Saturday, September 15, 2007

Emmy Award

WOW, what a day yesterday was! After a terribly "long" week that included a near 15-hour work day on Monday night with PTA Open House, Fall Friday nights belong to High School Football.

Our team was hosting a very good team from Beeville, who were totally dominating us on our home turf. Working the chains on the visitor's sidelines, I was impressed with Beeville's entire program and especially their coaching staff. This, however, was little consolation to the fact that our team, my alma mater, was putting getting beaten like a lazy math student beats his addiction to doing homework. We were down 27 -3 at the half.

At halftime, I always return to the home side to bring my two children down to the sidelines. They love to watch the band, talk to all the "cool" high school kids, and drink the football players' gatorade. It was during this time when I ran into our district's public information officer who told me to call the producer for a math show I do for out local district network.

The show I did last year was called "That Geometry Show," a show with a math/disco version of the hit TV show "That 70s Show." Now I know you're probably already thinking "math?! disco?! tv show?! who watches that?!" Well, that's just the thing, I didn't think anyone but my Mom and Dad watched the show (boy were they proud! After being a priest, this is what they always imagined I'd be doing: disco dancing while working math problems in a dark basement studio on Wednesday afternoons.) During each show, I would invite viewers to email with questions or comments they had on the show. After initially getting no responses, I checked to make sure that I had given out the correct address--yep! Then I began beseeching viewers to email me with comments, good or bad, on the show--empty mailbox! Then I begged anyone to email, even if it was my mom pretending to be a loyal viewer, just to give me the encouragement to keep making the shows. Even mom didn't watch that episode.

So when they asked me to do an Algebra 2 show this year, I wondered if the time commitment was worth it. I had to create the schedule and material for each show, producing downloadable handouts with keys. I took up a good 4 to 5 hours of my time each Saturday morning, time that I could spent sleeping or watching cartoons. Of course, I said "yes" to what is now called "Deja vu, it's Algebra 2."

Anyway, back to the phone call. It turns out that last year while I was still filming "That Geometry Show," one of my producers secretly submitted an episode to a prestigious dance competition . . . . for which I promptly did not win. But then . . . she actually submitted an episode to a prestigious competition that places more value on quality television programming, rather than cheesy dance moves. To make a long story short, she wanted to tell me that we had just been nominated for an Emmy!!

"An AMY?" I asked her confusedly amongst the clamor of the band's halftime performance. "What's an AMY award?"

"No, an EMMY award."

"An E-M-I-E award, or an E-M-M-I-E award?" I asked, still in disbelief of what I actually believed she was trying to tell me.

"NOOOOO, and E-M-M-Y award!"

"Wow! very surprising news. It's not everyday one gets nominated for an Emmy Award. We sure can use some of that good fortune here tonight on the football field," I told her.

The rest of the evening only got better. Our home team went on to put up 27 unanswered points in the second half and ended up with an award-winning performance of their own, pulling it out in determined, tenacious fashion 30 -27. After the game, I liked to think that that at halftime, the coach told them that if they pulled out a victory, instead of watching tape the following week, they would be treated to reruns of Mr. Korpi's Emmy nominated geometry show, and that it was the only incentive they needed to turn the game around.

The actual winner will be announced in late October at a fancy dinner in Dallas. Apparently ALL the famous disco-dancing TV mathematicians will be there, so I'll have no one to talk to. The award nomination does prove one thing, though--
that my mom and dad DO have good programming.

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