As you may divine from the increasingly sporadic bylines on this blog, I’ve been busy. Sometimes you spend too much time doing an activity to reflect on it; never mind having sixty activities going at once like I do. Currently I’ve got the dayjob, I’m on the LOPSA Board and spokesbeasting for them, and I’ve got five different classes of hats for forensics: I coach, I run the state league, I run and advise a bunch of tournaments, which is going to be bringing me to sunny Florida this weekend, I write and maintain tournament management software (which fact is largely responsible for the tournament advising), and I run a two week extemp camp in the summertime. Phew.
Part of the trouble with such a schedule is I don’t get much time to sit down and do things properly. I don’t get much chance to gently let an idea simmer and stew, and then prepare materials for it with care and precision. No, it’s a bunch of just-in-time sallies that seem to be mostly sufficient, but not as terribly coordinated and careful as I would prefer. Thus The Book for EXL consists of a mass of lecture notes that I have yet to collect into a discernable form; the tournament software manual is two years out of date, and I still haven’t gotten to the Columbia invitation. Long term projects fall by the wayside in favor of gettin’ it done.
I suffer from another curious affliction, in that my time is at odds with the time that most coaches spend on the activity. I can dedicate non-work hours to this show; I do my email and work on nights and weekends, and occasionally can sneak a minute or ten out of my day schedule to respond to something particularly urgent, but for the most part I am adamant that my employer be treated fairly due to my forensics involvement; they give me lots of leeway to travel around to tournaments, and they get their due out of me in return. But that means often I’ll send a wave of emails out on a holiday or a nighttime and the rest of the forensics world isn’t around to hear it. That’s fine, but a friction all the same.
So perhaps I should give something up, and make it easier. If only it were that easy; it’d be difficult to give up any chunk of what I do. Forensics is underfunded and underdue; the very fact that someone like me has so much responsibility even though this Isn’t My Job is telling about the state of debate education in the land. However, maybe someday I’ll get to take a vacation without ten screaming teenagers along for the ride.
What I’m basically saying is, if you sent me email in the last two weeks, you’re going to get a reply today at the earliest.