Friday, February 10, 2012

The Hall of Expos

Even though I personally have not competed in Expository speech, my sister has one this year. That means I get to walk into the legendary Hall of Expos with her and put her stuff on the ground so she can set it up and carry it in by herself. Makes perfect sense. Anyway, I've been spending more time around Expos boards and accessories this year than I ever have before. This Hall, or giant room, depending on the tournament, is a very interesting place to be. There are a couple things any innocent observer should know before venturing into this Hall.

First, don't touch anything. ANYTHING. At all. Ever. You could mess something up, and then the Expos people will hate you forever and hold you personally accountable for anything less than a first place. Second, carry tape. They'll forgive you if you hand them some shiny, clear Scotch tape to repair whatever you broke and any other need that may arise. Third, don't offer to carry their stuff. There's a rule that they have to carry it all in themselves and then set it up once the timer begins. If you want to be chivalrous, open the door. Then close it. Anything else will just get everyone in trouble.

The Hall of Expos isn't all rules and no-fun, though. Think of it as a museum. You can peek in their boxes and observe the boards and attempt to determine what the speech is actually on. You can study the arrangement carefully. Stand back and nod a little, as if you are actually learning something from whatever the visible boards contain, solely to confuse the people near you. And if you want to be really confusing, you could even lean in and begin sniffing the boards. That's probably fun. Then, hands clasped behind your back, move onto the next set of boards and repeat the process. Something what's also fun is observing Exposes that don't use boards. I've only seen one in my entire life, so you know they're rare. They're very interesting to look at. Oh, but don't touch anything there either.

Besides the fact that you could break something, you don't want to touch the boards and boxes for risk of rearranging them. The Exposers will not be happy if they find that the last board ended up in the middle and the third one is first. You're in luck, though, since they usually check and check and check and recheck their visual aids before heading in, or so I'm told. Hopefully everyone will forgive you.

The Hall is a fun place. It doubles as a hang-out area for the Expos clique who enjoy discussing various types of stands and lovingly stroking their precious props in between rounds. Lot of fun stuff going on there.

You're homeschooled. Welcome to the Hall of Fame, speech nerd-style.

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