Sunday, July 22, 2007

it is nice to have my breaks back...

As a debate coach, when others get breaks, you don't. It is simple... Almost all the coaches I know both coach and teach. They do most of a regular teaching load and then do the coaching things at night and on the weekend. Unlike the football coach, debate coaches rarely just coach debate. Rather, for faculty coaches, coaching debate is something that may count in their teaching load and/or be something that they get straight release time for, but it is rarely the limit of their responsibilities. Many parli coaches are also grad students -- if they are lucky, all they are doing is a full load of grad classes and coaching, some of them do traditional TA work on top of it all. This may be different in policy debate, but this is how parli works.

Since debate is an extracurricular activity, a lot of work gets done (or, should -- at least get done) when classes aren't in session.... and, when the debaters are working, so are their coaches. Someone has to give and assess the research assignments, watch practice rounds, make travel arrangements and actually travel with the team

Last year, because hubby was going to Red State, I didn't attend any debate camps -- and I really did shirk some of my duties prepping a couple of debaters last year. In the two previous years we held summer practices and I spent 7-10 days living in dorms at debate camp.

As long as I can remember, just about every break in the school year had at least one tournament associated with it -- and Spring Break had two! So, just when you are about sick to death of dealing with college students, imagine spending 24/7 with them and a whole bunch more from other schools. No wonder I got a bit fried.

This summer seems a bit strange to me, in a good way. I don't have to worry about debate camp, I don't have to plan my syllabi (yea, I'm already writing them... ha ha!) around a debate travel schedule and I don't have to plan my visits to Red State around the debate season. While I may end up at a tournament or two -- the only one I'm planning to go to is the national tournament I helped start.

I have to admit, the prospect of having the full two days off for Fall Break and a full week of Spring Break in Red State excites me more than is probably warranted... but, a girl has to take her thrills where she can get them. Sigh.

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