Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Sometimes, inspiration for this blog hits me like a drum. Other times it's more of a trumpet sound, perhaps accompanied by a hallelujah chorus. Today's post came to me in with a lighthearted, melodic strumming sound. That's right, folks. We homeschoolers have a thing for ukeleles.

Why is this? I don't know. But there's bound to be a ukelele somewhere around a tournament. Someone will bring one to a speech and debate meeting. Someone will burst out in a random worship session. Someone will break the trend of praise music and bring in a little "I'm Yours" or "Hey, Soul Sister." (By the way, bonus points for the guy that brings a mandolin.) Why do we like ukeleles? I don't know. I guess ukeleles are just cool and so are we.

Ok, that's not why. Thoughts?

You're homeschooled. The way you move play ain't fair, you know.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Watching Speeches on YouTube

Looking for a good speech? Try this place.

I'm trying to get my sister to do this really awesome-sounding expos next year. In an attempt to further convince her that it would rock, I tied her to a chair, held a gun to her head and forced her to watch this one speech on YouTube. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But I did really want her to watch it because I want her to do one kind of similar and the speech we watched did remarkably well in competition a few years ago. Later, I grabbed my laptop and she and I and my parents sat on the couch and watched it again. They liked it. Then we watched my favorite OI ever. It was particularly great because my mom and I saw the round that was filmed. We were sitting by the cameraman so you could hear us laughing.

If you ever want a good speech to watch on YouTube, let me know. I've seen a ton. Well, they're almost entirely HIs with the occasional duo, but those are everyone's favorites anyway. I know I'm not the only one that does this. Haven't you ever seen a great speech and then relived it by watching it again online? Haven't you ever wondered what the speech was like that won some event if you didn't get the chance to see it and then gone and watched it so you could see what all the hype was about? All kinds of famous interpers and platformers are on there. It's crazy.

You're homeschooled, and you <3 YouTube.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jane Austen

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” - Jane Austen
A good friend of mine named Carey told me the other day, "I have a bunch of ideas for your blog. You should write one about Jane Austen." I promptly confessed that I know almost nothing about Jane Austen. I mean, I've read Pride and Prejudice, but that's it. I did see the movie too, but I don't remember it. All I remember is thinking, "Oh, hey! Keira Knightley's character is named Elizabeth here too, just like Pirates of the Caribbean!" I love Pirates of the Caribbean. It's not that I'm anti-Jane Austen or anything, I'm just a disgrace to homeschooled females. My friend who suggested this post said that maybe her love is not as universal as she thought. I told her, no, it's just me.
Here's the thing: 98.5% of homeschool speech and debate girls absolutely love Jane Austen. I can sympathize to an extent. I like the story of Pride and Prejudice a lot. That's why I have a number of Austen parodies I'd like to get around to reading, including Prom and Prejudice and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (I hear there was a duo on the zombie one, by the way).
You should know that 98.5% of homeschool speech and debate girls see themselves as Elizabeth Bennet and dream of falling for a Mr. Darcy, or see themselves as some of Miss Austen's other characters who are unknown to an uncultured swine such as myself. Hence, the girls fall in love with Jane's books. I guess I can't entirely blame them. Oh, look, someone just posted online that Pride and Prejudice makes her "completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy," which I have just determined through Google is from the movie. Sweet.
You're homeschooled, and you have pleasure in a good novel.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Competing In A Ridiculous Amount Of Events

You've probably noticed that the really good competitors compete in and often win multiple events each year. How they can manage this, I have no idea. I'm still new to the league in some respects.

Last year, my first year, I had one speech for most of the season, and it was a lot of work. I picked up another between the first and second competition, and it was still a lot of work. Around the end of last year, I had an OI and an OO I wanted to do this year. I also wanted to do a Duo and/or something funny. Well, this year's Duo is the least funny duo you've ever seen, so I found an HI and dropped my OI. I then picked my OI up again and found myself competing with 4 memorized speeches and impromptu. Ridiculous. Since I'll be joining debate next year, I decided that there is no way I'll have time for 4 memorized speeches, so I figured I'd probably end up doing 3.

