So, one time, I was standing outside this DI room trying to get into character, right, and since everybody knows that the D in DI stands for Depressing, I'm feeling kinda down, but then this kid who had to be like, 12, rides up to me on a scooter, and I'm thinking, "Why is he riding a scooter to a DI room?" and then the kid says, "Hey, d'you have a DI?" and I'm like, "Yea," and he's like, "Hey, me too," and I'm thinking, really? So then the kid rides away and comes back and he says to me, "Hey, what place did you get at the last tournament?" and pretty soon I'm hearing how he did really well this one time, and I'm thinking, really? This random twelve-year old on a scooter did that well in DI? Cool.
He was very sweet and uber friendly and may very well have been a very gifted interper, but I was definitely caught off-guard. When you think of people who do DIs, you generally think of girls who cry a lot. If you think of a guy, you think of a guy who gets tortured and screams a lot or something. But that's not going to be your first thought, and a little guy on a scooter is going to be nowhere on that list. That's one thing I love about homeschool forensics: the unlikely competitors. My mom and I noted once during my first year that speech and debate is one of those rare activities that is not dominated by either girls or guys. I mean, think about it. It's not like guys do TP and girls do LD and guys do Limited Prep and girls do Interps, ect. Though all of those things are true, the reverse is just as true. Girls do TP and guys do LD and girls do Limited Prep and guys do Interps and they rock at it. It's really cool. Anyone can enter any event and it's not weird or unusual or frowned upon. Unless somebody with a lot of experience did Novice Impromptu or something, but that's beside the point. Novice aside, anyone can do anything, and, more awesomely, anyone can do well at anything. Like the kid on the scooter.
Last year, as a first-time-Humorous-Interper who happens to be female, I was a bit distraught to discover firsthand that HI is a guy event. According to speechranks last year, I was 22nd in the nation in HI. 20 of the people above me are guys. At least I think they are. Some of them have weird names like "Chandler" where it's hard to tell. But this year, things are a little different. At the first tournament I went to this year, half the finalists in HI were girls. It was so cool. We're totally taking it back. At least, we think we are. Sure, guys are generally better at HI because they can do weird things and make weird faces and act like girls and it's funny. Sure, I may have been an unlikely competitor doing my HI which was totally not a typical "girl piece" (much like most of my speeches) competing against a bunch of guys. Sure, I feel like an unlikely competitor every time I wind up on the stage next to this one guy in HI who is literally 17 inches taller than me. But you know what? That's ok. It works out.
Like I said, no matter how unlikely it may seem, anyone can do whatever they want to. I, a diehard interper, can do impromptu despite my former great fear of it. TPers can rock LD. Extemp people can win DI. It's pretty awesome.