Thursday, October 6, 2011


Quick note- the word Alumni is plural, yes? And the singular is... Alumnus? But I don't think speech and debate can have an "alumnus," exactly. Or at least we don't for some reason. I mean, it seems like we have an alumni (singular) and a bunch of alumni (plural). Maybe I'm wrong, but in speech and debate-speak, that seems to be how it works. So I'll do that. That... was not as quick as I thought it would be. Anyway.
As you know, junior high/high school speech and debate leagues have an age limit.  If you're out of high school, you're out of the league. (That's why we end up with super-seniors.) Well, I guess you're not out of the league exactly, just out of the competition, because we all know that the alumni don't like to leave. Many of them stick around for a while. They show up from time to time wearing t-shirts from the national tournament 5 years ago, talking about how "Back in my day, it was hard to qualify. You young whippersnappers have it easy." The alumni are fun people. We like them for three reasons:
1. They coach us. 
The alumni have been there and done that. They know a thing or two about what we do. They're really good at giving feedback for speeches and in debate rounds. I sometimes try to give people advice but it doesn't fly. It's because I haven't graduated yet and am apparently a moron. But most of us agree, the alumni know everything. Many alumni will admit that they miss their days of speech and debate, so they try to help the rest of us out.
2. They judge us.
I have a love/dislike relationship with my alumni judges.
Subpoint A: You can tag this as: Love (In case you were flowing my blog)
Ballots from the alumni = best ballots ever probably. I got a really great ballot one time from an alumni I remembered from the speechranks homepage in his senior year. He had a lot of very helpful things to say about my speech, and I mean a lot. Both sides of the paper were full of beautiful, priceless words that I could actually read, but just barely. Alumni are great.
Subpoint B: You can tag this as: Dislike (not hate)
Alumni judges = scary. Perhaps I've mentioned this before, but I once had this one alumni judge who I happened to know was one of the top ten speakers in the nation according to speechranks the previous year. Cue nerves. For some reason, I get especially nervous around alumni. They know stuff (see point 1). I could do something horrible and then they might hate me, and we don't want that.
3. They don't compete!
You know how it works: every year there are a couple of kids who are just especially amazing and win a lot. Fortunately, those kids are usually seniors. They get to the top and then they graduate and stop competing! It's fantastic! You can still be friends with them, but they don't beat you at tournaments anymore, which is very polite. Thank you, alumni!
As much as I hate to admit it, someday I'll graduate and be an alumni too. I don't know if I'll be the type that never leaves, but I hope so.
You're homeschooled, and we just can't get rid of you.

1 comment:

  1. Oh . . . please don't leave . . . =( =)

    This was fantastic. I have so much I want to say in response to this post that if I actually wrote it my comment would be like four pages long, so lemme just tell you:

    I loved it.