Cat (willowisp) wrote,
Cat
willowisp

New Mexico State Forensics Tournament, 2012

I didn't really keep up with my tournament blow-by-blows this year, but I have been judging. There have been way fewer tournaments this year; like, maybe one a month instead of every three weeks that was last year. However, I spent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Santa Fe, judging the state tournament. It was a lot of fun, and exhausting, and very hard. Nearly everyone I judged was at the top of their class from the onset, and deciding between them was often a matter of razor-thin semantics rather than who was actually more talented, especially in the later rounds, when they competitors had really been whittled down to the best.


On Thursday I only judged one round, dramatic interpretation. The competitors give short performances, often from plays but also from books. They may concentrate on one character or play two or more, and they cannot use costumes or props. The first day's rounds were at the hotel where most of us stayed, and the room we were in was the sitting room of a suite -- the bedroom was locked. Luckily four of the competitors fit on the couch, one would be performing, and the other one made due. We only had one non-competitor observer, and he sort of had to move around a bit.

I had a car brusher/scraper, but over the summer it melted and the bristles fused, so over Christmas, when we were in Indianapolis, we got one for each car. Unfortunately I forgot that Santa Fe is significantly colder than Albuquerque and gets more precipitation, so I did not have the brush in my car on Friday, when we got snow. I also hadn't brought a jacket, so I now have a lined windbreaker with Santa Fe Community College's logo. It was at SFCC where the second and third days of the tournament were held. SFCC is... unique. Suffice to say that most of the building were interconnected except for two which were not, but one of the two wasn't exactly standalone. Also, room numbers were not necessarily consecutive, and sometimes jumped by dozens from one room to the next. It was an experience.

I judged six rounds on Friday, going almost non-stop from 10:00-23:00, although I got to the college at about 8:30.

The first was a debate. I've found that I no longer hate judging debate so much. I still prefer speech by wide margin, but at least I can stand debate now. Policy debate also had an interesting topic and one which I did not have a lot of knowledge of, so I learned a lot and my rather stubborn political views did not get in the way.

The second round I judged was expository. I don't recall the event being available when I competed, which is a shame because I think I really would have enjoyed it. It is a self-written memorized speech explaining something about which the speaker is passionate, be it a hobby or a group or a craft or anything else they can think of. The fun part was that after all of the topics had been presented and the competitors were packing up, we began discussing the Zombie Apocalypse and one competitor even said they should do a special group presentation about it.

The third round was oral interpretation. I had actually judged one of the competitors at an earlier tournament this year, and I was happy to see she made states. She was that good. I had forgotten my tissues, but fortunately these were less angsty than the round I judged at the aforementioned earlier tournament.

Then came varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate. I saw two different sets of people debate the topic, and in both cases, the same side (pro or con, I can't remember which), won.

Fifth up was novice Lincoln-Douglas debate, which used the same topic as varsity. Oddly enough, in this case both sets on the opposite side won (eg, if pros won both varsity flights, then cons won both novice flights).

The final round I judged was domestic extemporaneous speaking. While I went to states in extemp lo those many years ago, they did not differentiate between domestic and foreign back then. The process is the same, though -- competitors pick three topics from an envelope or hat or whatever, and then decide which one they like best, and have a certain amount of time to come up with a presentation about it. It was good to judge the category again, and I swiped the speakers' topics so I could show them to "lj user="callicrates">.


I had gotten lost returning to the hotel on Friday night, and so I didn't get back until after midnight. I overslept on Saturday, and missed the first two rounds. I was going to judge an event in round three, but apparently someone else really wanted to, so I sat out round three as well.

I ended up being one in a panel of three judges (who have to rank competitors without conferring with the other judges) for the final round of duo interpretation, in which two competitors form a team to perform a piece. As with DI it can be a book or a play, and each person on the team can play as few or as many characters as they can handle. It was pretty intense, and I found myself wishing they divided duo into dramatic and humorous in the same way they do, well, dramatic interpretation and humorous interpretation.

I was also one in a panel of three for the final of public forum. Amusingly enough, PF was what I had been signed up to do before duo, so I ended up judging it anyway. As with the speech competitions it was extremely close, and came down to technicalities.

After finishing the final round I cut out. I don't hang around to watch awards ceremonies since I don't want to be prejudiced for future tournaments. It's especially crucial in this case, since the next tournament is going to be qualifiers for nationals. I didn't judge states last year but I did do national qualifiers. NQs are being held in Albuquerque at the same place they were last year, so I'll have familiarity in the city and in the venue. I may have to miss some of the judging for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show, but I'll know more once they've posted the dates for NQs.
Tags: forensics 2012, state tournament 2012
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