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Not *that* kind of locker room speech

February 14, 2011 - Deb Gau
Hi, all. I am not in fact dead, just woefully remiss about blog posting. I don't know if it was the weather or what, but it's like I went through January just not knowing what to say about anything anymore.

Speech season is once again upon us, and this weekend I judged just about the most epically challenging competition I've ever seen in high school speech. The weird thing was, the competition wasn't among the students. It was between the students and the room we were sitting in.

I started out by getting lost trying to find the room number at Mankato Loyola High School where I was to judge a group of students in Original Oratory. No matter how many times I circled the school building, I just could not find Room 123. A friendly parent pointed me in the right direction. I then walked into a women's restroom, past a couple of people waiting in line, and opened another door in the back labeled '123.' This led to the girls' locker room, where my speech contestants were lined up sitting on a bench, as if I were their coach come to give them a halftime pep talk.

And then things got even weirder.

The whole time those poor kids were trying to give their speeches, they had to talk over the sound of toilets flushing and hand dryers blasting on the other side of the wall, and occasionally an unsettling noise I took to be rattling pipes. They were all real troopers, however, and never lost their poise or even mentioned the round's bizarre soundtrack.


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