I was honored this morning to be a judge at the regional level of the National Christian Forensics and Communication Association. Whew...that's a mouthful! In short, it's the homeschool version of speech and debate. There were 250 students entered in a variety of events. My first event to judge was a debate. These were the semi-finals, which means the competition was stepped up and all the so-so participants had already been eliminated.
The debate topic was: Resolved: The US should significantly change their relationship with India.
What? I felt very inadequate to even listen to the debate, let alone judge it. I was completely blown away! These high schoolers had spent countless hours preparing for the 90 minute debate where they gave arguments in the affirmative and the negative and then had cross examinations and rebuttals.
I left the room to be trained, then on how to judge a speech. I was assigned a dramatic interpretation and there were six students in this particular room. They each picked a piece of literature and then presented a 10 minute or less interpretation of that piece. I was floored at the level of ability in these young people. The one in my mind who ranked first place, rose to the top quickly and the one who was the sixth fell to the bottom quickly, but how do you rank the ones in the middle? It came down to teeny, tiny, things...they didn't emote or were the tiniest bit overly dramatic...they moved a bit too much for my taste....etc..
Suffice it to say, I left the judges' table with the highest amount of hope for the future. These are the kids who will soon be the leaders, the parents of small children, the defenders of our faith. Be assured that however bad you feel after watching the evening news, and I know it's horrible to watch and try to digest...God is raising up a remnant of strong believers! They are steadfast and highly capable of communicating our ideals to the world!