Sunday, January 21, 2007
I rolled over and forced myself to open my eyes. It was 5:45 on Saturday morning. In an hour, I was on my way to the Mount Vernon Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament. Check-in was at 7:15 and my first round was at eight o'clock. The judge seemed nice enough but I thought I seemed a bit off. Oh well, two more rounds. The next was supposed to happen at nine, but postings were off so at nine fifteen Elliot and I (he didn't compete until later so he decided to come watch me) walked into my second round. He joked with my teenage platnium haired judge, and I gave my speech, it was okay. We had lots of time to kill before our last rounds, I with my Novice expos, Kate with her Open expos and Erica with her DI (dramatic interpretation) As they say, time really does go slower at tournaments. FINALLY after a late posting (again) we were on our ways to our last round, this time Mrs. S. watched mine. That was my favorite of the three, and I was pretty sure I got first. Then the waiting time. Yep, seven and a half hours of waiting to find out if we got into finals, if we had a chance of winning. There were 26 people entered for Novice Expos (what I was doing) so my only goal was to get into finals, I didn't care if I won or not. We watched some of Elliots's rounds, played War with pinnochle cards (that was fun:D), Erica and I took tons of walks around the building, especially closer to the hour, and Kate served as our calming influence. She is such an awsome photographer so she decided to go out and walk around the campus and photograph the architecture. I also swing danced with Erica (I always knew I liked her for a reason:)) and we watched agonizingly as the hands on the clocks barely moved. After various walks, meals and of course, a quarter of an hour after seven o'clock. Our coach came out from where she had been working on ballots. She knew who was going on into finals, and she knew who won for those event which were too small for finals. I spun around and there were people clustered around the posts. "The final postings are up." and I practically ran with Erica over the the pillars. There, sure enough, was my tag, E. H____ #1. I WAS IN THE FINAL ROUND! Since no one else had finals, either they hadn't made it or there weren't any, they all came to watch me. I was before a panel of three judges, and against 4 other finalists. Since my goal had been fulfilled, I now didn't mind if I placed, so I decided to go in there do my best and just have fun. After all, that's what Kate always says to do. The audience was quite responsive (always a good thing) and everyone loved when the large PEZ despenser played the Star Wars theme song at the end. After finals, we were met with half an hour of time until awards, which, following the popular trend, were probably going to be late. Erica and I conversed with other teams, walked the halls, and waited. Dawna and Marion were done, and were in the Student Lounge with us (really just the cafeteria) At nine ten, she took us over and we got seats, my anxiety being replaced with excitement. Erica and I sat on the edges of our chairs and waited agonizingly for the announcer to appear. They played music and swung stobe lights and finally, the ceremony started. Fortunately they started with speech. First extemp, then, expos. They announced my tag so I knew that I had either 3rd, 2nd, or 1st. They handed the finals certificates then started with the trophies. I could feel Erica's eyes on me, going through exactly what I was, except she thought I would win. They announced 3rd, and it wasn't for me. Then, they announced 2nd. As the realization and disbelief slowly dawned on me, and I was left, alone on the stage, my mouth dropped. The man then announced, "And for first place in Novice Expository Speaking, pause E. H____." My team screamed and the rest of the audience cheered as I was handed the 1st place trophy. I was in complete disbelief as I walked back to my seat. Erica gave me a huge hug and everyone was so happy. It slowly started to sink in, and my excitement returned, this time, for Erica. They announced her name, no surprise to the rest of us, for she had found her niche in DI even though she was only in 8th grade. She got first but the man told her to stay on stage. She was clearly bewildered. The man announced the 3rd and 2nd placings for Open (the higher level) then he said, "And in a curious twist of events, Erica S. takes first in Open Dramatic Interpretation as well." Our team screamed for her and the crowd cheered very loudly. This was pretty unheard of, she was better than all of the novice AND all of the open. I was so happy for her, yet now it was her turn to feel the shock and disbelief. Nevertheless, she still recovered slightly and we watched for Elliot's rank. He received 2nd and for the rest of the awards, we whispered and stared at our trophies. I remember feeling ashamed after the 2nd round, because I had forgotten to dedicate this to God, so I did it for the 3rd round, final round, and awards. I told Him that His will be done, but I sure didn't expect 1st. Novice Expos was perhaps, the largest event, and the only one close was novice Impromptu. God gave me much more than my goal, and I still can't belief it. I got straight 1st place ranks for all of my rounds and in the finals I got 1st, 1st, and 2nd since there are 3 judges. I love you all and thank you so much for praying, I'm sure that's what did it!