I realized the other day just how many speeches I was planning to do next year. I wanted to do an HI because they're  so much fun and a DI because I've really enjoyed the dramaticness of this year's Duo and I actually have a Duo next year that I've been wanting to do since last summer and I even found a really great partner and I read a book that I thought might make a neat OI and my mom has an OO she'd like me to do that somehow relates to this really really cool scholarship for college she found and I think it sounds awesome and I also had an idea formulating for a Persuasive in my mind and I told my mom about it and she thinks it sounds awesome and let's not forget impromptu, of course, and HOLY COW THAT'S SEVEN EVENTS AND DEBATE WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING I'M GOING INSANE!!

I'm thinking I'll probably drop one of those events. But I don't see how I can drop more than one. Let's not be ridiculous. But hey, all I specified is that I can't do 4 memorized speeches and I'll be maybe doing 5. I win. What is even more ridiculous is than my obsession with speech is that I am not alone. People actually think they can pull off a billion events and then they do. What about you? Have you ever competed in a ridiculous amount of events, or wanted to?

You're homeschooled, and I feel silly.

Monday, May 23, 2011


And now it's time for Silly Posts with Chandler, the part of the show where Chandler comes out and posts a silly post.

If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the produce aisle...

What is it about singing Christian vegetables (with the occasional fruit -coughBobandLarrycough-) that is so appealing to kids of all ages, not to mention Christian homeschooled speech and debate kids? I don't know, but VeggieTales is pretty bomb. From Pa Grape to the Peach who has hair, from Larry Boy to Lord of the Beans, from the French Peas to the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, from QWERTY to Billy Joe McGuffrey, from Burger Bell to a kid named Oscar... Gah, the list of awesome is virtually endless!

Recently I was hanging out with some homeschooled speehanddebaters and we could not remember how Love My Lips starts (If my lips ever left my mouth, packed a bag and headed south, that’d be too bad, I’d be so sad). It was a bit frustrating, but funny because WHO CARES? We do, that's who!

A friend of mine once quoted/sang the song at the end of each VeggieTales episode in an Apologetics speech. "And so what we have learned applies to our lives today, and God has a lot to say in His Book. You see, we know that God's Word is for everyone; and now that our song is done, we'll take a look." He focused on the "God's Word is for everyone" part, so that's pretty amazingly awesome, I think.

You're homeschooled. Have we got a show for you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Humble People

As you may know, or may have deducted, I won Novice Impromptu at a tournament this year. w00t. :D That was an amazing experience, great for my confidence, bad for my ego, and all around fun. I could go on and on about that, but I won't. A suspicion I had been forming was confirmed shortly after that competition: no one remembers the Novice Impromptu winner. I mean, days afterward, half the people don't remember who won sweeps, so why would they remember who won Novice? They don't. No one does. At least, that was my assumption. To my great joy and surprise, I was proven wrong at the next competition.

My friend was talking to this kid at said competition and, being alone as usual, I latched on to her so as to have someone fun to talk to. She introduced me to the guy she was talking to. Now, I already kinda knew him. We'd never officially met, per se, but he's kind of a big deal. He had won an event at the prior competition, too. After I introduced myself, he shocked me by saying, "Weren't you the Novice Impromptu champion?" Taken aback, I stammered out that I was. I then tried to congratulate him on the event that he won, but he was too busy talking about me that I couldn't get a word in. I find myself very impressed by him still. Not only is he a fantastic speaker, and not only did he pay attention to who won novice impromptu, he is superduper humble. That's what strikes me as most amazing about him and so many other talented CHSADKs (Christian Homeschooled Speech And Debate Kids). As you may have noticed, oftentimes, the good ones are really humble. And the ones who aren't as good are humble too. And we spend our days complementing each other and pushing glory off of ourselves and onto God alone because we're so dang humble. Well, that's the ideal. I'm always working on that.

