Monday, January 17, 2011

Notes from the Judges' Lounge

My stint as a judge at a debate tournament
organized by local college students
(Part 1)

Resolved: College students should hire The Boy Scouts to organize their debate tournaments.

Contention:  I don’t know what things college students are learning at college, but organizing events is not one of them.

Supporting Evidence:
- Total time I devoted to this event: 13.5 hours.
Time spent I judging debate: 1.5 hours. 
- We arrived at the debate tournament at 7:30 AM.  The ‘organizers’ were surprised that the building we were supposed to be in was locked up tight.  We eventually got our first judging assignments at about 9:30 am.
- Some of the students competing in the tournament didn’t get their lunch until 5:30 pm.
- Judges had many stories about mix-ups in room assignments. One judge was sent to Room 326, while the students were sent to room 236.
- At the end of the tournament, we waited three hours for the results to be tabulated so that the prizes could be awarded.
- The Boy Scouts would have had us out in 6 hours max.

* * * * * 

Resolved: A high-fat, high-carb, no-caffeine diet results in a fat, cranky, somnolent judge.

Contention 1:  In this country there exists rampant discrimination against tea drinkers.

Supporting Evidence:  At about 8:45 doughnuts and 2 jugs of coffee arrive in the so-called “Judges’ Lounge”.  Too bad for you tea drinkers.  I conclude that my best move that day was to have my cup of tea at 6:15 am before we left home.  That one cup sustained me throughout the slings and arrows of the day.

Contention 2: College students have not gotten the message about a high-carbohydrate high-fat diet being detrimental to one’s health. 

Supporting Evidence: We had the aforementioned doughnuts for breakfast.  For lunch they gave us lukewarm pizza, and seemed rather proud of it.  That was it, for food. No dinner, even though we were there past 8 PM. I had planned to bring an orange from home but my daughter had assured me they would serve fruit.  No.  No fruit. We were forbidden to leave the “Judges’ Lounge” because we might, at any time, be needed to judge a debate round.  So there was no chance to go buy a soup, salad, or anything else more healthy.  I thought fondly of the orange I had left at home. 

* * * * * 

Resolved:  College students do not have the same bodily needs as middle-aged housewives.

Contention: College students do not need to pee.

Supporting evidence:  I walked around the entire first floor of the Huge College Building With Over 300 Rooms, and did not find a single bathroom.

* * * * * 

Amusing moment:  Because the building we were first told to go to was locked, we were sent to the Huge College Building With Over 300 Classrooms.  I was looking for my Oldest Daughter and she helpfully sent me a text which said, “we are in a lecture room”. Well, which one of the 300 are you in?  To her credit she was doing her best in a confusing situation, and I did find her pretty quickly. I was very touched that she thought of me and how I would be looking for her.  It did help that the reason I was looking for her was so I could give her some money for lunch.

One word says it all: At about 3:30 PM I was back in the judging room. Another judge went up to the blackboard, where it said “Judges’ Lounge.”  He quietly erased “Lounge” and wrote “PRISON.”  Well put.


Joanie said...

Thank you, Erma!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I used to coach high school debate--I served a 6 year sentence and it was pure misery. The slop in the judges' lounge never helped, either.