Homer's Travels: A Great Start To Spring Break

Sunday, March 09, 2014

A Great Start To Spring Break

Spring break started officially for the Wife yesterday.  Saturday also coincided with the Poetry Out Loud Nebraska State competition.

The Poetry Out Loud competition consists of students reciting from memory three poems that they choose from a large list provided to them.  A three judge panel uses several factors to judge the contestants.

As we watched the contestants recite the Wife and I picked out our own favorites.  I thought that the Wife's student would be at least second place and she had a good chance to take the top spot.  The Wife agreed.

The judges began with the third place contestant.  She was not on either of our lists.  I began to worry.  The second place contestant was also a surprise - I'd placed her third or fourth.  At this point I was wondering what criteria were the judges using.  It definitely didn't match mine.  By the Wife's face it didn't match her's either.  We prepared ourselves for a let down.  It never came since the Wife's student WON!!!   They announce the winner, there was a pause, and the auditorium erupted in a roar as the Wife, the student's parents, one of her sisters, both sets of grandparents, and her godmother all jumped up and yelled at once.  So very cool.

As they were taking pictures the student was shaking.  The Wife was shaking at the same frequency.  This was an awesome start to Spring Break.

What now?  The National Poetry Out Loud competition is scheduled for the end of April in Washington D.C.  The student and one other person have an all expenses payed trip to D.C. to compete.  The Wife will probably be the second person.  The first day there is a tour of the city with a possible White House visit and a banquet for the 53 contestants (contestants from the fifty states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands) and their chaperons.  The second day is semi-finals where the contestants will compete in groups.  The third day are the finals where the final nine will compete for the number one slot.  The last Nebraska competitor, who won state two years in a row, competed on day three both times.  The Wife's student has some big shoes to fill but I think she can do it.

The only thing up in the air right now is if I'm going to D.C. with the Wife.  I would stay in the hotel with the Wife at no cost but I would have to buy a plane ticket and Iago would have to be boarded which would cost.  The Wife is currently investigating if I could participate in the tours on the first day.  If I could it would be worth the expense.  If not, and I expect the answer will be the tour is for contestants and chaperons only, it would probably not be worth it and I would stay behind.

Whatever the outcome, the Wife will be going to D.C. and she deserves it.  She's put in a lot of hours organizing the Poetry Out Loud school competition and preparing her student for regional and state competition.  It has meant some late nights at work and a lot of hand ringing and hair pulling.  I'm proud of her and I'm proud of her student, a freshman no less.  The student beat out over four hundred of her classmates as well as contestants from close to forty other Nebraska schools.  Now, out of the over 370,000 students who competed in Poetry Out Loud, she only has to beat fifty-two people to be number one.  How awesome is that!

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