A Few Life Updates July 30, 2010

A Few Life Updates

I don’t talk too much about my personal/work life on this site, but I figured I’d share some of the things that are going on right now:

  • I’m the new head coach of my high school’s Speech Team (a.k.a. Forensics)! I competed in this when I was in school and have been an assistant coach on various teams for the past several years, so I’m really excited about being able to run my own team. The students I have already are incredibly talented and now I can focus on recruiting other people to join them. When I don’t post anything between November and February, you’ll know why.
  • I’m teaching my first Advanced Placement class (Statistics) this year! I’ve taught honors classes before, but this is a whole new level of crazy-smart, not-afraid-to-challenge-me, let’s-do-battle-over-one-point-on-the-test-you-already-got-an-A-on students. I can’t wait!
  • With all this going on, something has to give. So I chose to step down from my position as chair of the Secular Student Alliance board of directors last week. The newly elected chair is a fantastic leader and I’ll post more about him soon. I’m going to remain on the board until my term expires next summer.
  • I have a couple postings coming up on this site that have been in the works for a while now. They were probably the hardest things I’ve ever tried to put together but I think they’ll be worth it for readers. (This also probably means they’ll get all of 2 comments. That always seems to happen on posts I spend a lot of time on…)
  • I may be writing for a couple other mainstream websites soon. If/when that happens, I’ll provide the links.
  • I’m putting together my speaking calendar for the upcoming school year. If your campus/off-campus group is interested in having me, please let me know!
  • My mom would also like me to tell you all that I’m very excited about meeting a nice Indian woman/getting married/having children this year. Apparently, she knows something that I don’t. (Should I be worried about this?)


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  • Nikki Bluue

    Yes, Hemant, BE WORRIED! Moms sometimes know things their kids don’t. 😉

    BE WORRIED. 😛

  • What would your Mom say if you married out?

  • Aric

    Congratulations! Is it a boy or girl?

    Seriously, thanks for the update. You are busy doing a lot of good stuff. Keep it up.

  • Parse

    My main regret about AP classes is that there weren’t much similar to them before that point in school. I finally had some hard, interesting, challenging classes – that I had no idea how to study for. Nothing else that I had taken really required a lot of studying before.
    (And as a former observer and occasional member of the ‘fight-for-every-point’ students club, about half of it was done for GPA concerns, and the other half was for the sheer challenge of proving your teacher was wrong and you were right initially.)

  • Bob

    W00t!

    Congrats, Hemant!

    Especially jazzed about the Forensics team news, because I think we need to teach our kids how to have rational discussions/debates, not the nyah! nyah! strawman! silliness that passes muster in many forums on the web.

  • Caroline

    Listen to your mother!! 🙂

    Good luck with all your endeavors, and don’t forget to schedule in some vacay-time.

  • hippiefemme

    Sometimes I argued with the teacher because s/he didn’t mark an answer as incorrect when I realized it was. That was always a shock when a teacher is used to people fighting for credit.

    I loved Forensics! I placed in Duo Interp a few times, and I came in 4th for Humorous Interp once or twice.

    I’m sorry to see you leave the SSA board, but I’m sure you’ll still be involved in a variety of other ways. Besides, it’d be especially difficult to leave for conferences and meetings all the time with your wife and 2.5 rugrats.

  • Silent Service

    Hemant,

    You have my sympathy on the mother thing. My mom scared away all of my girlfriends except the first one and the last one. Do her a favor, bring home a nice tall guy that’s not Indian and introduce him as your boyfriend. That’ll get her to quit.

    Okay, I admit it, I was never brave enough to try that either and I’ve actually had a couple of boyfriends. But it would work. Really, it would.

  • Will you ask your mom to hook me up also. Thanks homie.

    Kriss

  • Congrats on all the exciting things on the horizon!

  • Hemant…BOYCHIK! You need a nice Jewish girl. Have I got a cousin for you!

  • Spurs Fan

    Good luck Hemant! I taught AP Social Studies classes (mainly U.S. and Comparative Government) and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the occasional “you owe me something” attitude. You’ll have a great year.

  • Silent Service

    krissthesexyatheist,

    You could do Hemant a favor and play the part of his boyfriend for a night to get him mom to stay out of his dating life.

  • Thanks “SS”. I think what we need to do is go #teambro and be wing men for each other…and “H” needs to move to super awesome Nor-Cal. Have a great weekend everybody.

    Kriss

  • abadidea

    My mom was pressuring me to marry my rich European friend when I was 19. I’m engaged to much better husband material now and she still asks about the European boy. yeesh.

  • Icaarus

    Those posts that only get a couple of comments, are they the ones so well written that they drive me into internal thought more than outward discussion? If yes then please keep those up, and consider the lack of comments as a compliment.

  • Hannah C

    Forensics! You being a coach makes this site even cooler.
    This year I’m doing an Original Oratory, Extemp, Congress, and either Parliamentary Debate or Public Forum. I can’t wait.
    And have fun recruiting, haha! My high school is 9-12 for the first time in a decade, so our coach made us go crazy recruiting the freshman. Our team is going to be half novice next year, but I’m excited that we are going to have such a large group that are doing all 4 years.

