Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Timing- Felicity Lorenz

(Please welcome the lovely Felicity Lorenz back to the podium umm... blog. She's back with another awesome Guest Post!)

Timers have an easy job. All you have to do is press a couple buttons, hold up some finger signals, and reset for every speech. I mean, c’mon, how hard is pressing buttons compared to giving a 10 minute speech and getting judged on it?!
Oh, you would be so, so wrong.
This season, I decided to time some debate rounds. …It’s much more difficult than it appears. For example, in one LD round, I accidentally hit the ‘Stop’ button during a cross-examination. Another time, I realized I hadn’t pressed the ‘Start’ button – I realized this during the speech. In a TP round, I started the prep time, but was told that I was giving prep time to the wrong team! Sometimes, I even forgot to do hand signals. I eventually got better, but it made me appreciate my timers, who do their job correctly.
But you know what? Timing is fun! It makes you feel like you’re a part of the round. The speakers really try to engage you (mostly because they’re watching for hand signals…). 
The best part, of course, is when you give 10 seconds left. All the sudden, the speaker is speeding-as-fast-as-he-can-because-he-has-five-more-arguments-he-has-to-go-through-and-every-word-seems-to-be-actually-one-word-like-this-because-of-his-speed-which-goes-as-fast-as-the-speed-of-liiiiiiiiiight! 
My other favorite signal isn’t really a signal at all – the nodding of the head. See, the speaker is usually looking at you; thus, he catches this nodding. So, when you start to nod, he starts to speak fast. Except, now he’s-passionately-speeding-because-you-agree-and-that’s-awesome-and-maybe-that-means-the-judge-is-agreeing-too-and-oh-my-gosh-apparently-what-he’s-saying-is-awesome-yaaaaaaaaaaay! 
Those two signals are like, the magical signals.
So, next time you have nothing to do during a round, volunteer to time. You will realize it’s more difficult than it appears. You will definitely appreciate your kid timers, who seem to understand the system more than you do. However, it’s truly entertaining.
You’re homeschooled, and you – TIME’S UP! Sorry…

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