Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fun With Seminars

I somehow ended up in charge of the yearly seminar for one of the agility clubs I belong to because I made the critical mistake of going to a club meeting and not understanding how they work.  So when somebody said that I should be in charge of the next year's seminar in a half joking tone I figured everybody would forget about it by the next meeting and as long as I didn't go to any more meetings I'd be safe.  Now here's where you agility club meeting neophytes should perk up and pay attention and learn from my mistakes-it turns out they take notes at these meetings.  So imagine my surprise when several months later someone from the club emailed me offering to help me with the seminar.  On the one hand this was just what I needed to take on (what is the internet convention for indicating sarcasm?).  On the other hand there are certain advantages to being in charge.  For one I got to pick the presenter.  For another I get to attend for free.  And how hard can this be?  I somehow ended up in charge of putting on punk rock shows back in college and I was thinking that if I can deal with folks from the music industry I can deal with the dog agility folks.  I once had to stare down and remove a hostile football player suffering from roid rage or mental instability or something plus his psycho little accomplice because they were using the mosh pit as an excuse to beat the crap out of everyone with the misfortune to come within punching distance.  But knowledge is power and someone told me the football player had been arrested the previous week for wrapping some guy around a railing at a hotdog stand and this was not his first assault.  In fact he'd been in trouble so many times that the professional football team that had hired him to play the following fall had threatened to cut him if he had but one more incident.  And despite his dearth of brain cells and overabundance of testosterone he was able to do the math (just) and decided that maybe assaulting a puny little female engineering student was not worth his multi-million dollar NFL career.  Then there was the girl with Borderline Personality Disorder who would try to insert herself into the operation with the sole purpose of sabotaging things and I had a hard time explaining to people why we couldn't let her 'help' because for those unfamiliar with Borderlines they are very charismatic and manipulative and nobody would believe me that she was going to be a problem.  Until she was a problem, then they believed me.

Anyway, I figured that a dog agility seminar would be a piece of cake compared to all the meatheads and drama of the music world and let's not even get into the sleazy band managers and roadies never mind the bands themselves who often ended up staying at my house as if I already didn't have enough disruption to my life (though admittedly I did meet some interesting people).  And so far I was right.  I picked Rosanne Demascio for the instructor and she's been really easy to work with and other club members have been very helpful with telling me what I need to do and helping coordinate things.  Of course there may be unanticipated things that happen on the day but so far everything is set and organized and I don't anticipate any big issues.  The seminar filled except for the Novice/Advanced Handling class but the club was committed to offering such a class so not much I could do about that.  There's also an AKC trial and another seminar going on the same weekend and I couldn't do anything about that either because the club has the same dates every year for the arena.  It's very hard to rent space in this particular arena so we take whatever dates we can get.  It's a very nice facility too, has heat and bathrooms with running hot water.

I'm excited to finally have some instruction.  I haven't had a lesson since the Mary Ellen Barry/Jennifer Crank seminar last February.  My training partner has been an invaluable set of eyes and has helped me a lot but it's nice to have some instruction and a fresh set of eyes every once in a while.  I've signed up for a day of Masters Handling, a day of International Handling and a 2 hour running contact session.  This turned out to be one of the most popular sessions next to the Foundation session.  I'm hoping I can get some ideas for what to try next.  I'm somewhat at a loss at the moment and feel like I'm beating my head against the wall.  No matter what I try I can't seem to get past the 70% accuracy mark and I've lost a lot of Standard Q's to the dogwalk.  Also I'd like to qualify for USDAA Nationals in the Grand Prix and I'd hate to miss Q's for the dogswalk.  I'm willing to put the work in to break through that barrier but at this point I'm not sure what that work should be. 

In other news I was in a swim meet and had a lot of fun and did not embarrass myself and had another mountain biking lesson but I guess those stories will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime I think someone is excited about the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I got a chuckle out of that -- I'm the Secretary for the agility club I belong to and yes, we Agility Club Secretaries are diligent about noting action items and following up on them afterward!

    Looking forward to hearing how the seminar goes.