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Saturday, December 06, 2003

GW tournament

This weekend was the GW tournament. James and I went, and we finished in second place (losing to Chris and Robbie in finals). I was top speaker at the tournament, with Sean second and James third. There are a couple things of note from the whole thing:

- I gave what I really believe to be the best speech I've ever given in quarterfinals. The case run was that an individual ought to choose a long and boring life over a short and heroic one. I got to defend essentially the idea that idealism is what makes us human, and that resigning yourself to a long and dull life was essentially a living death. It was honestly the most satisfying five minutes of my debate career.

- I also had one of my few favorite rounds ever against Nita and Bateman from Hopkins, opposing "You're the army - don't save Pvt. Ryan." It was just a genuinely nice round, with good arguments and lots of emotion on both sides. I always like hitting those two, though I feel bad when I am alternately hung over or still drunk during.

- I did the bitchiest, meanest thing I've ever done in a round. I started off my opposition speech second round (against two Rutgers novices) with the following: "Mr. Speaker, I want to start off by telling a story. A couple centuries ago, in the course of discovering the new world, various Europeans travelled all over the various oceans and such. One such group came upon an island, and on that island was a bird. The bird had a blue beak and was really, really stupid. It hadn't evolved survival instincts, and would walk up to people and they could snap its neck, and it wouldn't even flinch. Mr. Speaker, on hearing the points presented by side opposite, I know exactly how those explorers felt." The ballot (by a very respectable judge) said, "Your opening, while extremely humorous, was unnecessary and vicious. I didn't knock down your points, but you could not take the 1 after it."

- I noticed tonight on the drive back to my house that there are moments like the above, and I want to share them sometimes, but I can't. There's this fundamental block: I can tell people about each of them, but never really let people know what it was like. Nobody will ever understand how psyched I am to finally have gotten a top 5 speaker award, let alone top. People wonder why debators like being friends with other debators so much - it's becuase we do this activity where there is so much of your person put into it, and the only people who will ever even start to appreciate it are people who have done it.

cranked out at 9:55 PM | |

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