Two of my favorite debaters came over this afternoon -- we went to lunch and had a good long chat about debate, school and life. It was an excellent way to spend the afternoon.
This time last year D1 and D2 were debaters with some talent --- but they weren't necessarily a team. Pretty quick it became clear to hubby and I that D2 was going to be the person to work well with D1.... and a team was born.
Last year both D1 and D2 had some things to learn and sometimes they didn't exactly get along or work well with others. All along they were both nice boys who wanted to do well -- sometimes with a minimum amount of work -- but they still were inspired by competition. I told them that if they won a tournament I'd get a tattoo -- they came close twice and if things were fair in debate I'd have that tattoo... At the end of the year, they qualified for NPQRSDT nationals and did well at NPKQRST nationals.
There is something nice about hanging out with people you've travelled with over and over again--- saying things like "Iowa has the best restrooms" doesn't sound strange among us. When the question about where to go to lunch comes up, it isn't hard to find a consensus (unless you are with "Mr. Wilson") and there is just a level of trust and confidence in one another that can only be gained by the shared experiences of showing someone the ocean for the first time -- or checking into the scariest Econo-Lodge around.... one that makes you appreciate the Super 8 of the weekend before.
In the last year both D1 and D2 changed a lot -- for the better.
D1 now seems to have his stuff in a group and will leave on Friday with a full-scholarship. D1 was my first-ever debater, the one who instigated the team at BNCC and someone I've seen very regularly for the past three years -- even when his life was getting in the way of debate, we still kept a connection. D1 is like a bird who is really ready to leave the nest -- and I'm the momma bird who knows he needs to go and who will miss him around the nest. I'll see D1 on the debate circuit this year, debating against my little chicks --- he'll teach them a lot and I won't mind those losses much... D1's potential both in debate and in life is amazing -- and I'm going on record now as saying that if D1 wins a national title, I'll get that tattoo....
D2 has taken a lot of teasing about being the youngin with grace and good humor. In many ways he's the most mature of the bunch. Although D2 is ready to go to big school, and I know he'll do well there, I wish I had another year to coach him... more because I like him than because I think he has anything to learn. D1 would be a really good senior team member and would be a fantastic person to pass-on the values and attitudes I like to see a team possess. He's also excellent company in the van and has a lot of good music on his ipod -- always plus!
Of the debaters I've coached recently, these two will be the ones I miss the most. They are a great example of the potential of the students at BNCC and they are generally nice to be around.
Good luck boys -- come visit!