Feel free to read part one of my experiences as speech coordinator for Georgia Academic Decathlon here.
When I took over as speech coordinator for GAD, I was handed two boxes full of binders, folders, and stuff, patted on the shoulder, and told See you in February!
Yeah. So not cool.
Then, when I got home and actually started going through all of said stuff, I ended up Tweeting the following:
There were papers from four years ago that no longer pertained to the job, crap everywhere, nothing organized, and no notes leading me in any direction. I didn't know what reference sheets to give the judges, if there was a slide show to present, and which of the six VHS tapes/DVDs included speech examples for the judges to practice score during their training.*
Train wreck was an understatement.
The state director would send me e-mails asking Do you have this form? or Do you know where that letter is? and I would basically faff about, arms waving worthlessly in the air, whining How the frak am I supposed to know if I have this stuff? If he asked me if I have crap, well then yeah, I have crap! But a form?!? GAH! To say I was lost was an understatement.
When I walked into Berkmar High School for last weekend's competition, I had no clue what I was going to say to my judges, no idea if the handouts would give them the information they needed to perform their jobs, and no inkling if Friday night's speech competition would end in a flaming pile of dog poo.
Flaming? Yes. Dog poo? No.
Speech judges, fellow coordinators, the state director, and the Eastern European janitor** came up to me throughout the weekend and thanked me for the amazing job I did, thanked me for caring about the job and the kids, and were amazed that the speech competition ran so smoothly.
Basically, my half-assed, blind attempts to run my part of the competition were better than the full-fledged, everything-at-her-disposal attempts of the coordinator before me.
GAD? Prepare to be blown away next year. With one year's experience behind me and the knowledge of what needs to stay and what needs to go, I've got your number.
P.S. Watch this awesome video about the 2010 competition. Just 2-1/2 minutes. Please? Thanx!
*Thank God for the state director emeritus. If it hadn't been for her, I may have sworn off the whole thing. She patted me on the shoulder and gave me much assistance. See, she trains the speech judges for the national USAD competition. She is bad ass.
**OK. The Eastern European janitor (named Dmitri - pinky-swear) smiled at me. A lot. Either he thought I was cute or he had gas. I'm going with gas.