You're homeschooled, and you're not nearly as humble as I am. Justt kidding. <3

Thursday, May 19, 2011


According to that horrible countdown on the STOA website, NITOC is in 12 days. Did you qualify? Why are you not practicing? Why are you reading this blog? Come on, admit it. You're procrastinating. You're reading this thinking about how not ready you are for the next tournament instead of actually getting ready. You're an awful person.

Oh gosh, I just realized something. I'm not ready either. I'm not ready at all. Maybe I'll get to practice tonight, but I have a quiz to take and a math lesson to do first. I'm procrastinating. I'm simply putting them off. I don't want to do them, and writing this blog post is clearly more important.

Cue the internal voice of reason. I should do those things. I should do them soon and quickly. I should practice speeches tonight. I should get ready for the most important tournament of the year, which is in 12 days... Ok, fine. Fine. I'm leaving.

You're homeschooled, and you should be doing something important.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


If you ever feel unwanted, unloved, unimportant, unadorable, or un-anything, come to some sort of gathering of homeschoolers. A tournament, a club meeting, a dance, it doesn't matter. You will get so many hugs, it's ridiculous. You will feel wanted. You will feel loved. You will feel important. You will even feel adorable. At least I do when my friends all hug me one after another at club so it's like at least thirty seconds of hugging the kids I haven't seen in a whole week. And then when I leave, they want more hugs. Sometimes I pretend to be a jerk and go super reluctantly, moaning and dragging my feet, but it's just an act. (You know how interpers are. Can't trust 'em) I do love it. I cannot express how great this is. (Of course, we've already discussed which is the best hug ever. Don't think I forgot about that.)

Now, I used to be one of those really awkward people who never knew if I was supposed to hug someone or not. Those days are pretty much over, friends. After being embarrassed so many times after someone tried to hug me and I didn't realize it, I now go for the hug approximately 90% of the time, with girls anyway. This is usually the best decision. I'm often not left embarrassed and if anyone is, it's the lame-o who didn't want to hug me... I'm kidding.

I am, however, more cautious when it comes to hugging guys. I don't have any real objections to hugging guys, I just don't hug them unless they seem they're going to hug me first so as to continue avoiding awkwardness. Consequently, I don't hug guys very often. And apparently when I do, it's a big deal. At speech on Monday, I hugged a guy before leaving (because he started it, of course) and my sister freaked out afterward and said, "Mom missed your hug with [insert name here] but I saw it." Yippee. So yea. Moral of the story is give more hugs. Or less. I'm not really sure which.

You're homeschooled, and you could use a hug.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ditching School and Going To Disneyland

The School of Disney
I realize that some of you reading this may not live near Disneyland, and to you I extend my deepest sympathy. I'm sorry. Now, those of you who have had an actual conversation with me for more than five minutes (or seen me give an impromptu :D) are probably aware that I am a huge Disney freak. Therefore, I believe that one of the best things about being a SoCal homeschooler with a Disney pass is that you can occasionally ditch school and go to Disneyland. Walt would be so proud.

I don't do this as much as I would like. Well, I guess I would like to ditch school for DLR (Disneyland Resort. Excuse my nerd terminology) pretty much every day. So I guess I don't ditch for DLR as often as I used to, or would be expected to, or could conceivably do, or something. It's because I now have several real classes with real teachers and real deadlines and it's kind of a bummer. Ok, major bummer. These teachers would not understand the educational value of a trip to Disneyland, apparently. However, my mom did let me ditch a science and a math class to go to DLR on my birthday this year. Everyone has the right to take their birthday off school. Every self-respecting homeschooler born between September and June knows this. Anyway, my birthday field trip to Disneyland with some of my speechanddebater friends was awesome. Then the other day, I rushed to finish school and met up with some of those very same people and more at Disneyland again, and that was awesome too.

