Monday, January 23, 2012

High School Speech & Debate Competitions

Man. Oh. Man.

I absolutely LOVE judging high school speech and debate competitions.

I spent 12 hours Friday and 12 hours Saturday (I kid you not!), with only a 7 hour night's rest in between, judging competitions. I am STILL exhausted!

While I did get to judge three rounds of speech competitions, I mostly judged debate ... and with that, mostly POLICY debate. Holy smokes. Those people talk (aka SPEW) so fast, it's ridiculous, and they have worked so hard researching, it blows my mind!

But, I thought I would share with you a few of the funny things I overheard teenagers say during the competition (two of these were said in speeches, and two were said in the hallways ... can you tell which is which?) ...

"Hey! Girlfriend. Hold my earrings while I take this mother down."

"Oh. Yeah. We did pickle juice shots when she stayed at my house that night, but she thought our pickle juice didn't taste right because it wasn't Kosher."

"You can't hurt me. I have a black belt in Jesus."

"Yeah. I had a pet cow when I was a little kid. My friends didn't believe me. So, one day when they were over at my house, they said they wanted to see my pet cow. I said sure and led them to the back of the house. You should have seen the looks on their faces when I opened the freezer and introduced them to Moo-Moo, my pet cow."

I love spending time with young adults ... well most of them. I did kick three girls out of the audience during a policy debate round because they were talking and giggling and texting ... AND disrupting the debate. I'm sure they had a few choice words to say about me out in the hallway. And, during another policy debate round, I interrupted because the AFF side refused to provide their evidence to the NEG side, and I quoted debate code to them. You should have heard the rude things they said! Oh. My. Gosh. I told them right then and there they'd lost the round for speaking to me that way, and they could either leave immediately or stay and finish the round. Surprisingly, they stayed and finished. But they still lost, and I made note on their ballot as to why.

And, yet, I still love judging! The time and effort these teenagers put into their preparation and the competitions is remarkable.

So, from the above four overheard comments, can you tell which ones happened casually out in the hallways and which ones were parts of prepared speeches?


  1. Ha! I love that line -- hold my earrings while I take this mother down. Wish I'd thought of that. That's classic. :)

  2. No, I can't! Perhaps the Moo-Moo cow story was part of the debate?? I'm trying to think of a formal argument/presentation that would contain ANY of those comments! :D

    And it's a shame about the bad behavior and rude responses. From my observation at school events (I'm a teacher) they learn this from their parents.

  3. Is it wrong of me that I want to know what mean things they said after you quoted debate code to them?

    Yeah, probably :)

    But even more than that, I want to know what you said to the ones disrupting the debate. I love when grown-ups get to kick a$$!

    I think the cow and pickle comments were during the debate?

    Christi Corbett

  4. I'm not giving the answers away yet ... but just to clarify, two of the lines above were from SPEECH (not debate) competitions. One was from the speech category "After Dinner Speaking" and one was from the category "Original Oratory."


    And regarding the rude comments, I honestly can't remember everything they said, but I sure can remember the looks on their faces!

    And with the girls I kicked out of the audience, well, at first they flat out refused to leave. HA. I almost had to have someone hold my earrings while I took THOSE girls down! haha. But, I told them we would not continue the round until they left. And, I'm pretty certain, two of the three girls belonged to one of the two-boy teams competing. So, they knew if they didn't leave it would jeopardize their boyfriends' competition.

  5. Those quotes were awesome! :) Which ones were prepared?

  6. Love the quotes! I think al of them could fit into speeches/debates somehow. haha

  7. I think I would enjoy hearing the speeches and debates also. Too bad some of the kids acted badly. Interesting quotes but I have no idea where they were said!

  8. I think the second two were from speeches - if not, they should have been :-)

  9. Being a teenage debater myself, I LOVE debates. You get to fight with words with out going over the limit but still making a point. Do you do a lot of judging?

    You are quite funny.. I like that =)

  10. Oh! I forgot to come back and tell you which comments were which! :) Sorry! The "pickle juice" and "black belt" comments were overheard in the halls, and the other two comments were in prepared speeches.

    So much fun!