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New Members Face Nerves at First Meet

posted Feb 2, 2016, 10:45 AM by Barry Holloway   [ updated Feb 2, 2016, 10:46 AM ]
By Kate Sabol

Milwaukee,WI--The first forensics meet of the year…nerve wracking for not only new members but for returning ones as well.

“Do I actually have my speech memorized?”

“How does the extemporaneous speaking and radio draw room work again?”

“What if I forget my binder?”


The day of, members of the team rise before the sun and pull out the blazer or tie that has hid in the closet since last season. They hurry to Hamilton High School to be on time to board the bus. To returning members all of this feels like a comforting routine, one that they have missed greatly, but to new members it’s foreign and intimidating. 


New members have no idea what to expect from their first meet, and they desperately want to do anything except “show up and throw up” as Coach Barry Holloway always says; they just want to get through their first speech alive. And as far as I know, they all did… See! Forensics really isn’t just for dead people!


Before the meet I had the opportunity to talk with a few new members of the Hamilton team, asking them how they were feeling going into the event and what their expectations are for the year. We also talked briefly about what their goals are for their first forensics season. 


When asked how she felt going into a meet for the first time, freshman Manola Inthavong said, “I’m pretty nervous because I don’t feel very prepared for this. I feel mostly prepared, but there is some stuff that I know I’ll mess up.” Inthavong is competing in the poetry category this season.  


Sara Hubbell, a sophomore who competed in prose at this meet, stated, “I’m kind of nervous," but she added, "I’m not too worried about how I do. I just want to see how it goes.” I also asked her what her goals are for this forensics season; Hubbell hopes to power at least once this year.


I asked freshman and extemporaneous speaker Jordan Koeller about his goals this season, in which he said, “One of my goals is to not get all fives, so hopefully I’ll get some fours and threes here and there and just improve overall with my speaking in extemp.” 


Overall Hamilton’s new members were nervous but also extremely excited for their first meet!