Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Competitor Crushes

This is a post I've been thinking about for a while.

It's time to come clean.

Do you know what a "fangirl" is? You probably do. The Google defines it as "an obsessive female fan (usually of movies, comic books, or science fiction)."

What the Google doesn't know is that this doesn't just have to be movies, comic books, or science fiction. There are speech and debate fangirls as well.

You know what I mean. Don't tell me you've never "fangirled" or "fanboyed" over a fellow competitor, as they say. I can give you quite a few personal examples. See, my fangirliness doesn't just apply to one speecher or debater. That would just be a regular crush, not a competitor crush. I have lots of favorites.

First, there's this one interper I totally fangirl over. And even though he's my favorite in interps, he's also great in any other forensical thing that involves him speaking, which is luckily every event. He's got the kind of voice that you hear and go, "Whoa. Please do audiobooks or something because seriously your voice is like the sound of happiness covered in chocolate and skipping through Disneyland eating ice cream while Coldplay plays in the background." I'm not even kidding. And in interps, my gosh, talk about becoming the character. And his blocking was always incredible. He also often sang in his speeches, and his singing voice is just as good as his speaking voice. I am a hardcore fan of this guy, I won't lie. My friend is too, and she and I would fangirl over him together, and totally look like idiots but in the best way. One time, his mom told my mom that he was a big fan of my speeches and it was the greatest thing ever.

And then, of course, there was my favorite LDer. The one I was super in awe of who also terrified me. I might have accidentally told him that he'd been my favorite LDer for years, ever since I had decided that LD was cool, and yea, I guess my fangirl showed a little. He's always been one of those debaters that was right 100% of the time, even when I disagreed with what he was saying, because he was saying it, so it had to be true. His opponents were probably evil, because how dare they negate him? (I debated him once, and hereby admit that whatever I argued was probably blasphemous.) The tournaments he didn't win were clearly rigged. His arguments were brilliant, and apparently I saw him debate enough times to be able to recognize cases he wrote that I'd never heard before, simply by glancing over them, because I knew his style that well. True story.

I could go on, but I think I've sufficiently embarrassed myself. I could remind you of the time I geeked out when someone who had just won an event (and remains one of my favorite speakers/people ever) congratulated me on winning novice impromptu of all things. I could tell you about how this kid whose speech made me cry won a major tournament and I made him give me a hug and told him I was proud of him, because I was, and how I am such a big fan of that guy for so many reasons. I could tell you about how one of the most widely recognized Stoa-ites for his great speaking and humility remembered my name months after he judged me, and emailed me to answer my questions, and how special that made me feel. I could recollect the story of how one of my favorite Humorous Interpers ever got mad when my measly first ever HI didn't break and how awesome that was. I could even mention how excited I used to get when "famous" speech and debate people added me on Facebook, or Google+, as the case may be. I could tell you all of those stories about my fabulous encounters with the objects of my speech and debate affections, but I won't. I'm sure you have your own.

You're homeschooled. Oh, the feels.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ultimate Frisbee

I remember the first time I read the Stuff Christians Like post on Ultimate Frisbee and yea, the name of that blog should sound suspiciously like that of this one which you are currently reading) which is titled FRISBEE- GOD'S FAVORITE SPORT, and I was like, "What, no, isn't frisbee for dogs?"

Then I joined debate where apparently frisbee is apparently a big deal.

A couple of months ago, I showed up to a party which apparently revolved entirely around frisbee. I was not exactly dressed the part. Some of my friends eyed my summer-y dress and flower-y flip-flops doubtfully.

"I don't have to play," I insisted.

"Yes, you do," they replied.

And thus began my frisbee career.

After a few quick lessons in how to throw and catch a frisbee (think "crocodile arms," or so I was told), I was all too literally off and running. Evidently frisbee involves lots of running, which isn't exactly my favorite, and most of the good people are tall, which isn't exactly something I'm known for. But hey. Frisbee's kind of cool.

I am semi-proud to say that a frisbee has now been thrown to me like, four times, which, when you consider that I've only played three games, is... not exactly good, but I guess not terribly awfully horrible. I'd really rather not be trusted with that kind of responsibility, anyway.

Frisbee is a lot like debate. I run arguments, you run across a field. You drop arguments, I drop the frisbee. It's mostly intense back-and-forth and back-and-forth, like a good Cross-Ex. And keeping score is kind of similar to flowing. And, uh, let's see, what else? Uh, you have teams, like Policy and Parli. aaand the games feel like they're never going to end. Like Team Policy rounds. And some frisbees are yellow, like flowpads. And debaters play frisbee, just like debaters debate. And the grass is green like that pen I kept forgetting didn't have ink. So I guess it wasn't that green. And there's an objective winner and loser, like we all like to think there is in debate. And you're not allowed to touch anyone on the other team, like duos.

I totally see why so many debaters love it.


Kind of.

You're homeschooled. Go long!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Thirty Seconds Used

I can't. But I did LD. It's only a matter of time before that's not a valid excuse.
actual comic. don't pretend like you can't relate.

I remember once when this guy named Kyle was thinking of starting a comic for homeschool debaters and he needed a name for it, so he invited a bunch of individuals of that description to a Google doc where we brainstormed together and you can guess what we came up with.

Now, I think the time has come for Thirty Seconds Used to get a cool motto. Here are my ideas:

Thirty Seconds Used: The Webcomic That's Been Making Debaters Look Forward to Mondays Since February 8, 2012

Thirty Seconds Used: Because Debate Is Funnier With Stick Figures

Thirty Seconds Used: The Comic That You Will Think of Every Time You Prepare a Limited Prep or Debate Speech From Now Until Forever Because the Timer Will Say the Name Unless They are a Bad Timer

Thirty Seconds Used: That Comic that Wrote about SCHSADKL Once

Thirty Seconds Used: All the Charts, Scenarios, and Song Parodies Your Debater Heart Could Desire

Thirty Seconds Used: The Best Homeschool Debate Comic by Default

Thirty Seconds Used: The Source of Those Hilarious Pictures That You Sometimes See Taped Next to Postings

Thirty Seconds Used: Basically Your Life in Panel Form

Thirty Seconds Used: Where That Thing You Thought Was Funny Gets Even Funnier When You Put the Mouse Over It

