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.