Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9
History Fair is almost over. We still have the awards ceremony to go this afternoon, but since the winners list was posted Thursday, everyone knows if they won an award. Which means the angry mommies and daddies are about settled down by now and blessedly will not show up for the awards ceremony, with a child in tow who could care less and only wants mom or dad to shut up about how little darling deserved a prize. I had this clever, funny post all worked out in my head one night this week when I couldn’t sleep after eating half a bag (a large bag) of pretzel M&Ms. But, now, I can’t remember what I was going to say. It’s been that kind of week. When I turned in my time card yesterday, it had 75 and a half hours of time on it. Accrued in one week. Like I said it was a long one. So rather than write a nicely organized narrative, here are some of the highlights:
1. During documentary and performance judging, an older man in a prominent position in our community, got upset that his papers were not handed to him in a “proper” order, stood up, crossed his arms and faced the corner of the room until we fixed the situation. No wonder our children have so many problems.
2. A woman who arrived to serve as a judge without telling us she was coming was not assigned to a room, cheerily announced, “That’s okay. Just use me where you need me. Would you like me to be a room monitor?” To which we thankfully replied, “YES!”
3. With a record number of entries (over 1800 students) and 1,000 exhibit boards, we panicked over not having enough judges for the exhibit board category. A local newspaper columnist ran an article for us the day before judging was to take place. We were skeptical about how much impact the request would have. We needed 100 judges, we got 114. I called the reporter and told him that he needs to run for political office.
4. We had an exhibit board entered on the Atomic Bob.
5. One student entered and only used half a cardboard display board for his entry. We were going to mark him down for it being too small until his teacher told us that he could not afford to buy two boards, one for history fair and one for science fair so he split them in half. We made sure he got a prize and next year, will start a scholarship program to give away boards for students who cannot afford them.
6. During a performance by a middle school girl, she forgot her lines. From the back of the room, her mom recited them for her. The judges wrote on the girl’s judge sheet, “Mom needs to give her daughter time to remember her lines. (Student’s name) is bright, talented and perfectly capable of doing this on her own.” Go judges!
7. One mom arrived to pick her child’s exhibit board up fifteen minutes after the deadline. It was already in a pile to be sent to the dumpster. We helped her retrieve it. All the time she was saying, “I have to find my board.” When we did locate it, she proudly held it up and said, “See how nice my board is.” Yeah, we see your board all right.
If we could just do this without any parents, I think it would be a great event. Overall, I am very pleased with the work that my staff did and the success of the event. For me, the highlight was having one former history fair student who is now a teacher, bring in entries from his own classroom and three former history fair students served as judges. And none of them pitched a fit. What goes around comes around. Maybe, the future isn’t so bleak after all.