Thirty Seconds Used: Practical Advice on Avoiding the Debate Dungeon

Thirty Seconds Used: Where The Stick Figures Occasionally Wear Hats, Bowties, and Hair

Thirty Seconds Used: Making You Wish Tournaments Had More Hot Air Balloons and Time Machines

Thirty Seconds Used: Discouraging Global Annihilation But Encouraging Impacting to It

Thirty Seconds Used: A Disadvantage Free Comic Brought To You by a Really Tall TPer

Thirty Seconds Used: So You Have Something to Read During IE Patterns and Breaks from Frisbee

Thirty Seconds Used: Admit it, You Stopped Reading the "Thirty Seconds Used" Part a Long Time Ago

Thirty Seconds Used: Actually Neither This One nor the Above Option Would Fly as a Motto

Thirty Seconds Used: Where You Don't Know You're Topical

Thirsty Seconds Used: Drink More Water

Thirty Seconds Used: Dot Wordpress Dot Com

Thirty Seconds Used: Because the Stock Issues are like a Cow

Thirty Seconds Used: Because No One Goes to NITOC in the Fall

Thirty Seconds Used: Because Your Evidence Will Never Love You

Thirty Seconds Used: Frisbee, Alumni, Trophies, oh my!

Thirty Seconds Used: Homeschool Humor Every Monday

...wait, I think that one actually is the motto.

Which mean Thirty Seconds Used already has a motto.

Which means this was pointless.


So, Thirty Seconds Used. Have you read it? Because if not, the entire post thus far has made little to no sense. Fortunately, you probably read the comic at the top, so maybe that was helpful.

This post is written in appreciation of a fantastic comic penned by a fantastic individual who enjoys reminding us that yes, we are topical, and makes our Mondays a little brighter and stick figure-y-er.

You're homeschooled. Four and a half minutes remaining.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Comic About Us!

Well, mostly me, but that's okay.

click here for the original comic from Thirty Seconds Used, the best homeschool debate webcomic on the planet.
click here to like that thing on the Facebook.

this is not how Kyle and I met in case anyone was wondering. We were hiking up a hill and apparently needed food and Kyle suggested we "eat the short one." I have never been hiking since.

You're homeschooled, and you're already here, so, good job.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Actually Judging for Real

If you liked the SCHSADKL Facebook page (which you should), you may have seen something kind of neat pop up on your feed. It was this:

iced coffee<3<3

At first you may be thinking, "Ah, the classic coffee drink turned with the name visible, two different-colored pens, a flowpad turned sideways and HOLD ON IS THAT A BALLOT."

Yes. Yes it is.

Exciting, right? I know!

Backstory: I went to a camp recently where I was finally old enough to work instead of just being worked on like every other year. I was contractually obliged to judge as many rounds as humanly possible, which meant filling out TP ballots during LD prep time, as well as wishing Parli had prep time. It was so super fun from beginning to end.

Because at the beginning, they ask you for your judging philosophy. Sometimes. They usually forgot. But I was able to tell a few LDers to make sure they prove the resolution true or false, and a few TPers not to get overly technical on me. And do you know how fun that is because that is fun. Then they shake your hand and ask if you are ready. And they ask if you are ready before every single speech and frequently Cross-Ex even when you nod before they ask to indicate that you are, in fact, ready, but they apparently feel the need to double-check.

Then they start speaking and I, the judge, start flowing, of course. I also reach into my bag and pull out a notebook in which I jot down notes to later be translated in a semi-legible penmanship to a ballot, and/or which will be read aloud because I am also contractually obliged to give verbal feedback. I try to write without breaking eye contact because I imagine they find that unnerving and so I find it terribly amusing. Then Cross-Ex, then prep time, and I can read over to ballot and ask myself things like, "Wait, was their plan to lift a moratorium on drilling oil seeps all over the whole entire US of A or just the Gulf of Mexico? Wait, is it just me or is this case structured logically backwards by assuming that because injustice leads to conflict, mitigating conflict leads to not injustice aka justice aka the value? Wait, is this iced carmel macchiato incredible or what?" or I can write things on the ballot like, "Quoting Wikipedia isn't the greatest idea" or "Thank you for making eye contact sweet little novice, keep up the great work."

This continues for a span of 5-8 speeches and then they are done and I clap and if I am also timing, because I can multitask like that (and because I judged a lot of novices and didn't want to give them too much to think about by having them self-time), I also stop the timer and then (this is great), they come up and SHAKE MY HAND and thank ME PERSONALLY ME for judging! And I glance over the ballot thinking about which side I'll circle and how happy I'll make the winner and how the loser will never be able to make eye contact with me again until they forget in a couple weeks, and how much power I have.

But I try not to let it go to my head as I make the long trek to the judge's lounge. Which was a wonderful, magical place filled with judges. Well, it was sort of magical. Okay, it wasn't. But it was fun. They had some somewhat not-melted candy. Then I find a chair and potentially a table and write and write until I have to go find the ballot push people to go judge another round. It was great fun, really. Especially judging finals. Again, so much power.

So, there you have it. Actually judging for real. Good stuff. We like it.

You're homeschooled, and non-judgmental unless you graduated.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ranking Speech Categories According to Coolness- Ian Caffarel

(This guest post is from Ian Caffarel who's been competing in speech and debate for two years. He says it's very cool and is a huge part of his life, and he also enjoys classic rock. Enjoy! Want to write a guest post? Click here.)

So I’ve competed for two years in Speech (I started debate officially last year, before that, I did some Parli classes [knock knock]). I’ve done five of the 11-12 events Stoa has to offer (DI, Expos, Extemp, Impromptu, and OI), however, I didn’t really excel in them. Yet, I sort of felt that all 12 events being offered had some cool factor about them, and, after giving it some thought,  I now came up with this list, with each category getting it’s place for a reason or two explained, and see if you notice a trend.

So now, here we go:

12: Storytelling. Sort of cool, but it sort of bridges between limited prep and interp, so it is hard to decide which it fits into.

11: Persuasive. Due respect, it’s good in persuading. It’s in it’s place because there are some cool speakers, however, they are on the dark side in debate (LD, due respect to them.)

10: Original Oratory. For most of the reasons as Persuasive.

9: Dramatic. This is the first one listed that I did last year. It’s run by cool people, however, due to the difficulty of finding a piece (or coming up with one yourself) that will warrant the use of the tissues carried on the audience, it gets ranked relatively low.

