I'll start off with a couple of definitions to promote clarity in the round. Post. Just one definition, though. Whatever. Ahem:
Alumni: a person/persons who competed in Stoa or NCFCA for any amount of time and no longer does so but hangs around and pretends like he/she still does. (Dictionary of Christian Homeschool Forensics, volume 1)
One of my most favorite favoritest things about alumni is their general willingness to help out those who are currently competing. Speech & debate is a lifestyle, so it's probably hard to let go of it when the time comes. To make the best of the gobs and gobs of free time they obviously have in college, they often come back and help out at club. Or teach at camp. Or help out other people via the Internet. Whatever the method of helpfulness, one of the best ways alumni can prove their awesomeness and help out those in need is by adopting CHSADKs.
To adopt a competitor is not to have them start living at you house or anything, but rather, to help them with their speeches, cases, responses, strategy, ect. throughout the year. There are several major advantages to being adopted by a former competitor.
Advantage 1: Amazing Insight
Alumni know where it's at 'cause they've been there before. They know what judges are looking for and what they'd like to see or not see in a round. They know what works and what doesn't, so they're the perfect persons to send your script to, 1AC to, or go to for advice on speech, debate, and life in general. Feel free to send multiple emails a week to the alumni whom you've chosen. (or perhaps, who's chosen you. Never mind. Now is not the time to get into a predestination debate) Seriously, they love that. You'll love it too. Nothing will bring you greater joy than getting an almost completely-rewritten copy of your speech back from your adopted alumni a week or two before the National tournament. It's so great.
Advantage 2: Specific Feedback
I asked my current alumni helper-buddy for his advice on a platform I'm doing that was like one he had done, and a topic I knew he was passionate about too. It's worked out splendidly. I first enlisted his help back in November, but it turned into an all-year thing since I keep rewriting it and also he comes to lots of tournaments and makes me do my speech for him even though I get nervous. Actually, he doesn't make me. But anyway. It's super cool to find an alumni person who can give advice specifically related to your speech, because they've fought the same battles and think about the same stuff and know exactly what to say. Today I saw that happen to another girl, who had just given her speech when a former speech-er was watching, and I knew it was because he had done a similar speech, and it made me really happy.
Advantage 3: Moral Support/All-Star Sponsorship
Your adopted alumni-coach wants you to win. Seriously. If you win, they win. It's what we call a win-win. So they'll be there to give a thumbs-up and ask how things are going. My alumni coach was the trophy-giving-out-person at a tournament awards ceremony where I was in finals with the speech he helped me with. That was super cool. Not to mention, you just feel better about yourself when you know someone amazing is rooting for you. And helping you. And watching you and making you feel nervous. And also awesome.
You're homeschooled. Clearly, you need help.