You're homeschooled, and who needs a high school diploma when you've got a Disneyland pass?

Friday, May 13, 2011


I like the timers. No, not the beeping ones. The kids. They're cool, especially the really good ones, like the ones that tell you every time you've used another thirty seconds in prep-time, appear to be paying attention when you're speaking, and smile when you shake their hand. Here are some various types of timers who amuse me:

1.  The Tyrannical Timekeeper
He slouches in his chair. He lazily holds up two fingers to let you know how much time you have left. He growls at you in prep-time every thirty seconds, because every thirty seconds used is thirty seconds of his life he'll never get back. Now, I've never actually had this kid time me, but I saw him time an LD round once, so that's why I was amused and not angry.

2.  The Kid Who Times In Her Sleep
I am not kidding. These kids exist. I know a couple. They sit up in the middle of the night and call "Time," then go back to sleep. At least you know they're good at their job. Pretty sad, but pretty funny.

3. The Professional Timer
Not only has this kid been timing rounds since before he could count, he's pretty good at it too. I mean, you get good at it when you have 8 older siblings who compete in speech and debate and drag you along to every competition and send you to the timers table. These are the ones you want to look out for. These kids are practically guaranteed to win events in 2 or 3 years.

4. Mr. I'm-Having-Way-Too-Much-Fun
 I was watching an IE round one time, and the timer was very good at letting the judges know how much time they had left to fill out a ballot. "One minute remaining... Thirty seconds remaining... Ten seconds remaining, five seconds remaining, one second rema- Time." It got old after he did it after every. single. speech, but at least he knew what he was doing.

5. No, Thank You!
I had a timer one time in an OI round who hung on every word I said on the edge of his seat. It was amazing. When I shook his hand and thanked him for timing, he shook mine back enthusiastically. "Oh, you're welcome!" he breathed. Well then... awesome. One of his friends told me he liked my accent. Shweet. One of my favorite timers.

6.  That Kid Who's Timed You 10 Times In The Last 2 Days
Also known as the Timer Award Champion.

7. Your Friend's Little Sibling
I like having timers I know, because I can shake their hand and thank them by name. It's fun.

8. The Ones Who Talk To You Afterwards
I don't know if you're aware, but I have become somewhat popular with some of the timer crowd. (Hey, you gotta be popular somewhere, so why not there?) This is essentially through no fault of my own. I guess they just like one of my speeches, so they tell me that, and then we get into a conversation and pretty soon, we're buddies.

9.  The Ones That Give You Hand Signals in Interps and Platforms
I wish all timers did this, but they don't. Only the ones who haven't quite figured out the rules. For example, I was doing a speech at a club meeting one time that went 10:17, so the poor kid timing me was freaking out and silently screaming his head off for 17 seconds with his hands forming a letter "T" to let me know I was out of time and I'm thinking: Dude. Chill. I'm not done yet. But see, had I actually been paying attention to his hand signals, maybe we wouldn't have had that problem.

Well, that's my list. Additions?

I've actually never timed a round in competition, so I can't entirely relate to what these kids go through for us. I appreciate it though. I'm one of those awful people who forgets what all of my judges look like the instant I leave the room, but I always remember the timer. Weird.

You're homeschooled, and you have one minute remaining.

Correcting People Who Call Impromptu "Improv"

Last year, my youth group had a talent night sort of thing, and I offered to do one of my interps. They were kind of confused, first of all because they didn't know what an interp was and I had to try to explain it to them, and they didn't really get it (What? She's just gonna give a speech? Like, talk?). But then once they saw it, they were blown away, probably because it was unlike anything they'd ever seen. That's not saying the speech was amazing, they just literally hadn't seen anything like it. So, now they ask about competitions and how speeches are going and stuff all the time, and it's great. There is, however, one event that they are still having a bit of difficulty understanding: impromptu.