8: Humorous. Cool? Maybe, as people usually gather by the crowds to watch them. However, it gets its ranking due to the difficulty finding a funny piece.

7: Mars Hill. It is cool reaching out to the nonbelievers around us, so it would deserve a higher place, but it won’t breach the top 6 due to the fact it is now being substituted for Impromptu D:

6: Duo. Great, as they are usually cool and people flock to watch them. Need I say more?

5: Open. Cooler, as they are usually great, a ton of my cool friends do them and, as if that didn’t already make it cool enough, you can write/adapt your own! Can that get better?

4: Expository. Smaller, but still run by awesome people, and I gave it runs last year and the year before that. I plan on doing better, and possibly anyone else great that will do one next year.

Now, here are the top 25%, and tell me if you notice a trend.

3: Apologetics. The defenders of the faith. These speakers have a very important job to do, so that drives the category to this high a spot in the rankings.

2: Impromptu. Cooler, as you don’t know what topics you’ll get until you set foot into the room and see them. And then you get to talk about anything you can think of that relates to the topic (for me, I usually have this rule of thumb: When in doubt, use the war, as in WWII.) Sure, the category is dead, but that won’t knock it out of it’s spot, just below the coolest speech category ever offered:

1: Extemp. Talks a lot about the news. Sure, it involves a ton of hard work, but who cares?  Because there is a HUGE cool factor that comes with it. And at the final prelim tournament last year, I used a song that I heard on YouTube as an intro. There is nothing like Extemp. Once an Extemper, always an Extemper.

So there you go, the different speech categories according to their coolness.

You’re homeschooled, and that’s cool.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Not Giving Up

Once upon a time, I attended a debate camp as a newbie Lincoln-Douglas student with high hopes. The previous year had seen me as a novice TPer who could never quite get higher than 3-3, an experience I wished not to repeat. The camp tournament came and went and left me with a record of 2-4. After a couple of frustrating tournaments where I found myself the top 3-3 debater (so close!), I finally broke into an upper bracket, making me an automatic semi-finalist, with a 5-1 record. As the months passed, I had the opportunity to debate three of the four students whom I lost to at camp. I won each rematch. I was particularly thrilled to win two out-rounds against two very, very good and high-ranked debaters, and several months later, am still surprised it happened. The fact is, I kept working and improved.

Once upon a time, I had a DI my first year. I only did it at one qualifying tournament, squeezed my way into finals, took 8th place (not to be confused with last place, by the way), qualified for Nationals because you only needed to place in the top 40% once back then, competed at NITOC, didn't break and certainly didn't expect to. Throughout the tournament, I watched lots of other DIs and noticed that each was way, way more dramatic than mine, and decided that I would never do another DI again. Three years and three DIs later, I came home a few weeks ago from another NITOC with a shiny trophy that says, "First Place: Dramatic Interpretation." The fact is, I kept working and improved.

It took a friend of mine years to win more than one round at a competition, but he has since won entire tournaments. Another friend was so terrified of giving her first impromptu speech that she ran away and cried rather than speak that round, and years later, won a limited-prep event at Nationals. A third friend put a lot of time and effort into debate year after year and never managed to get a winning record, then suddenly went 6-0 a few times. They worked hard, and improved.

The best speech I ever gave was the only interp I did that didn't qualify for Nationals, but not only was it a powerful speech in the opinions of much of my audience, if not my judges, it also stretched me more than any other speech and allowed me to later prepare speeches in two or three weeks and still break to finals, to really know what it means to be in character, and ultimately, to become the interper I am today. I would not have grown that way if that speech had been getting checkmarks and winning tournaments like we expected it to, because then I wouldn't have had to work as hard.

The fact that I and countless others can keep at it and someday taste success makes me very, very happy to be a part of homeschool speech and debate. Never ever ever give up. Keep working. Keep taking feedback, especially criticism. Keep watching some of the greats if you wish to improve. Keep practicing, keep writing, keep discussing with others, keep speaking.

This is a friendly reminder that lots of us CHSADKs like not giving up, and we're right to. Success in competition is a minor perk to becoming a great speaker. There may come a time when you lose much of the thrill of breaking to finals because you aways do, when trophies become things you have to struggle to find room for, when you're more concerned about being one of the top competitors than qualifying for Nationals, because you did that a long time ago and the former is a real possibility. There may not. It's not important. What's important is that you don't stop doing what you are supposed to be doing, and if you are called to be a speaker, then speak as though Christ Himself is speaking through you. Success only matters as a sign of improvement, and if you work hard and don't give up, you will improve.

You're homeschooled. Keep at it, and carry on.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Working a Lot Right Before a Tournament

Today I had a brilliant idea. I know that one time I told you not to bribe judges, but if you didn't listen and are okay with staining your immortal soul for a trophy or two, I figured out a sneaky way to do it. This is probably a good idea: tape money ($5 in prelims, add five for each outround) or some other incentive (perhaps a logo of a coffee company) to the back of your flowpad, along with a piece of paper and an arrow that says, "YOURS IF YOU VOTE FOR ME." Then hold it up so the judge can see it while you speak. The judge will probably go along with it, and your opponent has no way of knowing! It's brilliant I tell you, brilliant!

Well, ok. The fact is, NITOC is coming up, and thinking of ways to bribe judges is proving easier than thinking of ways to revise cases. On a similar note, every alumni judge I've asked has agreed to take a bribe to vote for me. And some of them also coach. At least two of them were, in fact, on their way to judge me, but unfortunately I had nothing to offer them. They like candy and coffee. Still, if you weren't concerned about the future of America enough already, you should be.

Although, to be somewhat honest, I have actually been working on stuff some. I have IMDB open in another window so I can copy stuff from there for Mars Hill. Additionally- well, due the nature of the competition, I'm not going to tell you exactly what else I did, just that I rewrote my Aff, Neg, and/or an interp of mine last night, and it thrills me to think of others potentially researching applications I'm no longer using and/or being completely unprepared for apps I replaced them with because I'm that kind of person. For TPers, this is similar to the joyous feeling you get when you know other teams are working like crazy to find evidence against that case you're not running anymore. I have been on both sides of that scenario, and it's fun if you're on the right one.

Whoops. So now you know I wasn't rewriting interps. Well, I did that too, but that doesn't affect you. Then again, I haven't really given anything away. Which is good, because NITOC is soon, and I plan to continue working hard to prepare.