    Needless to say, I don’t have much of a life outside of speech during the season, haha. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. =]

  • Silent Service

    You’re welcome, Kris. I’d ask to be your wingman but I don’t want to look like a BUFF next to your fighter pilot like abs.

  • Hope you have an awesome school year, Hemant!

  • JB Tait

    My daughter got a B on one test in her high school career, by one point (partly because she would not participate in the cheating group–the previous test takers were reporting what the questions were, which was forbidden) on an answer we believed was more correct than the one the test giver expected, and though she was the State AP Scholar (f) with 13 APs 3 or better, not only was she not valedictorian, but she missed being in the school Honor Students group by one person–as in, she had the highest GPA not in the top 10%. Thus she missed a cruise, some loot, a scholarship, and a number of other benefits.

    We should have argued that one point.

    And yes, it was a tough, Blue Ribbon school with fierce competition.

    That one point might not mean much to you, in the Big Picture, but it can have a significant effect on your student and unanticipated consequences years later.

    I think your students will be lucky, indeed, to get their AP course from you.

  • JB Tait

    @Silent Service: I suppose he could also “cure” mom by coming home with a lovely, elegant, well-spoken, Indian cougar, well beyond childbearing years.
    At least that would sort out her desires for grandchildren and separate them from her desires for cultural continuity.

    At least Hemant’s mom cares.

  • VXbinaca

    Hermant, you’re lucky. I have a thing for Indian women.

    Sounds like you’re movin’ on up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9y4iXAso4I

  • Nancy

    As a 38 yr veteran of the classroom, I say congratulations on coaching the speech team, but more so on the AP class. I know that is a lot of work…not from personal experience, but I do have some colleagues at my school teaching AP. 🙂

    I am glad to see that you are not stretching yourself too thin by trying to “do it all”. Smart man.

    Tell your Mom that I have some former students who are super smart, super beautiful Indian women!

  • Congratulations on being coach of the Forensics team. Have a great time!

    AP classes were great. I really feel like I learned a lot. Some of us (including myself) in my AP Calculus class were absolutely fascinated by calculators; its was odd but fun.

    I know what you mean about the posts that you put a lot of effort into being the ones that get the least comments.

    My (Indian) mom has also been going on about finding a nice boy for me. It just makes me sigh.

    @hippiefemme:

    Sometimes I argued with the teacher because s/he didn’t mark an answer as incorrect when I realized it was. That was always a shock when a teacher is used to people fighting for credit.”

    I did that, too.

  • Oh I know those students/ One is next to me on the couch at the moment trying finish his phd.

  • Hitch

    I hate to say it, but mom knows real football.

  • Trace

    Are you forsaking us?…I am actually happy for you. Thanks for this forum.

  • Nerdette

    Just do me a favor and don’t force someone to go to NFL competition if they don’t want to. I wanted to go to State for Dramatic Interp and hated anything to do with Nationals, but our school was a “national level” school for Forensics/Speech (we only did State out of obligation to show off -_-), and my couch forced me to do Nationals. So I went, sucked, and spent the evening an emotional wreck. Let the kids compete where they want to compete (as long as they fill their quota, of course).

  • muggle

    Congratulations, Hemant! Don’t worry we understand. Maybe you’ll run across a nice Indian girl to make your mom (and you) very happy in one of these many adventures.

    Sigh, so much to do in life so little time.

  • Jake

    As a student at a school where all the academic classes are honors or AP, I can tell you that the “crazy-smart, not-afraid-to-challenge-me, let’s-do-battle-over-one-point-on-the-test-you-already-got-an-A-on students” are real, and you’ll have at least two per class.
    Good luck with that.

    -Jake.

  • @nerdette:

    Just do me a favor and don’t force someone to go to NFL competition if they don’t want to.

    We don’t do NFL at the moment. Even if we did, I’m not ready to take it that seriously just yet… 🙂 I don’t get why someone would force a student to compete against their will!

  • Jake

    If you tried to force them they would argue with you for hours, but in 2 to 4 minute chunks, as to why they shouldn’t go.

  • Staceyjw

    Icarrus beat me to it! I was also going to say that when there are few comments, its usually because the idea was so well rendered that no one has much to add.

    Think about the posts that get the most comments- they are usually about a controversial action, not a well thought out idea. I know I don’t comment when I have nothing to add to the topic. The # of comments has nothing to do with quality or how many people read and enjoyed it.

    Consider your comment-light posts as being near perfection!

    *And don’t worry abnout your Mom, she’ll get (part of) what she wants eventually. By then she’ll be happy for it.
    Example: My parents use to bug me to get married to a certain type of guy and have kids. Then it was just get married and have kids. When they realized I was refusing to legally marry my better half (who I consider my husband after 8 years), they begged JUST HAVE A BABY! Diminished demands worked, we’re having our first baby (nom nom) and their first grandkid next week!

    Plus, the joy and excitement has been mulitplied by the LONG WAIT- I’ll be 34 the day after our sons born. My mom really thought she was never getting grandkids (really), so she really went over the top when we told her!!!

  • Emily

    be extremely afraid. 😐

  • Great updates, Hemant.

  • let’s-do-battle-over-one-point-on-the-test-you-already-got-an-A-on students

    Yeah – that was me.