Five Forensicators to be Thankful For

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The holiday season is upon us! For many policy debaters across the country, the month ahead will be filled with exciting debate opportunities, with big tournaments being held in Minneapolis (The Blake Tournament), Salt Lake City (Alta), and countless other locales.

As you sit down with your family and friends for an annual Thanksgiving meal, be sure to acknowledge these people who make the activity both possible and worthwhile.

5. Your school. Yes, there are always times when our high schools seem astonishingly bureaucratic, but at the end of the day they are the ones who make the activity happen. They provide much of the funding for forensics, host tournaments, and sign off on often-chaotic road trips. It's a constant love/hate relationship, but you should still take a moment to thank your school's administrators for their support.

4. Your judges. You see them at every tournament you attend. They are the eager parent volunteers, the college debaters, the debate coaches, the community members, the former forensics competitors. A debate is incomplete without a critic in the back of the room, no matter what their pedigree may be. Even if you hate the judging on your circuit, you still need to accept that they are an integral part of the activity for which we must be very grateful for.

3. Your teammates. A speech and debate squad is far more than just a collection of students and instructors - it's a family. Some of these families can number in the hundreds. Other might be condensed to just a few bright individuals. Either way, there is no greater feeling than to have a constant source of support and guidance always at hand. These are the kids that you spend four of the best years of your life with. Personally, when I was a senior debater in high school, I bonded with all my younger teammates on our small squad (8 people) of freshmen and sophomores. We weren't just casual buddies - even now when I am in college I still do everything I can to stay in touch and help out.

2. Your coaches. Probably a large majority of forensics coaches in high school do an enormous amount of work that is certainly not commensurate with the amount they are paid to do it. Coaches don't do it for the paycheck, they do it for the love of the activity. They are your mentors, your guides, and your support. Be thankful for them.

1. Your parents. Really? Yes. Your parents are absolutely the people you should be thanking the most, because they are the ones who allow you to participate in the opportunities that exist in speech and debate. They are the ones who tag along at tournaments to judge. They are the ones who often write the checks that are unfortunately too often needed to get you to and from competitions. They are the ones who support you in all your forensics endeavors. Take a minute tomorrow and express your appreciation for their support.

Have a great Turkey Day!

- Nick

This post contains some wonderful reminders. I often thanked my coaches, but I don't know if I gave much thought to gratitude in regard to the others.

hmmm, i don't think i ever remembered to thank my parents unless they gave me a few bucks for lunch that saturday. or if money for a team shirt was due.

now i feel like i should go make a phone call.. :)

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