CSQ ’09

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted.  I’ve mainly been recovering from the Centennial State Qualifier a couple weeks ago.  (I’m still in shock that I’ve finished my Apologetics cards.  After writing 90 six minute speeches, you don’t really feel like you’ve reached the end.)  As you could see from my last post, I was true to my tendencies and was very late in memorizing my speeches.  (There is a guy who, after I told him, shook his head every time he looked at me.)  Needless to say, I was nearing on petrified when pattern B was rolling around.  All three of my prepared speeches were in this pattern, which included the two I didn’t know.  I began praying very hard, just that God would enable me to make it through the speeches.  I didn’t care or expect to make it anywhere, I just wanted to survive.  First, I went in to do my HI.  There was a crowd, and someone was video taping.  That didn’t help my nerves.  I made it through the speech, but with two major blank outs.  The last one was so long, I was nearing the point of telling the judges I couldn’t remember anymore.  Thankfully, I handled my poor performance well.  I knew I shouldn’t expect much for what little effort I’d put into it.  Dad, who had watched me with my HI, walked with me to my Persuasive room.  After the HI blank outs, I was even more nervous for my Persuasive, which I had written three days before.  Once more, I had a bit of an audience.  But, this time, I didn’t blank.  I stumbled over some lines, and skipped a quote, but I had made it through!  However, I was still elated that I didn’t have to give the speeches anymore that day and could practice more on the way home and then back the next morning.

Through all of this, my brother and my duo was doing very well, and I seemed to be doing fine with Apologetics.  Many people assured us that our Duo would break, so we were feeling very confident with this.  With Apologetics, I had always been written down for looking at my cards too much, so I was very relaxed about giving the speeches.  Because I didn’t expect anything at all from it either.  In the realm of debate, my brother and I were struggling.  I’m not sure what it was, but we just weren’t on top of it.  And it seemed from postings that we weren’t doing well.  But therein lies a funny story.  We were very confused with postings, because we were alternately going against poor teams and good teams.  My brother expressed his confusion to one of our friends.  He replied, “You shouldn’t read too much into postings.”  Then, my brother, being the joker that he is, returned, “But if I don’t read postings, I won’t know where to go!” 😉  But, back to the speech aspect.  God enabled me to make it through giving my speeches two more times.  I was so grateful.  On Saturday, the whole hour trip to the tourney, I was praising God for helping me, even though I didn’t deserve it.  I had continued to stumble in some spots, but I hadn’t blanked anymore.

Saturday morning was also nerve wracking.  I couldn’t decide if I wanted to break or not.  The thought of giving my speeches again turned my stomach.  Breaks announcements found me in a state of turmoil.  Debate breaks came first, and we didn’t break.  But we didn’t think that we had done well.  Apologetics breaks came next.  Since I wasn’t expecting anything, I was just listening for my friends names.  But then, my name was read!  I couldn’t believe it!  This was the event that I had reconciled myself to the fact that it wouldn’t go anywhere!  After this came Duo.  We didn’t break this time.  (I’ll admit I was slightly shocked.)  All that was left were my two dreaded speeches.  To my dread and amazement, I broke in both!  Everyone was patting me on the back and congratulating me.  I threw my head back a cried, “Nooooo!”  But it was done.  I had to give those speeches at least one more time at the tourney.

Praise God, all three went very well!  I wish that we had taped them, but oh well. 😉  I was so grateful to God through all of this.  I know I certainly didn’t deserve anything, but God helped me through the whole weekend, and enabled me to go farther than I ever expected.

My HI didn’t break to finals, but Apologetics and my Persuasive were moving on.  With Apologetics, I began to be afraid.  I was going against all of the really good people (course, I guess that happens with any finals room 😉 ).  Unfortunately, I picked a very long card.  So, between my nervousness and trying to get through the card quickly, I looked down at it to much.  Also, I ended up going a minute overtime!  It was so funny!  I’m just glad that I made it  that far. 😉  My Persuasive went better, though I did mess up a quote.  I got confused, thinking that I had missed a portion of a quote, so went back to it.  Then, I remembered that I had indeed done that part, so I laughed and said, “I was right the first time!” 😉  But other than that, it went well.  I should however, be able to do better at the tournament next week since I’ll have had more time to practice! 😉

Unfortunately, throughout all of this, there were a lot of people getting sick with the flu.  From a comment made during awards, it sounded like they were dropping like flies.  There were even some people who were so sick that they couldn’t compete in semis.  Thus, they had to forfeit their Regionals slot. 😦  It was really sad.  Thankfully, we didn’t get sick until a couple days after the tourney was over.

In the end, I got 8th in Apologetics (I’m sure due to going overtime and looking at my cards too much), 7th in HI (which I didn’t even break to finals in, but still ranked higher than I did in Apol!), and 6th in Persuasive.  Now, our focus is turned to the tournament coming up next week.  We have much to work on still. 😉  But, Centennial went well, and was very enjoyable.  I am so thankful for God sustaining me through it all!

Soli Deo Gloria!



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