Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What do you do when you can't sleep?

For the second night in a row, sleep has eluded me. The funny this is, I don't physically feel tired, so that's good I guess. I figured I'd take this time to write a short post, because it's been a while since I've updated this. Honestly, it is because I have been so busy with school. Now that the semester is coming to a close, many of my teachers feel it necessary to assign boatloads of work (homework, projects, and/or tests), and it is definitely starting to catch up to me.

All of that aside, I was thinking today about how, now that this semester is ending, everything seems to be going just right. This week in particular is the beginning of a great couple of weeks. To begin, this week is a three day week containing my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I'm super excited to finally get to spend some time with my family because I haven't been able to much this semester. Friday marks the official beginning of the Christmas season (for those people not festive enough to start celebrating the forty days of Christmas in mid-November, but I digress). It's gun season now for much of the of remainder of the deer season, and that's reason to celebrate and hit the woods. Friday night, as of now, I plan on going to see the Knoxville West High School Rebels (the school that I coach wrestling at) try to reach the state championship in football. I'll be honest, part of me (the coach part) wants them to lose so I can have the rest of my team back, but the other part wants them to go all the way since they've made it this far. Saturday is also going to be a great day. I am going to see Ben Folds play with the Nashville Symphony at TPAC in Nashville with Ashley. I saw him play an excellent show two years ago with the Louisville Symphony, and I have a feeling this year is going to be even better being at the TPAC. After this week, we have two days of class and then finals.

Once break starts, I'll be working at my internship at Lasko again. My boss is trying to get my co-intern and myself permission to work on Saturdays. If he does, I'll be working six days a week pretty much all of break, and that is absolutely awesome. Next semester, I start my Math minor with Math 300 - Intro to Abstract Algebra. I'm actually really excited about this class -  it's a pure mathematics course (as opposed to applied mathematics) and deals with proofs and symbolic logic, something I've been wanting to deepen my understanding in for a while. Beginning in January, I will also be a contributor to a blog based at UT (website: volblogs.com), so you can follow there as well. Other random events in the beginning of next semester include Girl Talk at the Valarium, (hopefully) coaching in another couple Region and State tournaments, and my 21st birthday.

Anyway, I've successfully gotten closer to morning by about 20 minutes, and with that I am going to try and pass out. Until next time, goodnight, and thanks for reading!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wrestling Season Is Finally Here

For those of you who don't know, I coach wrestling at a local high school in Knoxville, TN. This is my second year with the program as an assistant coach, but I do as much as I can with and for the team. Today, our first full week of practice came to a close. While there were a few moments that aggravated me, this week was overwhelmingly productive. Today, however, something was different, in a good way. Many of you have never been in a position like I am in: having to contain, teach, discipline, and also bond with a large group of high school students. Believe me, there are trying times when I get pushed to the end of my rope. Right now, while the school's football team is still in the playoffs, I am left with a very diminished team, consisting only of about twelve wrestlers, but in those that are there now (and have been there during preseason practices) I have seen a change already. I wrestle around with almost all of my wrestlers on a regular basis save for the heaviest of heavyweights, and today while I was going with them, everyone of them improved over the course of this week. From our most advanced guys to the newest wrestlers, every one of my wrestlers I went with had improved in some way. Even over the course of this week, I can tell I am connecting with the newer wrestlers, and strengthening the bond between myself and my experienced wrestlers from last year.

Near the end of practice, before one of the other assistant coaches took them out to sprint in the hallways, I told them all to take a seat (a big deal in our room because I do not allow the kids to sit on their butts, backs, or bellies - something my first coach, my dad, drilled in my head ten years ago) and I told them all straight up how proud I was of them for this past week, and how I've noticed that they have all improved, pointing out specific examples in almost every wrestler. After their run, we closed practice by saying our last remarks for the week - reminding them of dues and other things to do. While we were there, they were all for the most part very attentive (this is also a big deal when dealing with high school males), and allowed each other to speak. I can see that we are starting to become not only a team, but a family, and I am absolutely ecstatic. They even threw around the idea to go run as a team in a Breast Cancer run next week to continue losing weight. When the rest of our wrestlers make their way back to the mat from the football field, I know the bonding is only going to strengthen, and I really do feel that we can, and will, be better than our team last year. Their attitudes, for the most part, have changed over one week of actual practice, and they all are becoming more serious about the sport. Again, I can't explain how excited I am for this season and happy to be a part of this team. I really do feel like I am making a difference in the lives of these young men, if it is something as simple as them being able to relate to me for being around their age.  Yes, it does keep me busy, but the feeling I got after practice today from this past week makes up for that.