When Josiah started high school, Kerry and I pretty much forced him to choose a sport in which to participate. He chose cross country. Although the boys’s team needs him to run in order to receive a team score, the pressure of typical team sports do not exist in cross country. For the most part, cross country is an individual sport. And we like it because it fosters skills that he will use for the rest of his life in order to promote a healthy body.
The activity that truly grabbed Josiah by the then-non-existent tie and pulled him in to the point that I do not remember how my son survived without it was debate. The type of debate in which Patrick Henry participates is not a one student against another student set up. Rather, Josiah and his debate partner work together against another team of two students. When one of them is not there, another student can step in to assist; however, it is different and feels more like practice than a competition. Josiah and his partner became a dominating force last year and even made it to the state tournament last spring as a freshman and a sophomore.
We were happy with the activities that Josiah had in his life, but he was not. He wanted, like his sister has, a speech team. Speech, though a complement to debate, is very different from debate, uses different skills, and has a different sense of competition to it. Josiah desired that complement.
If my kids want to do something and it is beneficial for them to do so, I want them to be able to do it. A year ago, I started asking around at Patrick Henry High School about starting a speech team. Initially I was met with resistance, but then things started to click. I thought it would happen in time for the season of 2011. But somewhere something fell apart, and it never happened.
On Friday afternoon, I sat in the assistant principal’s office at Patrick Henry High School, and she gave me not only permission but also her support to start a speech team. *Happy Dance*
And now the reality of this has hit.
I am the coach, but there is no stipend for that. I am the coach, but there are currently no students on the team. I am the coach, but I do not know what I am doing! Fortunately, Beth’s coach has offered to mentor me, so that is helpful. But really? The woman who has “slowed down her life” is now a speech coach!?!?!?
Did I mention that speech meets are on Saturday mornings and the bus leaves at 6:40? A.M.!?!?!?!?!?!
There is no funding for the speech team, and students from Patrick Henry High School cannot all afford food let alone an activity fee so that they can participate in speech. So – now I will raise funds. I figure if ten students participate, it would cost about $160 per student to pay for their registration fess and wages to judges. Now I just need to convince some people to donate or sponsor the speech team.
Oh yeah….I can do that. Right?