Monday, January 26, 2009

UIL Competition Help

January 26, 2009

I received the following e-mail in regard to Erin's UIL competition preparation:

For once I have something concrete to offer, since I was in number sense for three years in high school. To multiply by 16 2/3, divide by 6 and add two zeroes. There were many other such tricks, but it has been almost fifty years and my head hurts even thinking about math. Never mind. Davis will be more help.

If the UIL contest you cannot recall involves firing artillery, I can probably remember enough of my army training as a forward observer to be of some help (although be warned that my National Guard unit once destroyed part of a state park in Louisiana during summer camp training at Fort Polk).

This brought to mind the many talents and experiences Erin fans may have up their sleeves. So, if you have an offer of help, say for a UIL competition involving rabid skunks or perhaps finding your way home on a dark moonless night when you accidentally left your shoes in someone's yard when you were wrapping their house with toilet paper, please volunteer by leaving your qualifications in a comment below.

Erin has recovered her appetite and thrown off the stomach bug. She, my mom, and I are going to Houston tomorrow morning (pulling out at 5:30) for what we hope will be a routine and relatively quick office visit and zometa infusion. I look forward to hear what you are qualified to volunteer with in Erin's UIL career when I return. Pat, I have read your spotted work history (scroll down) and can certify you in a large number of instructional roles: including envelop stuffing and illegal i.d. user.


  1. I have no skills in any of those categories but I can offer advice on wrapping presents. I am often horribly uncoordinated and have trouble wrapping with just 2 hands, but I have learned that feet are excellent for holding the paper down while you tape each side. I am aware (and amazed) that most people can suffice with 2 hands but I urge you to share this advice with Erin as it has proved invaluable during birthdays and Christmas time.

  2. I can help with oral reading - coached it for several years at Branch! Call if you need me!!!


  3. I had to look up idea what it was. "The purpose of the UIL is to organize and properly supervise contests that assist in preparing students for citizenship. It aims to provide healthy, character building, educational activities carried out under rules providing for good sportsmanship and fair play for all participants."
    I would say that using a fake idea and collecting funds from fellow students all week in advance of a party on the weekend with no cash outlay of my own and a small profit to boot helped build my character. I learned to overcome the adversity of having no money while educating myself about being an entrepreneur. I had to establish and enforce rules as they related to allocating cups to paying customers and establishing an orderly line to the keg. And finally I helped establish good sportsmanship and fair play among many classmates while we all worked together as a tem to learn all about various drinking games as part of an adhoc college prep course on Saturday nights in the woods. However, I do not believe this would qualify as either healthy or legal under the UIL guidelines above.

  4. if they ask any questions about technological pedagogical content knowledge, problem-based learning, teaching as a design activity, or the occupation of palestine - send erin my way. i'm really just an email away. i would offer up my research knowledge, but you and walter are professors and i think your wisdom in that area would be much better than my own. ;-D. sorry i can't be of more help.

    oh wait - if there are any questions about navigating whitewater with a raft, or (even better!) a kayak / canoe - those questions i can answer as well.