We do that, don't we? We save up a bunch of work for speech and debate until (sometimes literally) moments before we enter the round. You can blame procrastination, you can blame a boatload of other schoolwork, or you can blame it in on accidentally sleeping in a lot or forgetting about the competition, perhaps unintentionally, but the fact is this is a thing with us. Well, those of us who have been around for a while, not those super enthusiastic novices who practice their speeches every day like I sometimes wish I could still be. Though at this point in the season, no one is that new. So maybe we all put off work. Eh. What're you gonna do.

Tournament season has almost finished. Nationals is practically upon us. Now would be a great time to do all that stuff you've said you were going to do since January. Unless that stuff involves adding another event, because, you know, it is actually too late for that. Save it for next year.

You're homeschooled. Get to work!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Getting Registered- Jared Curry

(Introductions: Everyone, Jared Curry. Jared Curry, Everyone. Jared considers himself a nerd, thinks ADD is cool, hopes to be an author someday, has been homeschooled for a long time, and is in his second year of competition in Stoa. He wrote this post after missing registration for a tournament. Take it away, Jared! Want to write a guest post? Click here.)

As the great ship sailed across the rough and wild seas, a young man by the name of Jared Curry sat on the main deck talking to his friends. He glanced over at his friend and Duo partner, Elijah Adams, as he leaned over the edge of railing. He wasn't sure why, but he suddenly had the feeling that something bad was about to happen. He started walking over toward his friend, and as the boat went over a particularly large swell in the sea, Elijah fell over the railing! Jared started running. He grabbed a large flotation device with the words, “Registration Reminder” printed on the side, and threw it to his friend, who was trying to stay afloat in the enormous waves. His friend reached for it once, and missed, but the second time he reached for it he grabbed it and held tight. Jared pulled his friend back aboard the ship and gave him a towel. The S.S. Paradigm had been crossing the Sea of Registration on its way to the San Diego Epilogue. Jared knew the perils of the journey, but not everyone understood what it was like to be stranded. Suddenly, Jared heard another splash. He ran to the edge, hoping to get a Registration Reminder out in time, but it was too late. Many islands dotted the Sea of Registration, and there were friendly dolphins in the area, so whoever it was that had fallen overboard would surely survive, and would be picked up on the return ship. But still, Jared couldn't help but think about how that poor soul would not reach his destination. He would be totally isolated until the ship returned. Jared looked at his friends who had stayed safely in the center of the deck. Surely, if they knew how many fell overboard each trip, they would help. But how could they? They had never experienced the loneliness of being stranded, lost in the process of registration.

A few nights later, Jared lay awake in his room aboard the S.S. Paradigm. They had crossed the Sea of Registration, and from this point it was smooth sailing. But still, he couldn't sleep. How many had fallen overboard on this journey? Yes, his Duo partner had been saved, but others would never make it to the San Diego Epilogue 2013. Finally, he gave up trying to sleep. He opened his suitcase and pulled out an old, worn journal. It had only been a few months, but the memory was so fresh in his mind, and he had read the journal so many times that it appeared to be older than it actually was. As he always did when he took out this journal, Jared opened it to the first page, which he had left blank. He looked at the blank page, and he thought back to what had happened on the first day.

It was early in the year, and Tournament Season had just started. There had been a general announcement earlier telling everyone to stay away from the railing and to remember to register, but our foolish young hero thought that it was all a formality. Nearing the edge, he peered over the side to look at the waves below. Before he knew what had happened, he was falling down into the water below.

Back in his room aboard the S.S. Paradigm, Jared turned the page. He stared at the second page, which had also been left blank. He looked at this page, and thought back to the horrors that had awaited him the second day.

With the aid of some dolphins, Jared managed to keep afloat for a whole day, unable to see land. Finally, he came to rest on the small, once heavily populated, but now deserted island of Facebook. Looking around, Jared found a large city, but it seemed to be abandoned. He was haunted by the silence in this place. He managed to find food, an empty journal, and a pen. He took these with them as he searched for a place to spend the night.

On the S.S. Paradigm, Jared focused on the third page, which bears the title, ICC, Day 2. The first day on Facebook had been bad enough, but the second day had been almost unbearable. Such silence... Not the silence of peace, but of being alonce. He closed his eyes for a second and took a breath. Then, after a few seconds, he opened his eyes again and began to read.

ICC, Day 2.
I am stranded on a deserted island with no way of contacting the Paradigm. I knew people from other ships headed toward ICC. S.S. CONTROL, S.S. Set Apart, S.S. Veritas, and many other ships, but I have no way of contacting any of them. Since I come from Speech&Debate City, the quiet here is almost enough to make me go insane. In the city, people were always talking, laughing, having fun. I moved to Platform Boulevard this year, but Interp Avenue with my old home was just around the corner, and I had many friends there. Limited Prep Place was on the other side of the city, but I would make Impromptu visits down there at least once a week, sometimes more. Storytelling Theater had just gone up on the corner of Interp and Limited, and I had found that it was quite a fun place to go. I'd visited Lincoln-Douglas Lane a few times, and I was considering moving down to the Debate section of town next year, but I wasn't sure. There are so many places in Speech&Debate City that I can't even name them all. But now I'm here on this island, and my friends from the Paradigm are at ICC. I'm not sure I'll ever make it off this island. I can only hope my friends will send out a search party on their way back from ICC. It's so quiet here... I miss the conversations, the "Blip!" of my doorbell when friends would visit me, the letters and comments sent back and forth... I think I saw some smoke on the other side of the island, though. Tomorrow I may hike over there and see if this island isn't totally abandoned. Maybe a few have remained behind for some reason, and if so, there may be hope.

Jared sat in his cabin, remembering the terrible isolation that had been there. He shuddered involuntarily, then looked back at his journal. He hesitated, then turned the page and began reading about the third day of his isolation.

