The weekend without coffee (plus some ramblings)

I find it strange how one minute you can be completely brain dead, but the next you can talk a mile a minute.

Friday started at 4:30 in the morning for me, because despite all my preparations the night before, I still had not packed my debate bag or straightened my hair, plus I have a legitimate fear of being late for anything and everything, and thus plan extra time for almost everything.

Check in was at 7:30. We only lived half an hour away from the building (everyone was excited about that!).

They were running a little late, so the first round wasn't until about 8:15, whereas under normal tournament circumstances, it would have started at 8. Christian and I were affirmative that round.

It ended at about 9:35, leaving us 10 minutes to prepare for the next round at 9:45. Usually they plan two hours for each debate, however, they decided to give us 15 minutes between the first two rounds for some strange reason.

We rushed back to the student area to wait for postings to go up, and found out that, because there was an odd number of teams (17) we were selected to sit out the second round. Because it was during one of the first two rounds, it counted as a victory (our only one), and also as a round we would have been negative during.

Thus, we got to have an almost three hour break, as the next round for us was a 1:30, and they had actually set aside time for a lunch break (most tournaments don't have set times, it's mostly eat what you can, when you can, and don't be late to a round with the excuse that you had to eat). So that was really nice. I listened to music for a bit, then went to go watch another team from our club debate a round. Since Mom had bought us lunch along with registering us for the tournament, we didn't have to worry about that.

After lunch, we went into our next round. We were negative, but we hit a case we had debated before, so that was nice.

After that round ended (3ish), we went to go watch a parliamentary round. It was ok, similar to Team Policy, but still very different. Instead of several months to perfect their case, they only have fifteen minutes to research and put together their case. Unlike TP, which has 8 speeches, Parli only has 6. The time increments are also different, and there is no cross-ex.

After that, we ate dinner, which was mostly a bunch of snacks we had brought with us because Mom didn't buy dinner, as it was pepperoni pizza drowned in cheese with extra grease.

Our last round for the day started at 5:15. We were aff again, against the only other first-year debaters at the tournament. At the end, they gave us a few helpful pointers to improve our speeches.

Here's the thing about debaters; they are nice and friendly before and after the round, but during the round, they turn into the most argumentative people you'll ever meet. They love to make friends, and have fun, but they'll try to kill your case before you can blink twice.

Then we drove home.

The littles had started Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi, but were kind and paused it while I changed clothes and took care of the chickens for the night. I ate dinner, and was still wide awake, but as soon as I sat on the couch, I started blinking really slowly. I even started closing my eyes for minutes at a time.

Since our next round wasn't until 11 the next morning, and we didn't have to be there until about 10:30, we all got to sleep in a bit. I slept until 8:30. Well, that's when my alarm was supposed to go off, but my brain insisted that I had to get up at 8:20.

We were aff at the 11 o'clock round, so Mom watched. Aron and Lydia watched as well. We were against at team of two guys. One was definitely 6 feet tall or taller, so that was a bit intimidating. Because the judge took a while to arrive, we were talking about the first day. One of them had decided to disregard sleep and go see The Jungle Book. They even used "the princess trapped in the tower guarded by the dragon" analogy. It was hard to keep a straight face.  I think that may have been my favorite round.

Then we had lunch. Parli semi-finals were announced, one was to take place in the student area, and the other was somewhere else. Nobody from our club made it to semis. I tried to listen to music and read for a bit, but then I had to leave to use the restroom (they were in a separate building), and when I came back somebody had taken my chair. So I stood around until they finished.

Our last round was to start at 3, but by then postings weren't even out. Mom, Lydia, and Aron came back to the student area (Mom had been judging, I think. And Aron had been drafted into judging an Individual Policy debate. IP is basically TP, just with two people debating each other).

