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Journal Writing Project: Matt Ruen


Fri, Mar 28th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Iíve been in speech since seventh grade, and I enjoy it tremendously. I have the fortune to have advanced to state last year, and Iíve competed at the Section competition in three separate years. This year is my last. For this article Iíve sketched out the events at an average speech meet, so that you, the reader, have some idea what occurs on all those Saturdays in March.

To begin with, each competitor prepares a speech in one of several categories, including Informative, Original Oratory (persuasive), Humorous, Poetry, Prose, Drama, Dramatic Duo (the only two-person event), Storytelling, Creative Expression (anything goes), several Extemporaneous categories, and Great Speeches. Some students, including myself, choose to double-enter, competing in two categories at the same meet.

Morning: At some time between 6:30 and 7:30, depending on the location of the meet, a bus departs the school. Riding the bus are those students who will be competing or observing at the meet, along with the coach and sometimes an extra judge or two.

8:00: Arrive at the host school. The team troops into the schoolís common area and picks up critique sheets (more on this later), a map of the school, and the dayís schedule.

8:05: Having grabbed all of the necessary papers, the team heads towards the school cafeteria or gym. Depending on the school, one of these serves as the gathering place for teams throughout the day. Here, the team claims a table/group of bleachers/section of wall for its own, and deposits all of its materials here. (Unless, of course, you have just realized that your visual aids, vital for your informative speech, have been left at home. Then you panic, especially if you know that your parents arenít home either.) After this, each team member fills out three critique sheets (one for each round) with their name, category, and speech title. Before each round, a sheet will be given to the judge, whoíll write comments and critiques on it. Those students who are double entered fill out sheets for both categories.

8:10-8:40: GMA (General Milling Around) time. People talk to their team mates, sleep, eat breakfast, greet acquaintances from other schools, or wander the school, finding rooms or merely warding off boredom. Many use this time to practice their speech(es), which has led quite a few observers to note that speech meets are one of the few places where y .....
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Township Roads: Just the thought of it

Fri, Mar 21st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I have often said that it isnít the sight of my own blood that bothers me as much as it is the thought of the sight of my own blood. I donít know when this aversion to thinking about my blood started and I donít want to dwell on it too much. Even wri ..... 
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The Commute: Telling stories

Fri, Mar 21st, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I canít really say that I developed my love of stories as a child. I donít remember any gifted storytellers in my family, although we did talk a lot.

In fact, the term "telling stories" had a negative connotationĖ"Quit telling s ..... 
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Another one from Flaherty: What happened to the corned beef and cabbage?

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It was about that time of the year again and plans had been made. This year things would be different, safe and sane and nothing would go wrong, if Clancy had anything to say about it. There would be no repeat of the Finnegan disaster of the last yea ..... 
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Prairie Notes: For the love of books

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I do not remember a time I didnít know how to read. Being the fifth of six children gave me four older siblings and my parents to read aloud to me, but memories of their voices saying the words faded long ago. My earliest memories of reading stem fro ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Eric M. Leitzen

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Here we are. St. Patrick's Day. The time for the wearing of the green. Time for everyone to feel just a little bit Irish. Bust out the corned beef and cabbage, Mom, and top off the tankard. I love the Irish. I love them to pieces, everything about th ..... 
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Are You Game? Spring, the harbinger of great things to come

Fri, Mar 14th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Happy Saint Patrickís Day to you and what a sports week it has been. Jim Harrick gets the boot in Georgia, as UGAís NCAA and SEC Hopes slip past their fingers. The Twins are looking like last yearís ALCS squad.   First with C ..... 
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