Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 9 of 2016 - 10th Grade Forensic Team

I wasn't much into sporting teams.  Basketball, softball...none of that really interest me. Not really the physical type I guess. I was involved with Band until I quit in 9th grade.  (That is for a different blog.) We had lived in Imlay City for two years and I had developed my new group of friends. Friends whom I had shared classes with since the move to Imlay City. The school district grouped kids together based on academic level. We were in the college prep group.

For tenth grade English, we had Mrs. Wilson.  She was a typical English teacher.  Middle aged, a little portly, she sometimes wore glasses except when she got her picture taken and at the time I thought she was pretty old and about ready to retire.  But in all actuality she was probably in her mid to late 40's. In the mind of a 10th grader, that is old. She did not always have control of the class.   She was sometimes taken advantage of by some of the students.

She was  the Speech / Forensics coach. I did not even know what the Forensic team was but was convinced to participate soon after the beginning of my Sophomore year. In case you do not know what the forensic team is, it is Debate, Speeches and Dramatic readings...You know English type things and of course there are district, regional and state competitions  that we would be participating in.

I have my whole life been a talker...but then YOU all know that .  Many times during school I would get in trouble because I could not keep my mouth shut.  Almost all my report cards said "She talks too much!"  So what better way to harness this issue than to join the speech club!   There were five sophomore girls who joined......  We would get extra credit, we could do much of the prep work for the competition during English class as long as we kept up with our regular school work.  And through our remaining years of high school, there would be continuing benefits to us that we would find out later.  The brownie points for being involved  were great and what else did we have to do. I was too young to date as far as my parents were concerned but old enough to work in my Dad's Dime store if I did not have a school activity I needed to attend, like Forensic practice. 

Forensic / Debate Team 1970-1971

Mrs Wilson recruited us for the category that she called, " Multiple Reading".  SO what is a "Multiple Reading" you ask??  It is like voice overs used in animated movies without the movie! A group of people tell a story, each person becomes the character or characters that they are assigned  to play.  You might even call it storytelling but it must be a team effort. As I recall, we were given the option to pick a piece of known children's literature. I can not remember if the category was provided for us by the region or district or if  Mrs Wilson picked it for us.   There were three groups in our team, one from the Senior class, Junior Class and then us, the Sophomores. The Senior group did a Charlie Brown reading.  I can not remember what the Juniors did. We did "Pooh Meets the Heffalump".  Our team consisted of Jean Brinker, Diane Rankin, Carol Schmucker, Laraine Crake and me.  I was assign the role of Piglet, Loraine was Eeyore,  Jean was the Narrator, Diane was Pooh and Carol was the Christoper Robin.....

Jean Brinker

Diane Rankin
Carol Schmucker

Laraine Crake
Jan Smith
We memorized all our lines and practiced for weeks and weeks.  I can remember practicing at our house in the living room and at Diane's house in the basement as the competition drew near.   I had a particularly difficult set of lines toward the end of the reading that was a real tongue twister...When Piglet thought he had discovered the Heffalump.  I messed it up so many times...I did not know whether I could ever get it right. We worked so hard at it.

When it came time for the nine school Blue Water League Competition, our Imlay City Team  was ready.  I had never participated in a live event. We took the bus to a big school auditorium in Flint.  You sat watching as all the other school / groups performed. The longer you sat there the more nervous you got.  While I was a talker in school,  I did not like speaking by myself or with a group in front of an audience.  We were all very scared.  Our turn was near the end of the event.  Our reading, by nature, had a bit of a rhythm to it,  it started off slow just like Pooh who just ambles along and builds up to this frenzied pace as Piglet believes he has discovered the elusive, never seen before, Heffalump! After  a few seconds of jitters, we all settled into our roles and gave our best performance ever.  Over all, Imlay City took the 3rd place trophy in the competition,  The team trophy is for the school and all its forensic teams combined scores...Debate, Speeches, Dramatic reading, Humorous reading, Multiple reading, Oratory.

Our Sophomore team took first place in the Multiple reading category and advanced to the fourth round of the March 1970 Blue Water Competition beating our Senior team who came in at third place.  We moved on to the District level where we won Second place in the 10 school Blue Water District level which took place in fall of 1971.   

I included the year book page for the Speech / Forensic  team.  I found it interesting that they talked about the Senior and Junior teams before they talked about the first place winning Sophomore team.  They have my name spelled wrong in part of the article but right in the second part.  They list Kathy Irish as a team member for the second half of the year which I do not remember and then added Jean Brinker back in as if there were six of us. Not sure who supplied the facts for this page.  I wish I had a recording of one of our practice sessions. It would be fun to listen to all these years later...

So there you have it...I guess that the years of "talking too much" did pay off in the end.. Hope you enjoyed this high school shared memory..



1 comment:

  1. LOVE IT...didn't know any of this. Once I left, and all the rest of you finished up your teenage years, I'm not sure I remember too many of the stories! That would have been a cool experience!