I'm not a fan of the ballot. Some of the little boxes on interp ballots like "clear beginning, climax, and resolution" seem useless to me. Who cares? And what about "Appearance?" Do the judges really have to be told that students need to look nice? And what's up with "universal appeal?" No one cares if the universe would like my speech. I just care if you would.
Since I only did interpretive speeches last year, this year was the first time I got a good look at another kind of ballot. The "pathos, ethos, logos" thing kind of confused me, but I'm pretty sure I can remember which is which now. (I could never remember what "ethos" meant). Anyway, I could talk about ballots for days but I'll spare you from further rants and confusions. I want to talk about: The Perfect Ballot Maybe I don't like the format and content of the blank ballot, but I can pore over my own ballots with the best of them. If you're one of those people with ridiculous self-control who can read all of the comments a judge made on a ballot before looking at the ranking, congratulations. Maybe you've had this happen. As you're reviewing the ballots, you see a lots of "-"s saying you "need work" or other not-excellent remarks. The judge pretty much soaked in every word you said and spat it back in your face with a vengeance. Or so you think. Because at that moment, you've just finished reading the mark by the utterly useless "Appearance" box (oh, sorry) when something catches your eye: What? First place? The judge had so many areas to work on that I thought for sure I was getting a Fifth & Below! This is like the perfect ballot!! I had a ballot recently that was pretty close. A lady gave me a lot of great things to work on and had nice things to say in my Original Oratory. She wrote so much that it went all around the edges of the paper so I felt like an idiot holding it sideways and upside down but it was great. Unfortunately, I had put a bit too much pathos (= passion. Point for me) in and the speech was nearly 12 minutes long. The judge couldn't give me first with a time like that, but I did get a circled second and a comment saying "You might want to think about cutting something" and a bit of advice of where to cut. Awesome. You're homeschooled, and I hope you get the perfect ballot.