Well! Another great summer has come and gone and guess what folks? It's Debate Season! That's right! It's that magical time weeks after football starts (a.k.a. the impersonator NFL) when nervous high schoolers all across the pacific region (limited too, and including, Arlington to Tahoma) to face off in the ultimate showdown of inexperience.
The Kamiak Novice Tournament starts at 8am, too late, I might add. The rounds don't start until nine, when a regular tournament already has at least one speech and one debate round squared away. As luck would have it, I (being one of the Open Judges and thus elibigle for God-like benevolence from all paltry novices throughout the day) was not obligated to judge a pattern A rd. #1, the veeeeeeeeery beginning of these young debaters careers, and Ali (our other stalwart judge) had similiar results of the first ballot pool, so we found a quiet corner to debate theology.
One hour later, we realized if we did not run back to the Judges Lounge we'd miss our debate ballots. Casting aside philosophy and enlightening conversation, we skedaddled back, and were each awarded a ballot - mine Puff and his LD. He was fated to judge two LD debates, back to back, whereas I only had to judge one. But, my own fate was decided when my teams walked into the room and I beheld them, and their observer.
They sucked. But with what style! What hesitation! What soft voices! What short speeches! It was beautiful, and I had a very hard time deciding which team sucked the least. I prayed for forgiveness as I gave Snohomish the win, a move I never thought I should make.
Next was Patter B round one, and I nabbed some person's Oratory ballot who was too slow to get to the ballot table in time. Luck favors the prepared! Oratory was more interesting, if that word can be used for novices, and I had less difficulty deciding who won, although much to my consternation she was texting during her peers speeches. "Not okay" I wrote on her ballot, with more diplomacy than I felt was warranted. In the end, though, she probably just didn't know any better.
I was not chosen for Debate rd #2 so I chilled, then Pattern A rd #2 was called and I snatched my coach's ballot for lack of one bearing my own name. She didn't want to judge after all, and hey, how bad could 7 novice duos be?
I was about to find out.
I opened the door (the judge always goes in first, which put me in a wonderful position of power, plus like 16 other people were coming in to compete/watch so I had quite the gathering) and after everyone got situated I looked around and it felt just like nationals there were so many people in the room! Except this time, of course, I had the magic to decide who would win. :)
There was a coach from a different team in the room to watch her kids, so I gave my NO PHONES disclaimer (even though one girl got a text during the round anyways, but I forgave her) and with my iron fist started the round.
The first piece was called Mary Choppins and was essentially Mary Poppins turned psycho axe murderer/drug dealer and it was gruesome, barbaric, inhumane, explicit, cruel, and disgusting. Fortunately there was no movement (blocking) in the entire piece.
Two semi-decent pieces followed, in fact I really liked the 2nd script, it had lots of potential, and after that one about having sex with the president then cheating death then being born. The last one was pretty funny. So was the cheating death, but they glossed over all the humor which kind of deflated the piece.
That enormous round being finished, I submitted my ballots, missed the 3rd debate draw, and settled down to wait.
Pattern B rd. #2 had a novice impromptu ballot for me, which was fate, I know. I have this thing about novice impromptu, and I knew it would spite me and I'd get a ballot. But beforehand, I was made the honorary appendix of the Tahoma team! They are so friendly. Except for rubber ducky tie guy. I hate him. But his flirtatious nature makes it easy to hide from him (i.e. he's always off with the cute snoho girls so I can interact with the rest of his team without his unneeded presence).
Anyways, so I got there, and listened to 5 novice imps which actually went exactly in order from worst to first. I felt kind of silly turning in a sheet that said 5,4,3,2,1 in that speaker order, but I justified it all on the ballots, and I figure it's bound to happen once and a while.
Our team didn't win anything, unfortunately.
But we had a great start and we have lots of talent and potential and this coming weekend is the kickoff for ALL DEBATERS AT GIG HARBOR!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will be there, in my black suit, briefcase in hand, heels clicking down the hall and I will burst into the congress room to take that senate and utterly demolish it.
It will be epic.
But first things first, another week of school, practice (I badly need to work on my Impromptu skills - I haven't practiced since June!), not getting enough sleep, and life life life!
P.S. All speech and debate entries I'm doing more to journal them for myself then for reader enjoyment, because this way I'll be able to remember them forever and won't have to worry about deleting them on my comp or getting rid of a journal or whatever. Just for the record. ;)