How was your day? We have been busy, and spent the day at the District 4-H Roundup. The nephew competed in the Poetry category, with "Casey at the Bat". He took 2nd Place! :-) We were thrilled for him.
Now, preparing for this did not come without some headaches. I'm talking about MY headaches. :-) Being homeschoolers we turn EVERYTHING into teachable moments. Some of these "teachable moments" come in the form of "learning things the hard way". Let me explain.
When he was preparing for Roundup at the County level I made the mistake of letting him overhear that "the poem did NOT HAVE to be memorized for County, but DID have to be for District" so, he chose not to have it memorized. Now, I tried to reason with him by saying, "If you memorize it now for county that is less work you have to do for district, AND you'll get more points from the judges if you have your's memorized and the others do not". (I'm pretty sure he was hearing the whole "Charlie Brown" wah, wah, wah... at this point)
Now, you would think that would he would just say, "That's a great idea Aunt Wendy, let's do it! And I will be so much the better person by working hard." Yeah, right.... this is a 10 year old we're talking about. So, needless to say, it was not memorized at County. I also made the mistake of suggesting he carry a baseball bat as part of his "act". His reply, "If I carry the bat I can't hold the binder with the poem". So, no bat. He took 2nd place at County, so he did move on to District.
Last week we got the judges comments from the County Roundup, so we would know what to work on for District. Now, this is the first time we have seen any comments or suggestions the judges made. David got 94 out of a possible 100 points. I was VERY proud. The judges had only 2 suggestions.
Your just dying to know what they are aren't you?
Take a wild guess......
Yep, 1) MEMORIZE THE POEM AND 2) CARRY A BASEBALL BAT.
I tell you, my tongue still hurts from biting it to keep from saying "I told you so". I did however look at him and say, "Hmm, why didn't we think of that?" No response.
SO, we spent about a week memorizing the ENTIRE poem. You notice how I said "we" there? Yeah, I worked with him EVERYDAY, and memorized it too. (I am not sure if you are aware of just how LONG this poem is, but trust me when I say it is LONG.) Anyway, I tried to be encouraging. When he wanted to quit I kept going over the "Do your best", "Remember the 4-H motto 'make the best better'", "do your best to please God, not man", "Be proud of your effort", "this is building character", "one day you will thank me", etc....... and the whole time I'm wondering if ANY OF IT is sinking in. (Again, I'm thinking the whole "Charlie Brown Syndrom") On Wednesday he got through the entire thing, and the look of pride and excitement on his face made it all worth it. :-)
Then, today he went into the room to compete. He made one request of me that broke my heart, but I understood. He asked that I NOT come in to watch him. He said I would make him nervous. I was sad, but I understood, and did not want to hinder him. So, I sat in the hallway.
That's right, Peter, I sat in the hall, outside the door for over an hour!
Every person who came out asked me if I wanted to come in, and I told them (with a smile on my face) "No, thank you. I don't want to make him nervous". Afterwards everyone who came out said how wonderful he did, and that he should be very proud of himself. :-) Then, when they announced him as the second place winner he beamed from ear to ear. I guess sitting in the hall wasn't so bad. I guess the speeches and the headaches were worth it. And, I'm glad it's over......at least until the Project Show in May.... OY! By the way, I'm still waiting for that "thank you".