The end of the season banquet for the MRP at the U of I was held this last Saturday at the DoubleTree in Alsip, IL. I missed the banquet last year because we were experiencing raining sheets of ice on the day of the banquet which was being held 120 miles away in Champaign. This was the first banquet I have attended after only teaching for 2 seasons. This was the largest banquet for the program with over 200 people in attendance.
5-6 was the social hour with two free drink tickets. I was able to enjoy a Sam Adams and a different Honey Ale during this period. At 6:00 the feasting began. My wife was surprise how good the way. We were expecting a pasta dish, plain iceberg lettuce, etc... There was plenty of everything including Fried Chicken and Barbecued Ribs.
After everyone was stuffed, the guest speaker talked about problems with the current state of motorcycle training. He turned out to be David Hough of Proficient Motorcycling fame. He recently finished a second updated edition of Proficient Motorcycling, of which each instructor was given a copy. Now I have something to read over the winter months.
After the guest speaker, awards for all types of things were given. Button for various accumulations of students taught (100, 200, 300, .....). Much respect for those in the thousands. I was overlooked as I didn't get any buttons but have taught over 300 students in my first two seasons. This season's total for me was 212. It just gave me something to give the administrators a hard time about.
Best of all was being able to see and talk with other instructors. Yes I am going through a little withdrawal after teaching 22 classes this season. I only taught with one person twice. Each instructor provided at least one new thing for me to incorporate in my own instruction.