Mom asked how I was doing. I said that I felt like if I lost my concentration, I was going to pass out (my ears had started going slightly fuzzy, and I was feeling hot and cold at the same time). She said to drink water, but I had been doing that every couple of minutes. Lydia had the brilliant realization that I hadn't had much of anything with ingredients translatable to sugar, and that my blood sugar was probably dropping rapidly. Normally, I would have eaten an apple, but I didn't have one with me. Thankfully, I had packed a cookie with my snacks. I was NOT hungry by any means, but I ate that cookie about as fast as physically possible while still trying to have good manners. I felt better afterwards, thank goodness, it would have been terrible if I had passed out in the middle of one of my speeches.

Postings went up a little while later, and we saw that we were going to be aff again. Confused because debaters don't normally go aff four times at one tournament, we went to the room, dropped our stuff, and Christian went to go find somebody in charge and ask them about it. The judge still hadn't made an appearance, so at least we had to wait anyway. The other team was very gracious, and waited until everything was sorted out. Somebody in charge came in, and quickly explained the mistake, and that we would be going neg against the other team. They were running the same case as us, so we were able to look at our notes from the other rounds that tournament and run the same or similar arguments we had been hit with.

Earlier in the tournament, the people in charge decided to give out the results of each round after going over the judging ballots. That almost never happens. Because we were able to see the results, we were able to deduce that Christian and I would not make finals. Thus, after the last round, we packed up our stuff, said goodbye to a few people, and went to meet up with the rest of the family to make a quick trade-off (Ava had a fever, and Mom was dragging and was starting to lose her voice at this point).

This time, I had brought a change of clothes for church, rather than stay in my rather uncomfortable tournament clothes (the guys have to wear suits, and the girls have to wear similar attire, both of which are extremely fancy for the church we go to. You could wear a t-shirt and jeans and nobody would think you were weird).

We made it home safely after church, and we all crashed.

I don't know how late everyone else slept in Sunday morning, but I didn't get out of bed until after 10. O.o

Sunday was pretty uneventful. We ate brunch, somebody left to go to Costco, Aron came, and I rode at the neighbor's.

Cooper (see my profile pic), is a very interesting horse. He's very smart, and he loves testing people. He does not give out his trust very easily. I've been riding him for well over a year, and he's just now starting to trust me. For a while, when I first started riding him, he behaved himself very nicely, but then he started pitching little fits when I would try to bridle him. And by that, I mean he would toss his head, start pinning his ears, and even nip my leg if I wasn't careful. It got so bad one time that he lunged at me and was this close to giving me a nasty bite on the chest (he did graze me, but mostly got my shirt).

"Why in the world do you still ride him Chloe!?" You ask.
The answer is simple; I can't let him think he's the boss. If I let him get the best of me, even just once, he'll always remember it, and he'll never let me ride him again.

I did ride him, but not until after my neighbor slapped him on the neck a couple times (not harshly, just enough to remind him who was in charge). He did well after that, and has only had little fits from there on.

A few weeks ago, he was starting to pitch fits about the bridle again, so we decided once to let him sit all tacked up for a few minutes before trying to ride. He did fine after that, and we decided to try bridling him as soon as we reached the hitching post, before brushing him down.The main reason being so he would have time to think about his situation, and he could start associating the bridle with a nice brushing. It worked perfectly the first time. The second time as well, however, when I was removing his halter before leading him to the round pen (even with the bridle on, we always keep the headstall of the halter around his neck, because we just really don't want him wandering off while trying to saddle him up), he tossed his head a bit, probably remembering that this was about the time when the bridle was going to be put on. It took him a minute to settle down, but after that he was perfect.

It was a bit windy, not too hot, not too cool, his favorite kind of weather. He loves to run. He's 28.

After I got back home from riding, 6ish, everyone was in the living room chatting. Dinner (roast) still had to cook for two more hours, as it came from the Costco trip a few hours before. I think we mostly just sat around for a while. Apples to Apples was played for a bit. Eventually, I started the process of making kefir biscuits. Aunt Cendei was invited for dinner, and while we waited, Beauty and the Beast was started. Mom remarked over and over about how much Belle and I are similar. Thanks Mom. <3

We all crashed into bed at varying times.

