Sunday, March 18, 2012

We took this last week as our spring break week, so we enjoyed the warm weather- I know weird- it was really nice!
We played outside on the swing set, visited friends, and tried to learn how to ride bikes (Evan's learning, and Sam just can't ride his bike because it's so big, so he's trying to adjust).
We also got a bunny.  Dallas needed one for his 4-H project, and someone in our ward gave us one.  It's huge, and sheds hair everywhere.
Pat cut his finger really bad in the kitchen, and since he does this often, I'm used to it, but it still doesn't stop the queasy feeling in my legs. Poor guy almost cut off his thumb pad opening up a can.
Soccer is starting again soon. 
My sister and her husband visited me!  I still can't believe it.
It's snowing now again.
Pat's car died.  For good.  It didn't even make it the 2 months. 
We joyfully went over the painful finances of having two cars die within a couple months of each other for hours.

Something out of the ordinary, and kind of funny happened too:
A family in our homeschool group really needed judges for their daughter's debate competition, and we really like this family, so Pat and I volunteered to help them out.  Pat went first on Thursday, and then the only day I had free to help judge was Saturday- the day of the finals.  So I logged onto their site and typed my name in the slot for the final competition.  Unbeknownst to me, they selected the judges for the finals specially.  I was about to get a big surprise.

When I arrived they asked me to write down my bio, so that when they introduced me to the audience, they could also say a little about my qualifications.  ?!?!?!?!  I was under the impression that they were just desperate to have judges and anyone would do!  But I guess for the finals this was not the case, and somehow I had been overlooked and made a judge.  The organizers treated me like royalty, thanking me over and over again for giving up my valuable time to come, etc, etc.   I could tell that they were under the misinformed notion that I was some sort of expert.

I was so embarrassed since I had no qualifications to judge a debate whatsoever.  But I figured, if they are good debaters then they've got to convince even the person of the street, right?

Still, I was afraid of disappointing them, so I -ahem- embellished my resume a bit.   Like when they expected some sort of awesome university degree, I gave it to them.  Yeah, I graduated in such and such... from such and such!  I made it completely up since I only did two years of college and never earned a degree at all.  It's not that I cared about looking awesome, it's just that I knew after coming so far, the finalists, the coaches, the parents, the audience, and the organizers were expecting big things.  Not...um...'stay at home mom'.  So I gave them big things.  I don't feel bad at all.

Even with my embellishments however, my bio was a bit disappointing to them.  I could tell because they read it first and then after polite applause, hurriedly moved on to the other bio's.  The other judges sitting next to me were attorneys or other fancy things, and sitting right next to me was a New Mexico Supreme Court Judge (they saved his bio for last).  Holy cow what did I get myself into!  I even forgot to change my shoes before I left home and was wearing my ratty tennis shoes with no makeup!  But, whatever, I decided to act confident, and pretend I was awesome.

Then, as they opened the debate, they asked us (the 5 judges) to stand and give the audience our philosophy on debating and what we're looking for specifically.  ?!?!?!?!?  The other judges rambled on and on, saying things that I'm sure were very wise and showed their great wealth of knowledge and experience, but since I was pretending to be awesome I just blocked it all out so that I wouldn't freak out about how I really shouldn't be there.

When it came my turn I simply said, "I'm looking for confidence, clarity, and kindness", and then sat down like I knew exactly what I was doing.  There was a bit of an awkward pause, but since I was emitting awesomeness, they moved on.  And seriously, that's what I cared about!  Don't confuse me, don't fidget or be nervous, and don't fight or get angry.  Stay poised.  Connect with the audience.

The debate went on for over an hour, and the kids (high school age) were amazing.  After it was over, only the Supreme Court Judge asked for their documentation of the facts they presented.  I felt like I should ask for something too, but the only thing I really wanted was a drink of water, so I kept silent. 

Then it took me about 45 minutes to write up all my notes on the four debaters and their scores for all the categories and making the hard decision of choosing who the winning team was, and ranking each person individually, and then writing up why I made my decisions.

I'm dying to know who won after they combined the 5 of us judges scores together, but I had to leave since I'd been there way too long.  Crazy!

Speaking of crazy, did I ever tell you about the time that I faked being a translator for a huge business meeting?  I got a job with a translating service and when they called to send me to this business meeting, I thought I could handle it, because I was fresh from my mission, and the paycheck was large, and they hired me afterall!, but I couldn't translate a bit of that business talk and finally I told all the Spanish speakers (in their headphones) to just take them off, and I apologized profusely.  They were kind to me, but I still feel bad that they got the shaft.  I got paid, but I quit being a translator.

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