rendered incapable.

Since other teams that went to state were getting their full eight hours by sleeping on the floor near the performance area, and at least one team got a special award for performing happily with 2 people out of 7, my team was right to stay home.

If I’d taken them to state they’d have been killed and eaten by stronger competitors and the remaining three would have had to clean their picked over carcasses out of the minivan when they got back from the band trip, because it is not my job to clean up the team’s mess.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but since when did sleep become a priority in the young? I’ve spent 15 years forcing mine to bed at night. If they are left to their own devices, they’ll pull all-nighters for the sheer hell of it, watching horror movies til dawn, jazzed on the contents of the soda machine in the kitchen.

I, on the other hand, would just as soon never see 4:00 am, or for that matter 3:00, from either direction on the clock. But the presence in my life of children, mine and others, leaves me with many sleepless nights and the daytime personality of the third zombie from the left in a George Romero film.

Of course, that’s my personality, even with a full night’s sleep and a hell of a lot of caffeine. Perhaps the boys are sucking the energy out of me, so they can stay wired into the GameCube like well-rested vampires.

But, back to DI.

After a heart-stopping day spent as a spectator, I am relieved to announce that, despite some excellent performances by the local kids, we will not be taking a team to globals this year. This means that, after a little paperwork and some tying of loose ends, I can wrap this job up and move on. I do not need to begin fund-raising for a trip to Knoxville TN.

You probably had no idea, but Knoxville is the center of the entire planet, as far as DI goes. I swear, one year it was Ames Iowa, so stranger things have happened.

Personally, I’d prefer the global hub to be in, I don’t know, Paris. Maybe London.

Of course, you have to sell a lot of candy bars to get to Europe.
And it’s hard to get eight hours of sleep on a trans-Atlantic flight.

Next year, I’m recruiting 7 insomniacs and taking over the world.