I spent Friday evening judging the forensics meet at Senior High School. This is the second time I have done this, and I was again amazed at how extraordinarily capable the contestants are: poised, courteous, well trained, just about perfectly at home with themselves and their material. Certainly, we were all much bigger dolts at my high school.
The events I judged, serious interpretation and duo interpretation, are judged primarily on delivery and not content, but I got a particular kick out of the subject material that two groups chose. One was a collection of stories and headlines from the Onion -- hilarious stuff. The other was a complete history of the United States in 10 minutes by someone whose name I didn't catch. Part of it was over the top, but it had its moments.
For instance, it said that the Civil War resulted in the largest number of deaths of soldiers named Zeke in world history. It also concluded with a quick backward history of the United States: The stock market soars to record highs in 1929, and early settlers give massive amounts of land to dispossessed Indians.