Sunday, February 23, 2020

Saturday 4N6

4N6 being the way Forensics is oft referred to by the participants. Saves space and makes for shorter URLs for accessing schematics and tabulation results.

Yesterday the competition was held at MSU. This made for a long day.

This was especially so as Abby returned from her winter break school Civil Rights History trip to Atlanta and various cities in Alabama at Detroit Metro Airport on Friday at Midnight.

So I picked her up then, then got to Okemos at 1:30 am, checked into a hotel and got a few hours sleep starting at 2am before getting to the tournament at Wells Hall at MSU at 7 am. The question is should I have been charged for a night's stay by the hotel considering we were only there during the morning from 2 am to 6:40 am? The things you think of on a lack of sleep.

Tired or not, Abby gamely pushed on, and I gamely judged the rounds I was assigned. I also helped a first time judge with the process for their first tournament and helped answer questions on scoring, judge preparations, etc. Scary that I actually am regarded as knowing what I'm doing enough to be training another judge and making sure they have their stuff ready to go.

But yet again, someone in judge scheduling hates me.

The tournament was held in Wells Hall with a secondary site at Berkey Hall. Check in and all main ops were in Wells. The MSU organizers assured us it wasn't too far away.

Well, "not too far" is a relative term. It's a solid 15 minute walk away, and wouldn't you know it, my judging schedule had me first in Berkey and then immediately back to Wells Hall. Why this always happens, I don't know. I need to figure out who to bribe or beg forgiveness for unintentionally slighting in scheduling office to get them to stop running me around from building to building for these tournaments.

It was bracingly cold, and I only had a sweater on as Abby didn't have a winter coat with her coming straight from Atlanta, so I had given her my winter coat. Suck it up and walk faster, right?

So I judged those two first rounds, impromptu and storytelling, and I was on standby for the third and not needed, and was scheduled to do extemporaneous for the semi finals.

Impromptu was interesting. The quote competitors received and for which they had to give a 5 minute speech with 1 minute or so of preparation after seeing the quote was from a famous MSU alumni. (All sections used MSU alumni quotes, never the same quote in a different section).

4 out of six competitors missed the main point of the quote. 2 competitors got it.

One of the two was an exchange student from Korea, competing in forensics for the first time, nervous as hell, and competing in her second language, and she got it. Talk about guts - you're in a foreign country, in a language you're not fully comfortable with, and you're competing by getting up to give a speech in that language based on analyzing a quote you just received and you have about one minute to develop. In short, she did amazing and made an excellent personal speech, not a canned response as many competitors do, but based on applying the quote to her own life. That kid should go far in life.

Since Abby's school placed 3 competitors in extemporaneous, and thus had competitors in both semi final sections, I was pulled off judging that category, as you can never judge your own school, which makes a lot of sense. I spent the time talking with some other judges that also had been unassigned those rounds and it was some decent conversation.

Then I wasn't scheduled for finals as all judging assignment except for Duo had come out. I was going to just take it easy and either find a place to nap or go watch a performance when one of the organizers asked if I could judge Dramatic Interpretation finals as they had just lost a judge for it and needed one stat. While I was tired, I was qualified to do it having not judged DI this tournament, had no competitors from my school in the finals, and they needed someone to step in, so I did it.

Glad I did.

The performances were amazing. Fantastic to see how really good these kids can be. Awesome and moving performances, great interpretation of the materials and really hard to say absolutely who was best as the performers really gave it their all.

In a not unusual result, the judges in finals were not in lockstep. It turns out the performer I chose as 1st had been first in all of his previous rounds and semis - he was just that good, and he did take first place at the tournament and deserved it. But, the other judges put him in 2nd and third respectively.

I matched my second choice with the judge that put my number one in third, and matched my third place with the judge that had put him second. Interestingly enough, while we all had different rankings for the fourth, fifth and sixth place all of use had the same performers ranked 4, 5, or 6 by all three of us. Since you're not allowed to discuss the performances with the other judges, it's neat to look over the final rankings when they come out and see how you differ.

Abby made it to Semis but missed making it to finals. Not a bad performance for having about 4 hours of sleep and coming off a week of travel with lack of sleep while having fun and learning, and no time to practice her performance. Proud of her for committing to show up regardless and compete. She refused to let her team down and was there with them the whole day and celebrated a lot of her teammates placing in finals in their respective divisions.

We got home at 8:30 pm, ate dinner, and both passed out at about 9:30 last night after another full day of competition.

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