Monday, November 07, 2011

Ullr and Vatnhus

When I get very tired, I tend to a) obsess about details and b) give in to creative impulses far too easily.

This is how my weekly letter to the Speech kids became a short story written in mock-Bible verse.

A few days prior to each meet I create and hand out a letter to the Speech kids that goes over the details for that particular meet.  Here's an example of a typical letter:

My Darling and Attractive Speechers –

First, let me just say, we totally rocked the Novice meet!  Thanks to all of you who competed and who have worked so hard.  Here’s the info for the meet this weekend:

Where:  Pick-up Friday and Drop-off Saturday will be at the painted rock at MTHS
Depart Time:  2:30 PM Friday. 
Return Time: We will drop off at MTHS around 9:00 PM Saturday.  Probably.  You can call home from the road when we’re about 45 minutes out to give your rides notice.

The Plan:
            2:30   Leave MTHS
            4:30   Arrive in Silverthorne, time for dinner
            5:30   Back on bus
            6:30   Arrive at Comfort Inn in Avon, time to swim, practice pieces
            9:30   Bedtime!  (Taped into rooms for the night)
            6:00   Wake up call!
            6:45   Depart for Battle Mountain High School
            7:00   Check in at BMHS, get ready for Morning Events
            8:00   Speech Meet Starts
            4:00? End of Meet
            5:00? Dinner Stop in Frisco
            8:00? Arrive back at MTHS (depending on weather, etc.)

To Bring:
  • Pajamas
  • Nice Clothes for Saturday
  • Toiletries (hair care, teeth care, skin care)
  • A sleeping bag (if you don’t want to share a bed or if there’s 5 to a room)
  • A swimsuit (the hotel has a pool and a hot tub)
  • A coat (it gets cold in Vail!)
  • Any medications you need (including glasses/contacts and solution!)
  • Your Speech Folder
  • A pen/pencil
  • Your script (for interp/acting events)
  • Cash or Food or Both (we’ll stop for dinner both Friday and Saturday.  Lunch will be served at Battle Mountain during the meet for a fee.  The hotel will provide a free breakfast.)
  • Things to keep yourself presentable – an emergency change of shirt/pantyhose, extra deodorant, a hair-tie, breath-freshener, etc.
  • Things to keep you occupied when you’re waiting – a book to read, homework, etc.
A few reminders:
  1. Practice, practice, practice!  The judges will be stricter at this meet AND the students who are veterans in events will be competing against you.  You can still be awesome, but you must practice!
  2. We will be staying at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Avon.
  3. Please remember to bring nice clothes for the meet.
  4. We will do team warm-ups prior to the first round. 
  5. Remember that judges are everywhere and that I expect nothing but the highest level of behavior from you.  Be courteous, be clean, be respectful, please.
  6. Avoid dairy and caffeine at least two hours prior to your first event.

I’ll see you on the bus Friday afternoon!  Wa-hoo!

Your ever-loving coach,

P.S.  The sign-up for Faith Christian is up!  You MUST be signed up by the end of school Monday.

And this is what the letter became the last time I did a play at the same time as coordinating an overnight meet (the numbers in brackets are superscripted footnote citations):

O Omnipotent and Grandiose Speechers –

And lo, Ullr[1] pointed his ski poles at the sky and cried, “Snaer[2]!”
And lo, it did snaer.
And when the snow reached the levels to prohibit the education of children and
the performing of plays[3], Ullr pointed his ski poles at the sky and cried, “Letta[4]!”
And lo, the snows did cease, for behold, Ullr knew that a Meeting of Speech was nigh unto us, and he did know that Vatnhus[5] despises riding the great yellow chariot in the snow especially when the Speakers must gather at such distant lands as the Springs of Colorado and the lands to the east of the Springs of Colorado[6].
Thus the snows did cease well unto two days before the great yellow chariot departs, and thus the Speakers from the mighty school upon the mountain which is named for a canyon for irony did bring all manner of mirth and merriment to the founders of this school of the Huskies, thus the Speaking Huskies did gather in the sunshine at two hours and thirty minutes past the sun’s peak in the heavens[7] at the large and many-colored rock.
And from thence they did travel eastward and northward and they did stop at the Bubble before they did journey, for they knew that the Bubble was to be the end of their quest, for behold they shall not go beyond the Bubble on the morrow; no, not to the High School nor to the Elementary School neither, for the Bubble shall be the end of their journey.
And lo, they did bring all items which are on the list on the reverse of this sacred text, yea, most especially the Folder for Speaking and their scripts, for they knew that to forget such things was to bring the wrath of Vatnhus upon them.
And lo, the wrath of Vatnhus is mighty to behold, for it is nigh unto a nuclear explosion which will surely cause all to perish who do not listen to the Lady of the Speaking Huskies.
Yea, even so, amen[8].
                                                                        (From The Book of Vatnhus

[1] Norse God of Snow, aka this guy:

[2] Norwegian for “snow”
[3] Four inches when combined with rain and a dreadful forecast
[4] Norwegian for “stop”
[5] Norwegian for “Waterhouse”, Lady of the Speaking Huskies and the Almighty Mistress of Speech
[6] Such as Calhan
[7] 2:30 PM
[8] Ha!  Made you look!
[9] Get it?  Get it?

Apparently it was quite the hit. One mother even emailed me to say that her family read the letter out loud around the breakfast table.

We'll see what happens with this week's letter.

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