Friday, January 29, 2010

Our State Fair

I'm at school right now in my consultation period. I have tons I could be doing, but I'm more nervous than I thought I would be about the State Speech Meet, so I thought I'd write a bit here before diving into work.

We leave in a little over an hour for the Meet. Well, first we'll stop off for lunch, then run to the hotel to check in/change clothes, and then go to the Meet. It's a two day event - today's events will be
  • Original Oratory
  • Poetry Interpretation
  • Humorous Literature Interpretation
  • Dramatic Literature Interpretation
  • Solo Acting and
  • Impromptu Speaking
Three rounds of each starting at 3:00, plus finals that will hopefully start by 8:00 tonight.

Tomorrow we start at 8:15 and compete in
  • Public Forum Debate
  • One to One Value Debate
  • Creative Storytelling
  • Dramatic Duet Acting and
  • Humorous Duet Acting
Again, three rounds of each plus finals. Awards are scheduled for 4:00 pm tomorrow.

The 25 kids who are going have been great about working this week. We've strategized, planned, plotted, and shuffled people around to different events. We've got strong people in every event (except PF Debate - we're not competing in that one this year), including several who've won in the past.

I'm conflicted with this, as I have been all year. I'm proud of my students and I want them to do their best. I had a talk with them on Monday about the factors that affect scoring - there are the ones they can control (memorization, performance, amount of practice going in, etc.) and the ones they can't control (the judge's opinions and biases). Still, I know that if the team doesn't take first in the state overall, they're going to be really disappointed. Ridiculous, yes, since they're competing against 20+ other schools. Still, they think highly of themselves, which is both good and bad.

They're excited, though, and nervous. Heck, I'm excited and nervous.

To be honest, I want them to take first just to prove that I'm as good as the old teacher. I know how irrational that is, and I know that I've done a damn fine job given all of the obstacles of this year (including my remarkable lack of experience). Still, I really want to have that first place status to be able to point at and say "See?"

Either way, I'll let you know how it goes.

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