ICC, Day 3.
Early this morning, I found a sign near what appears to be a town hall. It said, “Facebook City,” so I assume that that is the name of this place. Why it was deserted, I don't know, but I imagine it had something to do with the ICC. A little later, I saw some smoke coming from the same place as last night, and decided to hike over there. It was a very step trail, and it took about forty-five minutes. Upon arriving, I discovered some Native Philosophers. I philosophized with them for hours, and then they asked what brought me to their island. I told them about ICC, and the Paradigm. Then I spoke to them of the wonders of Speech&Debate City. I told them of my friends who worked at the Extemp News Station, and I told them of the Apologetics Church. I revealed to them the wonders of the Expos Museum. I explained to them why it wasn't strange at all that we had named our city park, “The Campus.” I told them about details that had seemed small at the time, like the Open house on Interp Avenue. I talked about how I would take long walks around The Campus with my friends, and watch people play Ultimate Frisbee in Frisbee Meadows. That evening, we sang songs around a Choir-Fire. They assigned me to the Bass section, and we sang such songs as Hallelujah Chorus, Cicut Cervus, and Gloria by Vivaldi. After all, it makes sense that Native Philosophers would sing classical music. As the sun started is descent, they told me that I must leave their land. They welcomed visitors during the day, but no stranger could be on their territory after sundown, and I would have to return to Facebook City. So I hiked back. As I returned, the dark silence haunted me. For a few hours, I had had some company, but so quickly it was gone. Even though I was homeschooled, living in Speech&Debate City had taught me to be social. Now, the crowds of people pushing to see postings were elsewhere. If only someone had thrown me a Registration Reminder, I might have made it to ICC, I might have been spared the pain of this isolation.

Jared turned his attention to the fifth page. The fourth day of his isolation.

ICC, Day 4.
Once more I hiked over to Camp Philosophy. Upon arriving, I discovered that they were partaking in a sacred ceremony that they called a Choir Recital. All who were present were required to participate, so once again I sang Bass in their Choir. The ceremony lasted only a couple of hours, and then all strangers were required to leave their land, even though the sun hadn't yet fallen. So I hiked back to Facebook City, where I spent the evening. The solitude was torture. I wanted to run from room to room in Pattern Mazes A and B. I wanted to run up and down stairs in the Competitor's Obstacle Course. I tried to pretend I was at ICC, but I couldn't ignore the fact that I was alone, when I looked around and saw no debaters with their rolly luggage, no Duo teams in their matching suits. And I could do nothing.

Jared turned the page and smiled. One more page had been left blank. This one as a reminder that he had been rescued. He closed his eyes, and remembered that day.

As Jared kept track of the days, he realized that the ICC trip was over. If he was ever to be rescued, it would be today. He walked down to the shore. Then, he sees a ship. The S.S. Set Apart. Then another, behind it. The S.S. Veritas. Soon, the whole Stoa Fleet is there, heading back towards Speech&Debate City. The S.S. CONTROL. The S.S. CHAT. The S.S. SCARLET. And there, the S.S. Paradigm! He found a Status Update Flair and posted it into the air. The Paradigm changed course, and they sent out a rescue party to bring him back aboard. The whole day he celebrated with his friends. The next day, Monday, he was returned to Speech&Debate City. Once again, he could attend meetings and practice speeches.

Aboard the S.S. Paradigm, Jared closed his journal. As all are eventually, he had been rescued. But the rescue couldn't erase the isolation. Now, whenever he crossed the Sea of Registration, he watched those on the railing, hoping to save as many as he could. But he couldn't do it alone. He had reminded his Duo partner, but how many others had fallen overboard? And not just from the Paradigm, but from any ship in the Stoa Fleet. But for now, the Sea of Registration is behind him. Smiling, Jared lay down in his bed, and as he closed his eyes, he thought of the San Diego Epilogue, and all the other tournaments that were still to come.

And as he fell asleep, a single sentence ran through his mind.
You're homeschooled, and you like being registered for tournaments.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Haaaaapy birthday!

You guys, it's our birthday. SCHSADKL is two years old now. This announcement is brought to you by all of you for reading it. Thanks. Happy birthday. Go get yourself a great present.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Complaining About Judges and Saying Mean Things About Them

(Hi. This post was posted on April Fool's Day. I don't actually think you should complain about judges and/or say mean things about them. Half of this post should not be taken seriously. kthanks.)

This is an actual Photoshopped duplication of an actual ballot which I actually received in an outround at a recent tournament. (because it seemed like making one would take less time than locating and scanning in the original document. I was probably wrong.)

Don't believe everything you read on the internet, but this ballot actually exists.

Yep. It's what it looks like. This judge moved me from 1st to 5th & Below (actually, 7th). I would like to take a moment to thank the other two judges who ranked me highly and allowed me to break anyway. Thank you, other two judges.

Now. The fact is, we're not always as lucky as I was. In fact, most people, myself included, are not always as lucky as I was. Judges can be so frustrating sometimes. They rank you down for really bad reasons, give you the loss because they liked the other guy's tie better, complain about physical attributes you can't change, and sometimes literally flip a coin or decide completely randomly rather than making a logical decision. It's frustrating.

That's why we complain. And complain and complain and complain. It doesn't really matter if it's against your club policy, or if your coach keeps saying the judge is always right and any reason you're losing is your own fault and you should try to improve. Everything is clearly not your fault, and you should definitely continue to say mean things about your judges.

Yea, I guess some judges are good. I mean, the other two I had in that round I mentioned above were cool. They're nice people, and they had good, well-thought out things to say. And I know you're probably thinking, "Well, Chandler, everything worked out. I mean, you got a low ranking, but you still broke to finals and ended up taking 2nd place in that event. So this clearly confused judge doesn't really deserve a harsh reaction, and the ballot had no effect on anything. And even if it did, move on. It's just one round and one little high school tournament that has no impact on the rest of your life."

Hmph. No. I don't want to think that way. I'd rather simmer in my anger. Because let's be honest, it's really fun to complain about that 2% of our ballots which are clearly unfair and bad. Well, maybe not fun exactly. It kind of makes you feel angry and mad. But we do it anyway for some reason, so it must be ok.

You're homeschooled, so... yea whatever.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Records Ending in Zero

Ok, so I did math, you guys, and determined that I attended 12 different tournament without losing a single debate round.

That's right. Feel free to act shocked and awed.

Yup. It's a great feeling. You're homeschooled, and

You know, I thought of cutting the post off here, or maybe just diverging into how great it feels to go undefeated for a tournament or twelve, but instead I decided that I ought to tell you that, as you probably guessed, I didn't actually compete in... one of those tournaments.

And I may have kind of sort of only done speeches and not debate at the other eleven.
Whooosh. There goes my credibility.

(apparently credibility always makes a "whooshing" sound when it leaves. It's really too bad that I know that.)

