Saturday, December 10, 2011

Foray to Washington

Washington is our neighboring state, nowhere near Washington, DC if you're hazy on local geography. Ridgefield High has an impressive fleet of buses and gathers eligible teens from all over that area north of Vancouver. Yes, Washington has a Vancouver too, a continuation of the same I-5 corridor metro area snaking twixt here (Portland) and Seattle.

I mention Ridgefield High, home of the Spudders, because I was judging there last night, driving our car with Lynn Travis of Bridge City Meeting. Her guy Timothy was just on a first conference call regarding that "should we join FGC issue" that I'm not involved with. She sat in with me as "judge in training" (ironically, as she's the former college-level CRX contestant, and actual lawyer) in her first Lincoln Douglas debate.

Resolved: individuals are morally obligated to assist people in need.

This was the same resolution I'd judged at Clackamas High a few times the weekend before. I was getting to know the territory. My general impression is the neg has the edge on this one, or that the meaning of "morally obligated" is deliberately weaker than "legally", in terms of punishments. Then Lynn got to judge Congress, a whole different event that sounds like a real can of worms.

Meanwhile, Melody / FNB was assisting the Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping at the Lloyd Center Mall. Security was busy barricading the doors, having plenty of advance notice. The Rev really looks like one (I've not met him) and Melody was in love with his sense of showmanship, which she shares.

This per the account I got after getting back from Washington, after 10 PM. Clearly she'd had fun, dressing up in a wig and doing a long running gag. Melody: "Just laugh at his jokes, and have his meals ready on time, as the good Lord ordained it." Lindsey: "That just sounded so real, I felt like I was in a trailer just now." These women, with long experience between them among the Righteous Forgiven, know whereof they spoof.

In the car on the way up, Tara was talking about some of the connections between the National Forensics League and the Ayn Rand Foundation, also Model NATO (vs. Model UN). Kind of corporate, she thought.

For Gonzo, our coach, whereas NFL is interesting and he much enjoyed going to National Championships with Tara and Griffin this summer, it's really state level he's focused on. That's the more open / democratic form, with lower barriers to entry, in terms of disposable income.

One can borrow pant suits and ties, do fund drives, develop a wardrobe (like in theater). Journeying all the way to Indianapolis (this year's NFL) is more a privileged persons game, those with money for debate camps, the whole nine yards. We got some help from BurgerVille, other sponsors.

We were joined in the judges room (the home economics classroom, 206) by a 25 year veteran retired debate coach who'd taken his California team to fame and glory, with lots of non-privileged youth. They were budgeting $50K a year by the time he retired, but it was up to him to raise it, and that became tiresome. The program died when he quit, and this was his first judging event in 25 years since then. LD was new, as was Congress. Tara is back there again today, her team continuing to compete.

Lynn recommends the documentary Resolved, shown on HBO, available through Netflix, for more insight into this culture. Maybe Movie Madness has it. Yep.

Elizabeth Braithwaite has also been kindly playing an important role in Tara's growing into adulthood. They've been practicing driving a lot. Eliz taught David pretty recently. Tara is signed up for formal classes as well, which Eliz is helping sponsor. She also arranged to get yearbook pictures. I am grateful for these ongoing relationships.

I'm continuing to monitor Bob Fuller's condition through CareCalendar.