Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Am a Slayer of Worlds

I just found out I beat a Rhodes Scholar in debate!

Allow me to explain. My first ever round of varsity LD in high school (sophomore year), I faced a young woman from a nearby school -- let's call her Jane. Jane was a sophomore as well, but far more experienced than I was, and extremely talented by any measure. It was a mismatch. I got stomped, and she went on to win the tournament.

But for some reason she remembered me fondly, and we became friends. The next year, at NCFL nationals, we were hanging out at lunch, going over each other's cases and swapping ideas, potential rebuttals and responses, etc.. And then, wouldn't you know it, we are paired against each other for round four. What are the odds?

So we trooped into the classroom, giggling like maniacs. I explained to the judges that we had just spent all of lunch reviewing each other's cases, so this might be a rather odd round. And it was -- but the extra preparation also made it into an awesome display. All our arguments were tight and on the money. And with an additional year's experience, I avenged my previous defeat and took Jane down on a 2-1 decision. That was on my way to my best LD performance of my career -- a quarterfinals appearance at the national tournament (where I proceeded to get spanked by the eventual champion).

Anyway, Jane IMed me today to inform me that she won the Rhodes Scholarship. A few days ago she won the Marshall Scholarship, so I knew she was already running in that circle (though -- knowing Jane -- I have to say she is the one person who I would have been more surprised to find out she didn't win the scholarships than that she did. The woman is just operating on another level from us mortals). Congratulations are in order to her, of course, but due respect to me as well -- Junior year of high school, I bested her in argumentative combat.

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