So okay, I've never been undefeated at a tournament where I actually competed in debate, but that's certainly always the goal. Well, a goal. I have a lot of goals, such as getting a winning record in debate, winning an event, qualifying in stuff, and not leaving my name tag in any rooms when I'm done speaking, all of which, I am happy to say, I have so far achieved. Especially the last one because man, that thing is really easy to forget. The key, by the way, is to take it off right before you speak and give it to the timer before asking if everyone is ready. That way you remember to get it later when you're shaking the timer's hand. But I digress.

Ending up with a record like 6-0 or greater is an admirable ambition. I have invented a few strategies on how to not only win all of your rounds, but also not lose any. However, because I would feel at least a little bit bad about encouraging you to bribe your judges, your opponents, the tab people, the tournament director, whoever does speechranks, and/or the guy who narrates the award ceremony, I'll have to leave you with one actual suggestion: win and don't lose. Wait, that was two actual suggestions. You're welcome. Feel free to give me credit for all of your oncoming victories.

What are some advantages, as they say, about obtaining a record which ends in zero? I am glad you asked.

Advantage 1) Increased Credibility
We've already determined that my credibility has long been whooshed away, but I bet if I actually did go 6-0 once or twice, people would finally take my advice seriously, which apparently doesn't happen if you're a non-alumni or have lost say, 10 rounds this year. Lose none of them and suddenly you're credibility zings up at an alarming speed. (note: zing is the opposite of whoosh. I bet you didn't know that.)

Advantage 2) Everyone is Scared to Death of You
There are multiple reasons why, at the very first round of my very first LD tournament, my jaw dropped at the sight of the dreaded postings. It wasn't because my opponent was incredibly tall and makes me look like some kind of doll, though that may have been a contributing factor. Nope, it was because I was scared to death of that guy. Then I began to laugh quietly to myself because I would hit him in the very first round of my very first LD tournament, but the point is, I was scared not only because he was tall but because he had won a lot of rounds and been undefeated a bunch. It's scary. But in a good way for him, because you want people to be at least a little bit scared of you because it means you're good but not so scared that they won't ever talk to you.

Advantage 3) More Confidence
Confidence, along with cases, flowpads, pens, and, I'm convinced, Post-It Notes, is a key, key factor in winning rounds. My sister will add smiling to that list because she really likes to tell me to smile all the time and will tell me that her advice is what caused me to finally start getting winning records, and that's why she gets mad if I'm not constantly smiling in a round, but I will remind her that smiling is inappropriate when talking about people dying and besides, I already included it in confidence. Go 6-0, never worry about anything ever again ever at least that pertains to debate although you shouldn't worry anyway, and although you'll never go 6-0 without some confidence in the first place, it does help increase confidence in the future, I imagine.

Yup. It's a great feeling. Probably.

You're homeschooled, and that's O-K with me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Myths about Speech and Debate that Novices Believe- Stephen Roe and Brandon Banda

(Stephen and Brandon are two of my favorite Stoa alumni. They're hilarious. I'm sure you'll agree after reading this post. Want to write a guest post? Click here.)


#1 The judges laughed hysterically at your HI because they thought it was funny.

#2 Writing your speech the night before the tournament means you won't break.

#3 Memorizing your speech the minute before the round means you won't break. :)

#4 Giving a 15 minute speech means you won’t be ranked first.

#5 Having 3 apologetics cards means you have no chance of getting those questions in a round.

#6 You can't break with a script.

#7 If an interp is by Shakespeare, you automatically move up one rank.

#8 Expos is a great extra event to add the week before the tournament.

#9 Expos boards can't be made the night before the tournament.

#10 You have to give a speech word-for-word... Or else!

#11 In impromptu, it doesn't matter what you say as long as you talk for five minutes.

#12 If you are first in room, you have to show up right away.

#13 A judge has never given a speech on abortion lower than second place.

#14 Giving a good apologetics speech involves using as many scripture references as possible.

#15 During an impromptu speech, you should stuff the prompt in your pocket. You’ll remember it at the end of the speech.

#16 You should only say “I have three points” at the beginning of an impromptu if you actually have three points ready.

#17 If you are last in a room you don’t need to show up for a while.

#18 If an HI isn't very funny, or a DI isn't very dramatic, you should just move it to OI.

#19 Impromptu is a speech event where you try to come up with three related stories in two minutes.

#20 Extemp makes a perfect fifth speech event.

#21 Speech outlines are for noobs.

#22 Fifth & below is probably just a fifth.


#23 The judge will vote for you if you tell them you’re a novice at the beginning of the 1AR.

#24 Advanced debaters never lose to novices.

#25 Novices never beat advanced debaters in outrounds by a 3-0 decision.

#26 Good debaters spend hours rehearsing the delivery of their 1AC.

#27 Most debaters have active social lives completely unrelated to debate.

#28 The more debater terminology you use in a round, the smarter you sound!

#29 LD is just about speaker points. You don't need to prepare.

#30 The bigger the evidence box, the more intimidating you look.

#31 Debaters in the other league/state/region are pretty weird.

#32 Flowing is what judges do best.

#33 In TP, most judges expect you to run topicality.

#34 American flag pins subtly express the undying patriotism of your case.

#35 The "we reserve the right to clarify upon this plan in future speeches" clause means you can pretty much say whatever you want for the rest of the TP round.

#36 When a judge says the round was close, they are just saying that to make the losing team feel better.

#37 When you bring up a counter definition your opponent is doomed to accept it.


#38 Wearing a cartoon character tie aids your credibility.

#39 Food and sleep are necessary to survive a five day tournament. 

#40 Tab lounges around until about five minutes before breaks.

#41 The "cute factor" is a myth.

#42 Reading your ballots during the after party is a good idea.

#43 The judges will notice if you accidentally wear slippers or tennis shoes into a round.

#44 The timer is infallible.

#45 If you are last in a room you don’t need to show up for a while. 

#46 Spending 9 hours in the car with your family driving to a tournament will be a bonding experience.

#47 Finding buildings and rooms on a college campus is pretty easy

#48 Dress shoes and running shoes are fairly equal when it comes to walking.

#49 Ballots are the pinnacle of human achievements in penmanship.

