(Yes i have posted in this before. I realize that, lay off my back.)
I don't necessarily know what this post is for, maybe it's simply a major bump in the thread but i found out the best place for this post is probably in this thread.
I am now finishing up my high school debate career, maybe even my debate career in general. Who knows? I spent four years in this wonderful activity and i definitely took this activity for granted. I started off the year of 2006 in the old smelly room of A123 at Edmond North, under a new teacher, Jana Harrison. Little did i know, i soon fell in love with the place, more specifically with the atmosphere. After two months of slacking off, i was required to go to the Choctaw tournament. My first judge ever was Mr. Tom Richardson. It was quite nerve wracking going into that room to debate for the first time about homosexual beings in the military. However, all the nervous, numb feelings immediately disappeared when i saw Mr. Richardson's smile. The smile that could brighten up my day everyday. I eventually won that round without knowing any reasons as to how i won. The activity in and of itself seemed quite simple. I wanted to learn more about this activity. I started asking questions to Jana and then to Shae Bunas, secretly hoping that i can become an elite of the activity. Yeah, for my willingness to learn more mixed in with my arrogant, obnoxious behavior, i was made fun of in the debate community. A Whole lot actually. I was very discouraged and on the brink of quitting. Later, i debated with Erin Collins at Putnam City North. We eventually broke (my first tournament to ever break at) and we had Richardson as a judge. I was criticized as a tool in that round. i was very disheartened but Richardson was the only person to tell me that i will become better and that i need to keep listening to Jana. Honestly, he saved my debate career just then. As my debate career. It's been two years since Richardson made his disappearance among the debate community, but his presence is still felt through us. As i come to an end to my HS debate career, there are way too many people that i wanted to thank along with Richardson which i deemed fitting here.
First and Foremost, (no particular order after the first three)
Jana Harrison- She has become such a significant figure in my life, almost like a second mother to me. She taught me so many things in life that extends beyond the realm of the debate world. We often had many disagreements but it made our relationship alot stronger. She made me alot stronger. Much of my debate success (as little as i may have) is owed to her. At a time when everyone doubted me as a debater, she was the only one who really believed in me. She offered so many ways to help me outside of debate too. She is a very wise woman and she honestly has done such tremendous work at Edmond North and built it as one of the top programs in Oklahoma and she did it at such a young age. It's truly amazing. She is possibly one of the most amazing persons i know and has one of the largest hearts. My hopes go out to her and thank you for all you have done for me.
Shae Bunas- Regarded as the asshole of the debate community, i would like to extend my thanks to you the most. I mean you were always there to criticize me for all the stupid things i did and i always wanted to prove you wrong and become better than you. It helped me motivate me to become a better debater and in all honesty i think you're one of the best coaches ever. You made me work when i didn't want to. Honestly, i, and probably along with others always term you as an asshole but i think you honestly have a kind heart. You'll probably kick me in the balls for saying that. You are an enigma because you care for others although you really don't. Such a paradox. Regardless, you have helped me reached alot of success as well, and honestly, seeing you debate made me want to be as good as you back in freshman year.
Bryan Gaston- Heritage Hall has been running the tables my entire debate career. You breed such great debaters every year. I remember thinking this year that since Weston and Sierra are gone, maybe this is truly my year but boy was i proven wrong! You are a brilliant coach Gaston and also you are a very important figure in the realm of the Oklahoma debate world. Although you manage to pull teams together to whoop my ass annually, I appreciate all the work you put in for Oklahoma debate in general. Also, as a judge you always give me possibly the best oral critiques. Everytime i walk out of the room that you judge me in, i think my debate mind exponentially grew. Thanks Gaston for all the work you put in!
Tess Botkins- I didn't think we would work out at first and i was SOOO close to dumping you as a partner but i'm so glad that i didn't because honestly speaking, i never had this much fun in debate until i met you as a partner. Honestly speaking, you are the way better debater in our partnership and i learned a lot from just debating with you and you are such a brilliant mind as well. I hope you do well in the collegiate circuit and thanks for always putting up with my shit.
Erin Collins- You helped me learn so much over the course of my debate career and that is an understatement. I mean honestly i learned the jargon, the arguments, and every other essential things i needed to know. Debating with you helped me realize that i love this activity. i had my first Varsity Debate win with you and that means alot to me. I mean even now you help me all the time and ask me what you need to do for me to win. Thanks for always being there for me Erin and i know you're kicking ass at Emory and i hope you continue your success.
Ish Kissenger- By far the NICEST guy i know. You play it off like you're not but honestly you are so generous. It's really hard for a coach to give up their best debater but you did because you knew it would be better for them. That by definition, is what a great coach should be. You helped build Moore into a program and even for that i should thank you. You are someone who always wants to learn and be the best. That competitive attitude helped build Moore into a great young program. You are also a great judge. I love having you in a panel. Everytime i see your name in my round i get into a big grin because i know i have some sort of lesson/great oral kritik heading my way. I hope you continue your success and thanks SOOO much for everything Ish! I just wish i can pay you back somehow.