February 22, 2008

Nothing Sharpens The Mind Like An Imminent Trial Date

I thought my kids looked great last night. They were quick-witted, polished, comfortable with the facts, and persuasive. Only one serious mistake -- the student who made the opening argument tok too long, which did not leave enough time for a powerful closing argument and the student who did the closing panicked a little bit because she only had half as much time as she thought she needed. There were a few other minor issues, but nothing that we can't fine-tune with practice. I was very proud of them, especially as they were competing against the returning champions and (in my unbiased opinion) they outperformed them. It seemed three of the four scorers were impressed with them, too, and the fourth one was apparently watching a different trial than the rest of them, because he praised the other team for their masterful objections during a direct examination in which they made no objections at all. The mathematical results should be distributed later today and I'm now quite hopeful for a good result despite the one scorer's apparent abnormality. I'm also satisfied that the kids put their best collective effort into it. I'll meet with them again Saturday and see if we can't get their defense into the same kind of shape as their offense. If so, they'll go far in the competition.

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