Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tabulous Tab- Michael Sheetz

(Michael is back, which shouldn't really surprise you because he just won't stop writing awesome Guest Posts. If this doesn't make you laugh, then you probably didn't read it. Happy Guest Post week!)

I'll just come out and admit it: As a novice in TP three years ago, I didn't know tab existed. And then when I found out it did exist, I thought it was some sort of horrible monarchy of the royal families of Stoa who all apparently hated me (especially in speech). And then when I found out that Mr. Kuhlmann is actually tab, I realized everything was going to be ok and that tab isn't evil, it's just overworked. (Note: Mr. Kuhlmann actually being tab may or may not be true. But either way, tab is longer evil. Most of the time.)

Now, if you're wondering at this part why I thought, being new to toliet paper and all, that a royal family of large Roman coverings (or, in reality, one man) controlled the amount of alcohol people consumed and hated me because of how I spoke, then you're probably on the wrong blog. Or maybe not. Tabulation (named tab by non-lay-SAD-people) is what gathers, organizes, and spits back out all of the results during and after a speech and debate tournament. And in the case of most tournaments in the SAD league Stoa, tab is run by parents who either:
A) have too much time (Note: This doesn't exist)
B) are really intense, awesome, sacrificial parents
C) have an addiction to SAD and working tab

No matter what, tab is one of the most talked about parts about debate at a tournament. How tab is running a tournament (both in the style and on-time-ness) is almost constantly talked about, sometimes even well after awards. But, speaking of awards, one of the most dependable parts of awards is when the tournament director(s) do something to stall for tab who is feverishly trying to figure out results and sort ballots. There's been plenty of tactics, including MC's with bad jokes, praise and worship, photo slideshows (which usually happen anyway), and awarding timers (because those guys are so awesome, they don't need tab). But my personal favorite was when, two years ago, the tournament directors had Stephen Roe and Evan Smith do their individual interps on stage in front of everyone. It gave tab almost a solid half an hour, in which everyone got to enjoy some of the best in the nation entertain everyone (many of who might have wanted to see those speeches, but wouldn't have got to otherwise). So to all you kids who have tournament director parents, I highly recommend you try this.

But I digress. The thing about tab is, no matter how essential to the tournament they may be, they're constantly overlooked. Sure, at most tournaments tab is thanked during the awards ceremony. But what I'm talking about here is how it seems you rarely hear about how awesome tab is for sacrificing so much and working so hard. I've never once heard someone thank a parent during a tournament that is involved in tab. I'm just as bad as everyone else, as I've never done this myself, but I'm definitely going to strive to in this next tournament season. So when you see that parent you know is working tab (aka, Mr. Kuhlmann), give them a passing greeting and compliment! Or maybe a venti quintuple shot espresso. Or, if they're not running too fast to the tab room, a hug! 

You're homeschooled, and Tabman needs to be a superhero.


  1. I didn't laugh until the very last sentence. :/

  2. I laughed for the entire duration of the second paragraph. :D

  3. so you clearly skipped to the end