Another season of speech is two months in (auditions in the final week of November), but our first tournament was just today. Eight weeks in a row of giving up our Saturdays to the siren song of speech. Those who have never experienced a speech tournament will never understand its allure. We had one varsity and one novice speaker break to final rounds, taking 2nd and 6th, respectively. This is a modest achievement, with only 16 students participating (we took 15th out of 22 schools). What excites me, however, is the success of some of my first year students. NONE of my novii went 5, 5, 5. Now, if you don't "speech", you have no idea what this means. It's a good thing. Anyone close to me in the past 2 years has heard me complain endlessly of being a head speech coach. And, indeed, it is a trying experience (especially when you are 6 days away from hosting your own tournament). However, it is the thrill of seeing students achieve their goals this first week of competition. They go into this first tournament with trepidation, not knowing entirely what to expect. We have to explain to them what their scores mean and if they're "good" or not. It is an exciting moment.
I'm sad to give up my Saturdays until March. I'm happy to watch the enthusiasm of my students. I'm often confused and angered at the results of many tournaments. I'm rarely disappointed in the effort my darling kids show weekly. It's a manic depressive sort of activity.