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.


  1. This. Post. Is completely how I feel.

    I realized I had to dive into this speech more when I gave my first persuasive, on the topic I felt most passionately about, and people actually listened, and I broke.
    I realized I liked platforms, really liked them, when I won. I realized I loved them, and just how much, when I lost.
    I think I love speech and debate even more now than when I was in it. Because now, it's something that I will never quite have again, but like you said, it's our thing. It was literally my best high school experience...and I certainly wouldn't change that.

  2. So a friend of mine in NCFCA sent me the link to your blog ("Madison READ THIS it's hilarious and you'll appreciate it even though you do that weird private school league instead of NCFCA or Stoa.") And I spent about three hours reading and giggling instead of finding more anti-DA evidence for my TP case.

    Which was when I realized: Woah. I know a Chandler Lasch. She was in my TPS math class with Mrs. C. This is so cool!

    Anyways. Love love love this blog. Please keep up the comic relief-- heaven knows we CHSDKs need it.

  3. Thanks so much, Madison! I'm glad you enjoy it!

    Hmm, I did TPS, but I never did a math class. I had Marine Bio, Adobe, and Latin, so I'm sure we were in one of those together. :)

    But still. It's great to hear this. :)