This morning, I was awakened by my alarm at 6:30, which I promptly silenced and went back to sleep until Ava knocked on my door at 7:30 to tell me that Aunt Cendei had brought us coffee from Starbucks and breakfast from Chickfila (she had told us last night that she was getting coffee, and what did everyone want? I don't remember anything about breakfast though) (aren't siblings the best though?).

I was about to come down five minutes later when Dad knocked on my door and asked me to drive Aunt Cendei back to her house (5 minutes away) to go get her spare keys because she had accidentally locked her's in her car (been there, done that).

That done, I finally got to have coffee. I survived the entire weekend without coffee or tea of any kind.

Aaaannnd it's 1:30 and I really should go eat lunch at some point.


  1. All I can say is wow. THAT is a busy weekend. You did it without coffee OR tea?! You have some strength in you! Glad to hear you're still alive! The prayers worked! Good day to ya and I hope you can recover properly lol XD

    1. Yes, thank you so much for the prayers! Good day to you as well. :)

  2. Wow, that tournament sounds intense--but fun! I've always wanted to try debate. Do you know if it is similar to mock trial? I've done that for two years. I sympathize with that feeling of walking into a competition where the people are way taller and older and just...impressive. Makes me a bit nervous at first, but then I get into the rhythm of things and show them that just because I'm small doesn't mean I can't give a killer closing argument ;)

    Did you have any particularly interesting issues you debated over?

    1. Tournaments are fun, but not something I would enjoy on a regular basis, if you know what I mean.

      I did a mock trial once, I was a witness. I guess you could say that it's similar, but they don't have a whole lot in common. You don't debate in front of anybody outside of the judge, maybe a few family members/friends, and the miscellaneous debater who doesn't have a round to compete in. Everything is timed, I don't remember that happening in mock trial, though I could be wrong because that was a couple years ago.

      Yes, height definitely adds to the intimidation factor. However, if said person proves himself to be a friendly sleep-deprived human being, it's not so bad. You begin to stop looking at him as a crushing know-it-all who can and will destroy your case in the blink of an eye, to an opponent who can be overcome.

      And now, here comes the long part:

      Every single debate this season falls (or should fall) under the agreed upon resolution. This year it was as follows: "The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its trade policy with one or more of the following countries: China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan."

      There are almost no limits to what each case can focus on. For example, one could argue for removing tariffs (taxes, essentially) on Chinese-made solar panels. Or, they could argue for a free trade agreement (no tariffs on any products going to or coming from the countries) with a certain country listed under the resolution. Or, they could even argue over human rights in China (hint: they aren't good). See, literally endless. We could even become so nit-picky that we could argue over chicken labeling, and it would still fall under the resolution.

      Every single team has their own case that they've been working on since the season began. Or, if they are insanely talented, they change cases every time they compete in a new tournament. At each tournament, however, they only get to present their case three times, that is called 'going aff'. The other three times, they must debate another team going aff, this is called 'going neg'. Each team debates a total of six times, unless they make finals, or if there's an odd number of teams, in which case, they could either debate five times, or seven times.

      Next season the resolution will change, and the whole cycle starts over.

      The main cases that I remember hitting are BIT (bilateral investment treaty) with Taiwan, LNG (liquid natural gas) to Japan, and Solar Tariffs on China.

      This should've been put into a blog post... :/

      Oh well, I hope that made a sidgen of sense.

    2. I understand--I bet I have a similar feeling to yours at the end of an improv tournament when all the adrenaline has worn off.

      Mock trial is timed--that is, you get __ minutes for each witness and opening and closing statements--but with all the objections you can get (which are not included in the set time) there is no telling how long the trial will actually last.

      True, I find my opponents are generally very nice and it's mostly just an act when they are presenting their case.

      Oh, that's interesting. I was thinking about trying out debate...sounds pretty cool :)

  3. That is ONE INTENSE weekend! Wow. Congrats on surviving without coffee/tea. Do you do S&D through ICC? or is it a different venue?

    1. No, we do it through a homeschool group called STOA, it's a branch off of NCFCA. Our club name is SONT (Speak Out North Texas). I haven't actually heard of ICC before.

  4. What a crazy couple of days, I need coffee. Or else I am a walking zombie.


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