Sidereal ramblings

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Bro Award

Last night, I attended the Winona State University Mass Communications Department annual banquet. Those who know me well are probably saying "Huh?" I did not attend WSU (well, just a quarter here and there), and I have no connection with the Mass Communication Department. All that's true. However, at their banquet they give out a number of awards to students who have achieved something in their field (either through GPA or stories or photos published), many named after former professors or people in the field. This year, an anonymous benefactor started an award named in honor of my brother, the Dean Lanz award. This award goes to someone for excellence in coverage of issues of social justice or free expression. I think Bro would have been pretty pleased and honored by this. (Sadly, they didn't name it The Bro Award.) Since this year was the initial award, my parents and I were invited to attend the banquet and were recognized. It was a pretty interesting thing to observe -- a fairly formal dinner and awards ceremony. I'm sure my parents felt a little bit out of place there. While I didn't know anyone else who was there (and there were around 100 students, plus various faculty members and other adults), it was fun just to observe (and I've been to some similar functions, though at the high school level).

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Speech Section results

Well, none of my students made it past the Section tournament to go to State next week. However, four of my six did make it into the final round at sections -- two-thirds is a pretty high percentage. Three of those (including two who worked as a duo) ended up in sixth place, the other one in eighth. Of the two who didn't make finals, one would have been essentially in eighth position (seven contestants made finals; she had the highest score of those who didn't), and the other would have been somewhere around 7th (six made finals in her category; three people were tied one point out from that -- if there had been only one or two, they would also have been in the final round). I'm pretty pleased with my team's results. One of those in finals at sections is a freshman in his first year in speech.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Speech team success

Wow, I haven't blogged much in the past few weeks/months, but from reading what little I have, you might have some idea why. In the meantime, I've told more people about this blog (mostly members of my online composition theory class at MSUM). I hope no one's come across it and been terribly disappointed.

My high school speech team (which I coach) has enjoyed a modicum of success this year. I had 30 people officially on the team (who went to at least one meet), and 23 of them were first-timers. Only two of the team are seniors (though we are losing one other member, who's going to the Perpich school of the Arts next year), so hopefully next year's team will be just as large, and more experienced. We have six people going to our section tournament on Friday -- not a big number, but the largest group I've taken to sections in the six years I've been coaching here.