#50 Matching suits will make you win in team events.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Falling in Love With Speech and Debate

I remember the first competition I visited. I remember the HIs and Duos I saw. One was about a king, and opened with the interper attempting to zip up his pants but having difficultly. One duo was about cats, and felt more like a neat choreographed dance at times, and another humorous speech was on The Importance of Being Earnest, which I've seen two or three times since by other people. I remember some not great HIs I won't tell you too much about, just that they made me think, "You know, I could do speeches like that. But, I would try to do it better." (yea, I'm competitive) And friends, I realized at that moment I had fallen in love with interps. Before I even knew what "interps" meant.

I remember the first LD round I ever saw, where the fellow arguing that competition was superior to cooperation as a means of achieving excellence used William Tell as an example, and his opponent insisted that William Tell did not exist but the other guy said that the people from his country thought he did and had statues of him and stuff. That round changed my life. I talked to my mom about it later (like, a lot), and she asked if I wanted to do LD, as if she already knew the answer was yes and guess what? It was. I really loved that round, too.

Have you ever had that? I mean, have you ever had a moment where you realized how much you loved this forensical activity of ours? Maybe it comes when you realize you're a geeky debater. Maybe it hits you when you begin to wonder what the heck you're going to do when you graduate, or begin drafting your judging philosophy. Maybe it was breaking for the first time, or not breaking, and noting how much that meant to you. Maybe it was when you realized you qualified for nationals, or when you said goodbye to your speech and debate buddies and knew you wouldn't see them again until the next tournament, or far-off club meeting after the summer. And then you were all like, whoa. I love speech and debate.

It's Valentine's Day, kids. As we all know, homeschooling leaves little possibility of friends or socialization, so of course we'd fall in love with our educational activities. What else?

But not just any educational activities. I mean, we're not completely crazy. We don't go around declaring our love for our math books, or any affection for those awkward science goggles your book says that you're supposed to wear for every. single. experiment, even the ones that literally involve drawing lines on paper and that's it, or any fondess for hours and hours of homework or research. Usually. Most of the time. But speech and debate is different.

It's a thing. It's our thing. And we love it. We put up with long lines at postings, peculiar arguments, scary peoplebizarre ballots, and more because, even when things aren't our favorite, the advantages of speech and debate totally outweigh any disads on a net beneficial scale, or with just about any criterion.

It's great to be a homeschooler on Valentine's day. I'm not saying that chocolate and flowers are better or worse than plastic trophies and certificates and metals and stuff. You can answer that question on your own (the answer is obviously permutation). It's just that while all of your friends complain about being single and/or post ridiculous lovey-dovey things on Facebook, you can just smile and shake your head at all the fun things they're missing out on as you cut another card to put on the brief, or finish up a new draft of your platform. Because that's definitely the reaction we all have.

You're homeschooled. I love that about you.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Becoming a Geeky Debater- Annabelle Tague

(Annabelle Tague is a fifteen year-old junior in highschool, who is rocking speech competitions in her second year and *spoiler alert* loves to debate too. She also loves drawing and her family, and has an amazing heart for Christ. Want to write a guest post? Click here.)

So....we’re all super excited about this year right? Well, I’m here cause I wanted to talk -- honestly and openly -- about the struggles of well, being a first year debater.

It all started before Concordia Debate Camp this summer, while I was frantically trying to complete my assignment (not to mention my brother’s assignment too -- he was out of town and wasn’t coming back till the day before we left). You see my brother is a second year debater, so even though I’m a noob, I got to debate in the Open track....and, you guessed it, do the Open homework -- for both of us! Woohoo. I was totally lost. After calling a debate friend (at 11:00 PM ::cringe::), I got my act together and finished up in time -- barely.

Anyway, that’s how my season started. I was definitely not a debater, and didn’t want to become a debater. FYI, my interpretation of the word “debater,” was based on my experience from last year: those weird people I pass in the hallway on the way to my IE events, talking at 100 MPH about...well whatever revenue generation policy it was they just hit, and the nineteen disadvantages they used to absolutely destroyed the poor AFF team, and it seemed like their sentences just wouldn’t stop because they’d never ever pause to take a breath because they really just needed to....yeah.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes there. That’s just how I saw it all. I was a speecher, not a debater.

But fast forward a few months -- it’s February, and I’ve officially competed in a whopping four debate tournaments.

Huge confession: I loved them. I did. I definitely wasn’t one of those “weird debaters,” but I had fun.

So now I’m in the groove, right? Research....foreign policy...it’s all good. At club this week, I was told to write a general negative brief on cyber-war. Awesome! I started researching, going through the motions -- then there was that one piece of evidence that I really, really wanted. And I found it! Haha! I chucked an evil chuckle, looked at my sister and said, “Ha! I just found the perfect piece of solvency evidence for me general neg on cyber-warfare.” 

Then it hit me. Oh. No. I was a debater. I’d finally become one of those people I used to pass in the hallways. I had just completely violated Annabelle 3:16, “For Annabelle so loved speech, that she dare not become a geeky debater.”

I immediately consulted an experienced debater-friend, who replied, confirming my diagnosis. I am not longer a normal person. I am a nerdy, debate researcher.

How did it come to this? Is this how it happened to all the STOA debate legends? Probably. Oh well. But it’s fine, cause as much as I hate to admit it, it’s totally awesome.

You’re homeschool, and you know what I mean.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Having Strong Opinions on Topical Counterplans

I ran a counterplan once. I'm not really comfortable speaking about it. It didn't really end well. Let's just say I was forbidden from doing that ever again.

Now, I know what you're thinking:
Obviously, Chandler. You're in LD.

This is true. However: a) I wouldn't be the first LDer to run a CP and secondly, I was in TP once too. And I could justifiably put all of the blame for the way that round went on my partner anyway. So ha.

Counterplans are interesting. After I graduated from TP, I began to think more on them and soon developed strong opinions like the debate nerd I am, regarding subjects such as when counterplans should be run, under what circumstances, how destroyed the aff case has to be first, what the  plan can include, whether a blue or black pen should be used for the negative (the answer is blue), you know, that sort of thing. Also, I once told someone that I "passionately hated" a CP he was fond of running. Perhaps I exaggerated, but still. Oh, and it was the plan I strongly disliked, not him. That's a long story. Anyway, of course, there are aspects and types of counterplans that even I don't quite get. So I won't tell you about those. The fear is that one of us would have to be killed.

