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March 11th, 2008

It’s Destination Imagination season again, and I seem to have lost control of my life.

For those of you who haven’t been dragged through this experience with me, in past years:

Destination Imagination is an enrichment activity for kids elementary level through high school. It involves creative problem solving. Depending on the challenge involved, the kids have to act, sing, do improv, and solve problems with science (sometimes, all at once).

I am the team manager for a team with Sons 1-2. And according to DI rules, I am not allowed to help them in any way. Mostly, I just stand back, and say, “Don’t break any windows. Soda’s in the cooler. Watch out for the chandelier. No, we don’t have chips. Paint on the tarp. Turn off the Wii. OH FOR GOD’S SAKE will you do that on the driveway, and not on the rug?”

This year’s challenge is to build a wood and glue structure that must hold weight in 2 different orientations, while performing a skit featuring a ‘switch item’ that can be used for two different purposes.

After going to state and being stomped into the ground by another team that built a life size cottage, complete with faux stone foundation, wood siding and breakaway wall (allegedly on a budget of $100) #1 Son wanted something special our prop.

#1: How about a nuclear reactor? It makes power, and weapons grade plutonium?

We can say we ‘found’ it.

After much debate on the garage sale/second hand value on a working nuclear reactor, the team decided on something more manageable.

They are building a hydroelectric dam.
In my dining room.

For added excitement, outside of the latex paint and pink board that is scattered all over the house, they have decided that this dam needs to have a working fountain.

And now, instead of just worrying about the potential damage to my own home, I am worrying about the competition site. We will be performing this on a basketball court.

I can smell disaster in the air. We perform on Saturday, and the thing still leaks like a sieve. This is likely to be a repeat of the ‘water clock’ year, when our careful arrangement of tubes, soda bottles and corks left a trail of water wherever it went.

That year, we were beat by a team with a hydraulic horse that pissed on command. Planned leaks may get you extra points, but I’m thinking an accidental flood on a hardwood gym floor, will not be greeted with the same enthusiasm.

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