Now, I would love to give an impromptu speech for my youth group. Even if thirty people were watching, it would be the least stressful speech ever because I could use ten minutes of prep-time with a two minute speech and they would be blown away. Maybe if I did give an impromptu for them, they'd get how it works, but for now they don't. They consistently refer to it as "improv" which is something else entirely and only adds to the confusion. (By the way, I once got an HI ballot telling me I was good at improv. Kind of random. Did she think I was making it up?) I try to explain to the kids and leaders the difference between impromptu and improv, but it is to no avail. It's not worth actually correcting them anymore.

You're homeschooled, and the kind of improv you like is duo impromptu, but I'll save that for another post... 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Breaking to Finals With A Bunch Of Awesome People

There's nothing more thrilling at a tournament than breaking to finals. Even if you don't think you'll win, you still get to compete one more time, and by this point, you know your competition is good. Well, great, usually. And plus, hello? You get a trophy. That confirms it: finals is the best.

Do you know who was in DI finals at the Riverside tournament last year? A bunch of famous interpers, that's who. Really good famous interpers. Here's the list: Annie Newman, Sarah Dasgupta, Daniel Sheahan, Giovanna Cabrera, Mary York, Patrick Ortiz, and Elena Trueba. Oh, and me. Yes, little Chandler, at her second tournament ever and first with a DI, somehow wound up in finals with a bunch of awesome people. It felt pretty unreal to hear my name called during breaks. I remember waiting in the wings at the award ceremony later and looking at my competition and being in awe, thinking, "What am I doing here?" It was ridiculous.

Naturally, all of them beat me. I guess the judges wondered what I was doing there too. But still, it was great just to be there, grinning from ear to ear in a group picture with a great group of talented individuals.

You're homeschooled, and you like breaking to finals, especially if a bunch of great people break with you, unless that means you lose and if you're really competitive you wouldn't like that, but then if you're really competitive you'd still like it somewhat 'cause you broke to finals... so yea.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Tournament Buddies! :D

I have several tournament buddies. They are awesome. A tournament buddy is a kid that you pretty much see only at tournaments so you're really excited each time you get to see them. The best is when you see your tournament buddy on the first day of a tournament and you get to freak out and be like "HII!!!" It's also great when you pass them in the halls and wave, give a quick thumbs-up, smile, hug, high-five, ect. Whatever it is, it's between you and your buddies, and it's great.

One time, I walked up to my friend and she was talking to this kid I sorta knew but had never really talked to but apparently he knew me 'cause the next thing I knew he was hugging me and shouting my name. We're buddies now. He's a high-fiver. It's fantastic. I know another girl who I met after she timed me in a round and then we talked a couple times after that and found we have a lot in common and now we're friends. I know a girl who became my buddy after she found out I was interping one of her favorite books which is also one of my favorite books. I have several friends that I love to be around despite the fact that I cannot remember when and how we met. I know other kids that I met and talk to primarily online so I kinda freaked out the first time I met them. It really is wonderful.

You're homeschooled. Let's be buddies.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Forgetting an Impromptu Example and Remembering It at the Last Second

At a tournament earlier this year, I was finishing up my second point of an impromptu speech when I realized that I could not for the life of me remember my next example. I gave a "moving onto my third point" and then quickly made something up. I talked about that for about two sentences when the real third point came back to me and I transitioned into that. None of the judges said anything about it on the ballots,  except one who labeled my thinkfast point as a subpoint, so that was really great. Forgetting an impromptu example and then remembering it at the last second is a lot of fun, but it can be quite stressful.

I don't know if you know this about me, but I'm really competitive. My goal this year was to win a speech event. At the first competition of the year, I was in finals in one event: novice impromptu. I thought, ok, well this is it. I really really want to win now. She & Him's cover of "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" is playing in my head as I make my way over to the room in the gym where I'm listed as the first speaker. I make sure all of the judges and timer and are there and ready, and then I'm handed a big yellow envelople and the prep-time begins.