One area for discussion which, surprisingly, does make sense to me is the controvertible legitimacy of the topical counterplan. The question of such a plan has led to much dispute throughout the homeschool debate community. And sometimes the neg will run a plan that the aff technically could have run, so they get up and yell at them in the 2AC and everyone spends the rest of the round arguing about who can run what. It's a debate within a debate. Debateception.

Back when I stuck to strictly IEs, I developed a theory called the "It's The Negative's Job to Disagree With Everything the Affirmative Team Says" theory. Now I see that it's not always accurate, but it made it easy for me to decide which camp I fall into in this timeless dispute. And yet, there are naturally arguments to be made on both sides of the fence.

Some say the negative burden is to argue against the resolution, so topical CPs put two affirmative teams on the ballot and you may as well vote for the real one, while others proclaim that neg simply has to tell you why the aff's plan is bad, leaving room for all kinds of crazy arguments, topical CPs included. And everyone's passionate about stuff. Which makes sense if you've ever seen a final round of debate. Just think of the people who coach them, and imagine the same passion times at least 15-and-a-half. Got it? I've never actually heard anyone argue angrily in favor of or against topical counterplans, but can't you picture it happening? I mean, I've heard arguments for both sides from grown up people, but generally in inside voices. But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. It probably has, and certainly could, and certainly does in actual rounds.

So you have to be careful should you wish to run a topical counterplan, because of people who don't like them. And it's hard to know for sure who thinks what. This is why I was once advised at a camp to ask judges about their opinions about such counterplans before the round should I ever run one. I never did, but you could. My fear was always hearing something like this:

Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely intentional.

At this point, don't run one. Just saying. It's not worth it. Unless it's finals and there are a bunch more judges who like them but I forgot to tell you. Then you probably should.

Fortunately, this never happened to me. Unfortunately, this probably has a lot to do with the fact that I never made it to TP outrounds. Thanks for bringing up that painful subject.

Well, that's basically all I have to say about that. Except that if you're ever Neg and I judge you in TP, please ask about my thoughts on counterplans in general. I'm cool with topicality (and also please no one get mad at me), but again, strong opinions and stuff. But of course, don't all debaters have strong opinions on everything?

You're homeschooled. Debaters gotta debate.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

How to Avoid the Timer Lady- Abby Davis

(Abby is a senior who's been homeschool for forever. She's also the first guest poster from NCFCA, which is pretty spiffy. She's pretty great, and you can stalk her further on her blog. Want to write a guest post? Click here.) 

Tournaments. Lovely, lovely tournaments. The place where we get to go live out our nerdiness with equally nerdy people. Where it's totally cool to talk to yourself (or even better, the wall). Where it's the norm to drink mega loads of caffeine while sitting around discussing due process or personal freedom (for fun!). As we all know, however, every silver lining has a cloud. Or something like that. Even tournaments, which have been proven to significantly increase happiness, can't be ALL fun and games. 

And that, my dear friends, is why God created the timer lady. 

Now don't get me wrong! I absolutely love every timer lady I've ever encountered (all two of them). They have a special skill of being patient but persistent, and somehow combine the necessary traits of Mother Teresa and Hitler to convince kids to go support their fellow competitors through timing. 

But for exhausted, brain-fried competitors, the last thing they want to consider along with giving their own speeches or fighting through their own debates is having to time someone else's. And when the lovely timer lady is making her rounds to grab those unoccupied kids, there just seems to be no way to escape.

That, readers, is why I'm here to help. Believe it or not, there are several simple yet foolproof strategies for those moments when you're just worn out and can't expend any more energy, mentally or physically (hey, raising your hand like that so much can get exhausting!). Of course, being the model student I am, I maybe probably sort of never ish would try these things. I've just heard they work. ;)

So here they are. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: three tips for successfully avoiding the timer lady.

1) The Bathroom Ninja 
This one is pretty basic. When it gets close to time for the next round (that you're not in) and you see the timer lady get up from her table with a binder in her hands, calmly but swiftly make your way to the bathroom. If you're a girl, take the opportunity to fix your makeup and straighten out all your clothes as if you were giving a speech or debating in this round. For guys...well, do whatever y'all do in the bathroom. Subtle slowness is the key here. NOTE: it is vital when you're leaving the room to head to the restroom that your path out the door doesn't coincide with the timer lady's route among the tables in the student center. This is all about strategy! Plan accordingly.

2) Go With The Flow
No, I'm not talking about debate here. Although, if your method of escaping the timer lady is going into a debate round and flowing the entire thing, I commend you. In this case, however, I'm talking about the mass exodus that occurs every time a round begins. Postings go up, and a flood of kids goes to read them and walk to their rounds. It's just part of the circle of life within tournaments. But for the poor ones who have nothing to do, nowhere to be during this long round, it's almost inevitable that you'll stick out like a sore thumb after everyone else leaves. Whatever do you do about this?! It's quite simple: just leave with the rest of the crowd! Go hang out in the halls or in a room until you're positive the rounds have started and you're safe, then just make your way back to the student center. It's foolproof. NOTE: This technique is especially helpful if you've already tried #1 and the timer lady is still on the hunt. Yes, I know the whole reason you're avoiding her is because you're tired and don't want to have to exert yourself any more. But at this point, you either have to spend a little energy going to and from the halls where the round is being held, or spend an entire round's worth of energy timing. It's your call.

3) Playing Possum
For the ones who are simply too exhausted to consider any kind of escape plans which require physical activity, this one's for y'all (don't judge; I'm from the south). All it requires is a pair of earbuds or headphones. An MP3 player of some sort is optional, but does increase the pleasantness of this method. Find yourself a nice, comfy corner somewhere, plug them in, close your eyes, and you're good to go...absolutely nowhere. Because the timer lady is obviously much too nice to bother you while you're sleeping (wink wink). NOTE: If you don't have your ear devices actually plugged into anything, try to stick the cord into a pocket somewhere. Otherwise you might just look really stupid.

May your tournaments be filled with peace, joy, and minimized timing.

P.S. - While this is a satire blog and thus none of what I say should be taken seriously, I felt I should put out a message to those who might be worried that I'm a horrible person who never times and wants to discourage others from timing. I've done my fair share of timing at various tournaments and believe everyone should. These tips are intended only for those who are at that point of exhaustion where timing would hinder them from performing well in their next rounds. What you do with this information is in your hands. ;)