Being the EXCEPTION to the rule...

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So, I was pretty much a pain in the butt my whole life and still am.  As a sophomore, I strolled into Quincy Sr. High's 1st day of speech practice and just sat down.  Tom Burnett, the coach, declares, "Ummm, only Jr.'s and Sr.'s are allowed on the Speech Team, Renee."  


I looked up at him and told him that was probably true for most other sophmores, but if he could choose a speech from his files with the rules for the category, I'd be back in 30 minutes to prove to him and the team I belong there.  Amazingly, he said "fine..." gave me a speech for Oratorical Declamation (didn't even know what that was back then!) and off I went...


There is even a yearbook pic of me in the hallway, studying the speech and regulations for the category!


Well, I came back in, auditioned the speech like I'd been giving it for months, without a hitch, and in exactly the amount of time alotted.


I told him that I didn't want to put him on the spot and he could let me know later if I made it on the team, started to leave when Coach Burnett loudly told me to sit down!  He didn't have any time to waste because this next tournament was regionals and we were going to win back "The Wood!"


Long story of practices the awards ceremony...they listed my category from 8th place on up!  I made the coach hold my hands because I was freaking out when they got to 3rd place and it wasn't soon as they began saying the name for 2nd place, realizing it wasn't my name, Tom looked me square in the eyes and said, "You got it, kid."  Sure enough, my pain in the butt attutude that put me on the team was a success.  I took home 1st place in regionals that year (1985) and the TEAM brought home THE WOOD!


Not bad for someone that wasn't even supposed to be allowed on his team.  After that moment, I was hooked for good....all because one tough coach gave me a chance, I love you Mr. Burnett, wherever you might be today!


Renee (Eward) Carlson - This picture is from the local paper once the team won...

haha, I would say that you gave that coach a tough time back to audition!

Sometimes you have to do that though--play the tough role when you KNOW you can prove yourself.  How did you do as a Jr. and Senior?

This is a great newspaper clip!! :)

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