I unlocked the door at 7:00am, knowing some would arrive before they needed to. It's contest day and excitement will get them moving much earlier than teenagers like on a foggy Saturday morning. I think back to all the other Saturday mornings I have done this, other bus rides, other students. This is my 10th year coaching Speech.
And my last.
We're only riding twenty miles today, to a school who has hosted many of the contests we've been to. It's a familiar place and I like that. I check in for the last District Contest. The first contest of our season. When I have time, I remember other performances, other tears and cheers. But not too much remembering--we have new memories to make.
My kids this year are awesome. They are silly, creative, weird and family. One of my favorite moments happened with two of my senior boys at their acting event. Their judge is a Hall of Fame Coach (Literally. Iowa Speech Coaches have a Hall of Fame), now judging so he can stay involved. His center was running ahead, so when the boys came in, he talked to the first. Got the crowd laughing. Asked them if their families were here, because otherwise they could wait a few minutes. "We're good," one of them said, "Our speech family is here."
Another room. Another moment.
Rooms fill up quickly at speech contest. Especially the Group Improvisation room. Improv is fast and funny and everyone likes to sit in that room to watch. Chairs are at a premium. I was sitting beside a couple of my freshman when the
boy young man next to me stood up. I turned and saw him offering his chair to a very old woman with a walker, waiting to see a grandchild perform. The young woman next to him gave her chair to the other woman. I was so proud of them (and told them so).
There were nerves to calm. Happy tears. Silly moments. Amazing performances and lots of growth. All the things I write about every year. I will miss this.
This week's DISCOVER: Remembering is fun, but staying in the moment is important and gives me more memories to look back on.