Master Debater

So I was in high school debate for four years. And I cannot tell ONE MALE PERSON that without getting the question “were you a master debater?”  Not one. Not ever.

And for the record, yes. I was really good. I earned a Triple Ruby at the time, though I had enough points that when they did the big conversion to a new system I’d actually have been a Quad Ruby.  So……you can, you know, be impressed. Or something.


Occasionally I go back and judge tournaments. Because I can and because they need good judges and because it’s kinda fun.

But. BUT. It also means hanging out with other former debaters. And let’s be clear – WE ARE TERRIBLE.  I mean, just really really insufferable.  We were the WORST when we were self-congratulatory, too-clever-by-half teen assholes quoting Kant and Maslow and Nitezsche. Imagine that, but all grown up – and in many cases, NOT having become an attorney or whatever. In my case – well, I’m not bad. I’m successful (by a certain value of success – good job, own my home, uhm…I have a dog….you know) and relatively well-adjusted. Not everyone gets there.

So I was sitting in the Hospitality Suite, and I recorded some of the nonsense spouted by my fellow ex-debaters.

“I’m a writer at the moment. I was living in Turkey. You know how it is. Now I’m trying to join the military, but there are some impediments to that…”

“I was going to go to law school, but you HAVE to take the LSATs…”

“It’s hard to get a career started when you keep getting fired, you know?!”

Sigh. I kind of hate us.


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