Tag Archives: Dilemma

To Odyssey, Or Not To Odyssey

by Richard

As you’re reading this bit of froth, I’ll be out with Hyper Lad and five other middle schoolers at Wingate University here in North Carolina competing in the annual competition of endurance, the test to see who can last longest before their aneurisms burst, and who can go for more days before they begin hating the spawn of their loins.

Yep, it’s Odyssey of the Mind competition time and the coaches are, as usual, completely freaking the frak out.

Odyssey of the Mind is a world-wide competition for school-age young dudes and dudettes. They have a two-part contest. In the long-term problem, they have to put on a play that goes through a number of hoops and fulfills a lot of requirements, and they have to do a spontaneous problem, which could be, well, anything. It’s an amazing event that forces the kids to really make original solutions to a number of difficult problems.

The young dudes and dudettes on the team are all relaxed and having fun. Looking at them, you’d never know they’re about to get up in front of a hundred or so people and put on a play. Or that they’ll be judged on the props they made, the backgrounds they created, the play they wrote or the performance they gave.

They’re just having a good time. It’s the coaches who are about to stroke out. I really do think we could learn something from the kids. I just keep stressing out and forgetting to do that.

This year, Hyper Lad’s team is taking a page from Hamlet’s book and dissecting the idea of To __ or not to __. They had to show that taking the easy out of a dilemma was the wrong way to solve the conundrum. While the finer points of the solution will have to be kept secret in keeping with the strictest strictures of the OM organization, I’ll say this: the group decided to look into whether their character would decide To Cheat, Or Not To Cheat. Yep, that’s the question, all right.

Personally, I think this is a great solution. Their play is really well-written, very, very funny and they’ve got some great costumes, props and sight jokes.

They’re going to have to be really good to win this and go on to state and then. . . the world! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!

Sorry about that. Got caught up in the spirit of the thing.


Wish the young dudes good luck. Personally? I can’t wait to see it all, secure in the knowledge that there’s nothing at all I can do to influence the outcome. Maybe then I can relax.

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The Parents’ Dilemma: College Edition

by Richard

Over the weekend, we got the last piece of good news. Zippy the Monkey Boy received word from the seventh college to which he applied that he’d been accepted.

So that was seven for seven, which was good. He got into the one college he really wanted to attend, University of North Carolina Wilmington, and, according to the news from the weekend, he also got into the school he didn’t think he had a chance at: my alma mater, the University of Florida.

Now I’m torn.

See, both Zippy the Monkey Boy’s mom and I graduated from the University of Florida. I was born in Gainesville, FL, and she attended medical school there. Additionally, both my parents graduated from there and my grandfather coached football there. So, yeah, UF runs deep in our family.

Now, the odds of Zippy the Monkey Boy getting accepted to the University of Florida were, at best, slim. Seriously slim. He was from out of state. He didn’t have that outstanding an SAT score. He was in the top 5% of his high-school class, but that was about it. Looking at it objectively, I didn’t think he had a chance.

Heck, looking at it objectively, I, with my test scores from back then, didn’t stand a chance at getting into UF with this class and I had a better SAT result than Zippy the Monkey Boy.

Things, as they say, were not looking good. And then we never heard from the University of Florida. Acceptances came and were disregarded. He got into all six of the other schools to which he applied, but still no word from UF. And then, finally, here in the ides of February, he finally heard.

I gotta say, I’m torn. Really, really torn. Zippy the Monkey Boy’s wanted to go to UNCW since he was old enough to know what a college was. But, as a son raised in a rabid orange-and-blue loving home of the Gators, he also loves UF. I really do want to keep pushing him to go to UF. I know it’ll be (much) more expensive, but I think Zippy the Monkey Boy is the last chance we have for any of our next generation to go to UF. I mean, I doubt Sarcasmo will be going to UF if he ever goes back to school and I know Hyper Lad, who’s currently getting his room painted in *gah* Alabama *gah* colors, won’t even consider it.

Zippy the Monkey Boy was our only choice. And I have this sinking feeling he’s not even really, seriously considering it. When the other choice is UNCW, a school he’s loved for so long and loved on his own, well. . . There’s no choice.

I guess I’ll have to get used to yelling, “Go, Seahawks!” during basketball season. At least since UNCW has not football team, I can still cheer for the Gators on the gridiron.

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Freaky Friday: Ow!

by Richard

Unless you’re up really, really, really early and are really, really, really bored, by the time you read this today, I’ll probably be completely knocked out, spread out on an operating table and having people poke around inside me with sharp, metal instruments.

Yep, I’m in surgery today. I’m having my right shoulder operated on by a — hopefully — skilled surgeon who isn’t looking to find the final payment for his Maserati in my shoulder. (Just kidding, doc.)

My shoulder has been giving me a lot of pain for the last couple of years and, like the idiot dude I am, I tried to tough it out. Eventually, it got so bad I couldn’t sleep for all that long before the pain woke me up and demanded I find a comfortable position. No, not that one. Not that other one, either. Nope. Not even that one.

You see my dilemma.

So, anyway, I’m in surgery today. And when I get out, later today with any luck, I’ll have my right arm strapped to my belly to make sure I don’t do anything stupid. Well, more stupid than normal.

Which will make a severe impact on my ability to type and, thereby, communicate with you via the blog. I’ll have something up on Saturday just to let you know I’m all right. I know how you worry.

Which is a rather long-winded way of saying updating might get a little sparse here for a bit. Unless I can talk Barry out of his seclusion high in his mountain cabin where he’s been subsisting on roast squirrel and roadside possum for the last several months. He’s up there trying to grow a world-record beard. And something about body odor or something. I wasn’t paying too much attention.

Still, I’ll be back as often as I can. Please keep checking in.

And wish me luck. (Not that I need it, doc.)

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