A gentle reminder ...

The goal of this blog initially was for Mr. Mc to show his students and friends what he doing while in Pennsylvania and DC in 2011. Now it's being used as a place for him, travelling colleagues and former students to discuss edumacation and history related "stuff" as well as ... well, anything which pops into his head. Mr. Mc would never knowingly embarrass either the school he loves or the family he is devoted to. By joining in the discussion, he expects the same of you.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Oratory Competitions and other Crap Shoots

The oratory competition was this past weekend and it was both exhilerating and surreal. We teamed with the Middle School improv troupe, who provided breaks between batches of speakers. They were quite good and a nice balance to speeches about slavery, racism, revolution and ALS. I need to acknowledge that the Fine Arts department at school deserves a huge thank you. The improv team adjusted their performance schedule and head of the dcepartment set the stage and wrangled electronics so a student who couldn't be there for the competition could compete. I blessed by my collegues.

It was exhilerating in that, in the end, it was about the 15 speakers. To say I was blown away was an understatement. There were a few kids I knew would do well, and they did. There were several others who I wasn't sure about who certainly rose to the occasion. Even the statistically last speaker was competative. I sat there thanking my lucky stars that I wasn't the judge.


The judges, a college professor and news anchor, kept asking me, "okay, these kids are 13-14, right?" Yup. For many of the students, it was literally the first time speaking in front of an audience.

As the competition ended, I had my list of who should be in the top group. I was curious to see how the judges weighed in. They mirrored my list of finalists, but not the order I had them. Even they had  different orders. In the end, the first representative of the school to Washington DC was clear but the second spot had a three-way tie! Three-way tie! Actually, the top seven finishers finished within three points of each other.

So here is where the surreal kicked in. You can't have a sudden death round in oratory, so we had announced that ties would be broken by random means. In my pocket all afternoon was a pair of dice, and so, the three second place finishers shot craps for the last spot. Two dice--highest score in one shot. The first roll was a seven. The second speaker's roll was ... also a seven. Really?!?! The last speaker rolled ... an eight. The reality is that any of these students would do the school proud at Ford's Theater so its a win win for me but ... dice to decide a speak competition? I suppose there are worse ways.

1 comment:

  1. Last year Cynthia served as the tie breaker for my crew!