It's January Madness time!!!!
Or, for the uninitiaed, it's middle school basketball tournament time! And guess who's school is hosting it this year??? Yuppers, you got it!
This is a big deal here in our town, when all six schools battle it out over three days. It's also a huge financial windfall for the school that's hosting it because people actually come out and watch these games (and get way too excited for their own good, truth be told). The six schools rotate the hosting job so every six years the basketball program gets a real injection of cash to help keep it funded. Considering that it's not unheard of for a teacher to help buy new shoes for a player who's currently on free and reduced lunch and can't afford decent shoes, it's nice to see a bit of cash coming in to help pay for incidentals such as, well, shoes.
It is, however, a lot of work.
For example, Mrs. Eagle and I had decided to volunteer to work the first day of the tournament and, as usual, we ended up working the main door from 2:30 - 8:30 taking in admission. (For those of you who think the teacher's day ends at 3:00, keep in mind that we were both at school at 6:15 that morning and left at 8:45 that evening...it's a long flipping day - and we don't get paid extra for this, either.) There are two drawbacks to working admission, however. One is you don't get to see the game. The other is that you're sitting right by the front door and get a blast of frigid air every time someone enters or leaves the building. I'm not sure why we always end up doing admission but I suspect it's because we're both pretty anal retentive and are really good with the money - we always balance out. We also get to watch the wackos, not all of which are our students.
Last night was pretty good as far as tournaments go. We had 404 paid spectators, only about 4 of which got asked to leave the building (and one was a parent of a kid from another school). The PTO kicked butt in the hospitality room (where officials and staff get to go to eat supper) and provided a spread that blew everyone's diet all to hell. And amazingly enough, our teams both won their games. This in itself is a stunner because they were both seeded fourth. Out of six teams.
So all in all, it was a good night.
I was originally planning on staying and watching the teams play again tonight, but the bronchial infection I've been battling since the weekend changed my mind. I'm not sleeping well, I'm tired, and I really just need to get over this. So part of me feels a bit bad that I'm not there, but the rest of me (the part that's aching and tired) is glad I made the choice.