I consider myself to be one of the weird ones in the world. I enjoy being in a room full of students all talking at the same time. Wait scratch that - talking, laughing, crying, screaming, singing, and yelling - all at the same time. Quiet moments at practice made me question what was wrong or what students were plotting. And I loved every minute of it.
Not long ago was one of my favorite days of the school year: State Speech. It's the day that students have worked all season for and watching them compete with the best of the best is thrilling. But to be completely honest, it’s also a day that makes me a little sad because I know another season has come to an end.
We accomplished quite a bit this past season: fourth at CRC, District Champs, and third place at the D-2 State Competition. We’re a team of 23 and we brought home 98 medals from beginning to end. Am I excited about that? You bet! Surprised about those stats? Not a bit. I knew they were talented!
This past season I saw students get out of their comfort zone and join the team (and be successful), compete in new events, cry at not making finals, laugh so hard they couldn’t breathe, encourage and support their fellow teammates even in difficult situations, some how work the word avocado into an OID script...every other word, get words jumbled up into an inappropriate mess (not once but twice), accidentally fall off stools, resolve visual aid blunders right before a round begins...the more I think about the season the more memories flood my mind. What a fun season it was!
Every year I look forward to what the students come up with and how they put their own twist on scripts. This year was no different. The amount of time students put into scripts is really quite surprising. It's more than most people even realize. They fret over every word and phrase analyzing what a judge might think about it. They strategically think about each gesture and motion trying to capture just what a judge would want at that certain point in their script. Some take entire books and find the exact passages to turn it into a ten minute script. Some start working on their speeches months (I mean summer months) before most even begin thinking about this season. It's that type of determination and effort that brought home those medals. While I love the end result of their hard work, I love something even more: the skills that these students are gaining each time they step in front of an audience. Students learn how to talk in front of an audience and calm their nerves, to professionally accept defeat with their head held high, to be on time, and to dress in a professional manner for the event. What just one activity can do for a student is amazing!
To say that I am proud of these students is an understatement. My coach heart bursts with joy as I look back at the student’s accomplishments. Thank you, Speechers, for your dedication, trust, and hard work. Can we start practice for next year now?!