Friday, November 04, 2005
Riding In Buses With Nerds
I coach an academic team at our small public school. They are my "Nerd Team"...I say that very affectionately.
They are clever, smart, funny, and may be your boss someday.
As an academic team, they do battle with their brains, not their brawn. Many of them are also in the band. There really does seem to be a distinct correlation between musical ability and intelligence.
Probably why I never learned to play any musical instrument.
The format for our competitions involves 2 teams of 4 players each. Both teams use a buzzer lock-out system. When the match moderator poses a question, the first kid to push his buzzer will "lock out" the other buzzers and will have to answer the question.
The questions cover everything...I will have to bring some home and post them for you to sample. Just remember, you only have 5 seconds to buzz in.
Sometimes we are the host for a match and other times we load up on a bus and travel to another school for cerebral combat. Our season is a fall season ending next week. I have come to love these bus rides through the fall countryside with excited nerds chattering away in the back of the bus.
Out the windows, the scenery includes fields of millet planted for the upcoming dove season, round bails of golden hay, cypress swamps, and lots of cattle. There are a few persimmon orchards bare of leaf, but full of bright orange fruit glowing in the fall light.
This past Tuesday, as we rode home after ruining the undefeated season of our opponents, I got to thinking about how many times I had done this. I have coached this team for over 15 years and although the faces of my team change...kids are kids and nerds are nerds. Those kids of 15 years ago are in their 30's now...I remember every one of them and what their strengths were. Some of them are military pilots, some engineers, some successful business folks, some scientists, and a few became teachers.
I hope they remember these rides and contests as fondly as I do.
Looking out the windows of this bus as we bounced along the two lane country roads, it was easy to get nostalgic remembering other teams on earlier fall rides. I must have looked like I was daydreaming, because one of my players plopped into the bus seat next to me and asked,
"Hey, Mr. P., What are you thinking about?"
I looked at him, " Nerds, buddy. I'm thinking about Nerds"
He looked back and smiled, "You mean us?"
"You bet I do."
Posted by R.Powers at 6:55 AM