Thursday, July 5, 2012

The End of Life as We Know It- Carey Vandewalle

(I'm sure you all remember Carey from her evil ploys of posts past, but in case you didn't recognize her because she looks a little older and wiser, it's because she's old now and is the first ever alumni person to write for SCHADKL! She's also the first author for the first ever SCHSADKL Week or So of Guest Posts! Yay!) 

Hi everyone! Surprise! I know, I know, you must all be a little shocked to hear from me. I mean, I graduated and am no longer eligible to compete in Christian Homeschooled Speech and Debate. OH NO!!! This must mean that I have nothing left to live for and am now dead. Bother.

Haha, just kidding. I am very much alive and well and if you want will give you an enthusiastic hug to prove it. After you have gotten over your shock (the hug probably helps with that, too) pick up your comfort object (I’d assume it’s a flow pen or maybe one of those cool rolling debate cases that I never had) and hold tight because I’m about to blow your mind further. This is my attempt to explain to you why this post really does belong on a blog of Stuff We Like.
Graduation from debate is actually a ton of fun

It might be hard to believe that there’s possibly any life worth living that doesn’t include competition as a CHSADK, but really, there are all kinds of awesomeness waiting for you just around the corner. Two years ago, I was devastated to realize that my time competing wouldn’t last forever and begged my parents to allow me to super senior. They refused. Now, the time has come. My name will no longer be heard in breaks (well, my first name at least :D), I’ve walked across the stage and received my final award; I’ve prepped my last impromptu, given my last rebuttal, explained for the last time why personalfreedomoughttobevaluedaboveeconomicsecurity, thanked the timer and shook the judge’s hands for the final time. Yes, the tournament had its nostalgia. I mean, it’s natural to be a little sentimental. This activity literally changed my life, my relationships, and me personally forever and I will be forever grateful. BUT. I’m not here to be sad. You obviously have a lot of prep to do for NITOC tournaments that won’t be happening for several months but it’s always good to get an early start, right? So let’s get straight to the fun stuff: the fantastic parts about graduating. These are things that I’m really, really, really, really, really really excited about for next year. Think that was enough reallys? I don’t!

In all humility, alumni have learned a lot. Now, we don’t have our own events to practice every day so there’s nothing to do but bottle up our enthusiasm and energy and save it all to pour it out on you guys every week at club. I can’t wait.

2. Judging
Seriously, I’m pretty sure the first time someone at ballot push (like maybe my mom, who works there a lot and is great at her job) hands me my first, real, grown-up ballot, I’m going to start jumping up and down uncontrollably with joy. Hopefully they won’t take that as a sign that I’m not old enough or anything, because I’m stoked to judge. The way I see it, as a competitor, I could help one person improve their speaking and thinking skills: me. As a judge or coach, every round I’ll get a chance to help sharpen the skills of, at the very least, two fantastic CHSADKs and I plan on judging/coaching lots and lots, so that’s dozens of you wonderful people that I get to help. I already have lots and lots of ideas about how to make judging and ballot writing more fun. You should hope I judge you. Or maybe not. >_> In any case, I’m absolutely thrilled.

3. The Judge’s Lounge
This hardly needs explanation. We’ve all heard of this magical place where cookies grow on bushes and there are little waterfalls of coffee and lemonade, and you can listen to the licorice birds sing while the muffin squirrels give you chocolate kisses as you blissfully write sweet notes and circle all the 5s in speaker points and 1s on IE ballots. I’ve imagined how it must be over and over and I’m sure I’m right. I’m not sure where the 5th and Below ballots get filled out but probably not in there. Anyone with experience can correct me if I’m wrong, but you risk dashing all my wildest dreams, just so you know. You’d turn me into a Disgruntled Alumni. Now that I’m graduated, I may be allowed to enter this paradise. So maybe it is like dying, just a little bit.

4. Not Having to Wear a Suit
Wearing a suit is definitely cool. It’s very classy and looks awfully sharp. But you have to admit, they aren’t the most comfortable of attire. Guy, you may legitimately complain about your ties. A little. They look too fantastic to merit much protest. Girls, I know far better how we have been forced to suffer, with stockings and heels and worst of all, no pockets. After graduation, you no longer have to wear any of that and can arrive in jeans and comfy sweaters. You might have already experienced this after you’re finished competing for the day and you know how good it feels. In addition, I’m the kind of person that makes friends with people who have much longer legs than mine. With the exception of one near and dear person whose legs are actually shorter. It’s a lot easier to run around and have fun with tall people if you don’t have the additional disadvantage of wearing a skirt and heels. 

5. Adventuring at Tournaments
Unfortunately I haven’t done as much of this at tournaments as I would have liked. I always had, you know, debate rounds and stuff that I had to hang around for. As an alumnus, I’ll be able to spend rounds I’m not judging either watching speeches and debates or exploring the campus. Both can be great adventures. If you want me to come watch your speech, let me know. I’d be happy to come. 
There’s nothing to be sad about concerning graduation. SAD is happy. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. But there’s plenty to be excited for about being an alumnus and I probably just got started. Is there anything you’re looking forward to especially? Maybe hearing all of my younger siblings names called at breaks and awards over and over and not just for timer recognition? :D Or making friends with me so that I save you some of my candy from the magical paradise that is the judge’s lounge? I’m telling you, it pays to make friends with alumni. I know this from experience.
I can’t wait to see you all at tournaments next year!
You’re homeschooled, but not forever.

1 comment:

  1. Yessss!!! I love this. I too feel nostalgic (but not too sad) to have graduated forever from STOA. Judges lounge: a plus I look forward to!
    Sara N.