I begin to pull out the contents of the envelope. I catch the word "BINGO" and my mind automatically begins forming a speech on luck when I realize that there isn't anything else in the enevelope but there is more on the card. I see that it is a Roadtrip Bingo card and all of the bingo items have been punched out except three. I pick "Flat Tire" and away I go.

I come up with two examples and have my third by the time the one minute mark rolls around. The timer soon informs me that I have thirty seconds left. I smile and nod at him and then realize something: I completely forgot my third example. This is the most important and most stressful impromptu speech I've ever given and I'm pressuring myself to win and I CAN'T REMEMBER MY THIRD POINT? I started to wrack my brain for another when, right in the nick of time, I remember it. -sigh of relief- I glance at the timer, which I can read from where I'm sitting. Ten seconds left. Naturally, I immediately forget the third point again. And I panic inside again. The timer goes off. I stand up slowly. I make my way over to the center of the room. I ask if the judges are ready. I hope that they aren't, but they are. I ask if the timer is ready, and he is too. I take a deep breath and I'm about to start speaking when suddenly: I remember my third point. In fact, I remember all of my points. That speech was one of the best I've ever given. Yay!

You're homeschooled, and you like... I forgot.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Confusing Terminology

TP does not stand for toilet paper. LD has almost nothing to do with Lincoln or Douglas. NCFCA stands for the National Christian Forensics and Communications Association. STOA does not stand for anything. HI is not pronounced "hi." And the list goes on...

Do you know how hard it was for me to remember the difference between an expos and an extemp? I've mentioned that several times, but it really was a problem. I mean, one is a platform speech with visual aids and the other is a limited-prep about current events, but how am I supposed to figure out which is which? It took a while.

What about OO and OI? What's that about? They're two totally different events, but the names are extremely similar. I was explaining an OI I might write to my sister when she said, "Wait, I thought if you wrote it, it has to be an OO?" It took me a really long time to try to explain her mistake, and I think she still doesn't understand.

You know what's the worst and most confusing acronym of all? IE. It stands for individual events. Oh, but not LD, because you technically need two competitors for a Lincoln-Douglas round. IE is just the speech events. It does, therefore, include Duo, which, like LD, requires two competitors, but is still an individual event. My question is, why don't they just call IEs speech? No one calls TP an MPE, or Multiple Persons Event.

You're homeschooled, and you're reading a blog with a really long name that is abbreviated to "SCHSADKL," and I write the blog so I have no room to talk about confusing terminology.

Monday, May 2, 2011


I've been making it a point to watch a bunch of debate rounds this year. Last year I watched one. It was an LD round and it changed my life, but that's not that point. I've been learning about debate and it's been an interesting experience. I've discovered something: Cross-Examination is my favorite part of debate. It definitely seems like the hardest part of a round, and therefore the most fun to watch. For once, the competitors are actually talking TO each other instead of at each other and at the judge. It's great. I'm telling you, if I ever feel like falling asleep in-round, that all goes away once Cross-Ex starts.

Here's what I like: figuring out what the debaters are thinking. Sometimes the questions are really random. Sometimes they're sneaky. Sometimes they're just ridiculous. Often I wonder what I would say. One time I saw a round in which one debater asked another what he thought about something and I realized that I didn't have an answer so I thought long and hard and have thus come up with a lengthy and clever response, so should anyone ask me that question in Cross-Ex, I'll be ready.

Cross-Ex does seem pretty hard, though. It seems hard to think that fast. It seems hard to only ask questions. It seems hard to not start arguing. It seems hard to not look at the person you're talking to. Actually, for me, that's the funniest thing about Cross-Ex. The debaters either look like they're doing a duo or they're mad at each other. I know they're supposed to look at the judge, but doesn't that get old? If you're talking to each other, shouldn't you look at each other?

You're homeschooled, and you are now open for Cross-Examination.