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.

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