Posts Tagged ‘National Debate Tournament’

First, I’d like to note that I’ve already written a 3pg paper on this tourney.  However, it doesn’t seem worthy of blogpost privileges…my writing skills have deteriorated in the summer. : ( Also, the paper was a bit boring so let me try to make this more interesting.

I competed in Varsity Policy Debate, which is essentially like walking into a clearing full of wild beasts hungry for the kill.  Policy on the mainland is completely different from policy in Hawaii.  I knew this before competing so I attempted to prepare by first researching kritiks, counterplans, and the stranger disadvantages (with everything leading to nuclear war) on Wikipedia.  Then I looked up YouTube videos of spreading, the infamous speed-reading style (punctuated with loud breaths of air…kind of like in competitive swimming) that’s common on the mainland.  Sometimes you’re only able to pick up on key words but most of the time, they’re just spewing nonsense anyways.  How does spreading teach communication skills?

People who know me are probably aware that I don’t believe in misleading optimism.  In this case, I didn’t expect to do well…and we were basically crushed. : )  Yet I still find it to be a good life experience: there’s something grand about reaching the point where you’re not at all intimidated about walking into the lion’s mouth.  I do wish that I had more fun with the rounds though.  For example, in one debate, the other team jumped from a gas tax to promote the use of alternative energy all the way to a preachy-sounding kritik on man and nature becoming one to prevent world extinction.  Back then, I had been extremely tempted to ask in cross-ex, “So, how is your relationship with nature?”  Looking back, I should have. ; )

I also did a supplementary event, expository speaking (basically a mini oration) and that was a lot more enjoyable than debate.  Even better was when we got to watch final rounds: some performances were simply breathtaking, including an impersonation of Judy Garland for Dramatic Interp, a couple of very eloquent US & International Extemp speechs, and a hilarious Oratory on the lost art of communication.

And now…onto gorgeous green Alabama!! ^ ^  I LOVED it there.  We were lost on the road (hitting dead ends & going the other way on one-way streets) half the time, but we did manage to explore the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute & the 16th St. Baptist Church next to it, a Peanut Depot (more fun than it sounds! cajun peanuts are amazing), a Steel Museum (all of our sightseeing had to be educational, obviously) at the Tannenhill Mill and Park, and go “hiking.”  Luckily for me, Schwan’s Party was even held in the McWane Science Center.  The thunderstorms in Alabama are also spectacular to watch… they really lit up the skies and lasted much longer than the ones in Hawaii.

Ahh, speaking of thunderstorms, I have a must-recount experience from our first night in Alabama.  We ate out at a Cajun restaurant and as we’re finishing up and getting ready to leave, the waitress comes by and says “Y’all be careful now.”  Then there’s a huge gust of wind (which seems to affect only our table) and the umbrella starts to jerk and spin wildly.  Everyone trys to hold the umbrella down but it eventually flies off, overturning the table and knocking all of the dishes/plastic glasses/leftover food to the ground.  I end up completely soaked in ice water & sticky bread-pudding syrup.  But it doesn’t end there!  Then it starts storming and all the lights in the area go out. : K  Freaky, yes?

This post would not be complete without mentioning Southern food.  Everything does taste better fried. ; ) Haha… the fried green tomatoes (at the original Irondale Café from the movie) were great!  Fried chicken, barbecued ribs, sweet tea, every available dessert…you really can’t go wrong with food in Alabama.  Just don’t order seafood.

Lastly, I didn’t really get to go shopping on this trip but I did find a lovely goldstone necklace at the Colorado airport. ^ ^ I love goldstone…& I got NFL (National Forensic League) souvenirs including a little red computer mouse (for my future laptop) and Ozark lollipops (have yet to try the Flaming Hot Melon one!)  That’s all for now folks.  Y’all be careful now!! ; )

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