NCFCA memories part 2: Nationals

I have a blast at tournaments. Every time. So when I walked onto the airplane bound for Boston, I was expecting to enjoy the experience thoroughly. Nationals was my last tournament, after all, and I knew it would have to be fantastic. But little did I expect the deluge of blessings and joy that hit me in the face that week. It was practically perfect. We saved the best for last.

Anecdotes-

In order to get through security at the airport on the way to Boston (BOSTON!!), I had to take all the bobby pins out of my hair because they kept setting off the metal detector. Awkward.

Some of us sang Phantom of the Opera songs in the dark while exploring the college campus Monday night.

On Tuesday we organized a trip to downtown Boston (love that city). That afternoon, Nathan Exley happened to hand me a dogwood flower when he had finished examining it. I tucked it into my belt, but by the end of the day it was pretty dead. So in the car (squished with 3 other girls in the backseat) on the way back to the college, I decided to throw it out the window. Alison pretended to freak out, saying, “Grace, that flower could be the symbol of Nathan’s and your relationship! You can’t throw it away!”
“The flower is dead. What does that say?” I returned. There was some loud laughter. And then I threw it out the window, while we continued our giggling.

Owen and I gave an impromptu concert in the music hall, and the Kawaii piano wouldn’t quit ringing with that one annoying note….

The moon was heart-stopping Wednesday night.

Alison flipped out when Johnny tried to pick up a candy wrapper or something for me. And I couldn’t stop laughing while I was trying to explain her philosophy regarding guys and me.

Friday night’s train of events topped all else. It began in the music hall where Owen, Johnny, Josh, Nathan Exley, and I sat about in chairs talking of music and art while flipping through music books left there, presumably, by the college students. After an hour or so of that, we headed back to the cafeteria to grab all the flotsam and jetsam we had stashed there. But 10pm is far too early to head back to the dorms, so some of us simply transferred our belongings and ourselves to the tavern (it didn’t sell beer) next to the cafeteria. Owen and I sat across from Caroline, Johnny, and Josh, and I cannot even describe the fun we had singing along to tavern-appropriate songs, reading Shakespeare sonnets, hacking Josh’s facebook, making snarky comments about junior colleges (I added like 5 quotes to my quotebook that night), listening to Sinatra, and watching scenes from My Fair Lady and Singing in the Rain. At 11-something, we heard a lot of giggling coming from the direction of the door, and without further warning were accosted by a bevy of mothers who were having a singularly fun evening. I cannot even describe the hilarity that ensued as they surrounded our booth.
Mrs. Thompson: None of us have had a drink! I promise you!
Johnny: I think you :need: a drink! Something good and stiff!
After some time, things settled down and we listened to Rachmaninoff and Ravel until exhaustion pulled us into our dorm rooms.

I broke to finals in Thematic. It felt so strange to ask the judges “are you all ready?” for what I knew was the last time.

After LD finals, a large portion of Region 4 took off for the beach. I was a little bit enamoured of the place. It was the most fantastically fun and beautiful beach I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. We took off our shoes and scrambled over the salt-water-smooth rocks; some of us nearly killing ourselves… several times. Danger enhances delight. We found the stairs of Cirith Ungol, but we went down instead of up, which I guess meant that Frodo’s quest had failed. We slipped on seaweed, took pictures, laughed at each other, collected rocks (okay, that was only me), and bought ice cream before heading back for awards.

The ballot party after all the proceedings had finished was… bittersweet. I won’t deny the tears. But I will assert that NCFCA has been worth every twinge of pain, and a hundred times over. We seniors decided to take what Owen called an “Elephant Walk” (?), but of course we were joined by a lot of non-seniors, which was fine by me. We wandered around the campus until after midnight; climbing fire escapes, walking on “ruins”, listening to ducks that sounded like moose, talking about cannibalism (not my fault), and probing the boundaries of sanity. Back at the dorm building, we watched Batman Begins until 3am, and said our disoriented “goodnights” which were also “goodbyes”.

Some tournaments are better than others. Nationals was the best of all.

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11 responses

  1. The flower story…LOL!!!!!!! That is hysterical.

    All this is really…thought provoking. Wow. Life…is…strange…reminding me of my waking thoughts… :sigh:

    Epic slideshow. Organization-wise, your best ever, IMO. Loved the audio-visual synchronization-especially towards the end, and the “pixelization” at the refrain. Well done.

    I MISSED THE R4 PICT!!! GAHHHHH!!! 😦

    “It felt so strange to ask the judges β€œare you all ready?” for what I knew was the last time.”

    June 29, 2011 at 5:24 pm

  2. Hi Grace,

    I’ve been following your blog for several months now. I found you through Latitude821 – you had wriiten a post and there was a link to the authors blog.

    I wish I had known you were going to Nationals. I knew you were involved with the NCFCA because of the different posts you’ve posted, but I didn’t know you made it to Nationals. Congratulations! I was there judging on Thursday and would have loved to have met you πŸ™‚

    I have some friends that are involved with NCFCA and although they didn’t make it to Nationals, they wanted to go to the competition and thier Mom was ended up being a community judge. Since they were going they asked if I wanted to come and be a community judge as well, so I did πŸ™‚

    I wish I had known about the NCFCA when I was younger and could have been involved. It was such a blessing to see the upcoming generation so on fire for God and using their talents in such an incredible way.

    As I watched the movie I actually recognized some of the kids in the movie… Did the girl at 1:29 debate? And was the guy at 2:33 on the left in humerous interp.?

    I was judging speech that day and one of the things I judged was humerous interp…..if that’s him was he doing “The Importance of Being Ernest”?

    You look like you had a great time! I’m sure it will be exciting to see where God leads all of you with the talents He has given you :}

    I enjoy following your blog! Looking forward to part 3 :}

    In Him,
    Devin

    June 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    • Hey there! Thanks for stopping by and judging at nats (we love our judges)… It’s too bad we weren’t able to meet each other. =)

      The girl at 1:29 is Beth, and yes, she did team policy debate. At 2:33, that’s Johnny, and he did indeed do an HI on ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’!

      thanks for your comment!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:17 am

  3. Owen

    Excellent! You were able to put (at least some of) Friday night into writing. Friday night was my favorite part of the whole week (that and Saturday afternoon…and Wednesday night…and Thursday night…OK, the whole week was unbelievable).

    I’ve found it so difficult to elevate one tournament as the best above all others, because each one is unique in so many ways…but in the end you’re right. Nationals 2011 was the best of all. πŸ™‚

    June 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  4. “Grace, that flower could be the symbol of Nathan’s and your relationship! You can’t throw it away!” And you did. I am heartbroken now, Thanks Grace.

    πŸ˜‰

    πŸ˜€

    LOL. Wow Alison.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:34 pm

  5. I enjoyed this post very much. πŸ™‚ What a way to commemorate this milestone.

    Thank you Grace.

    June 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

  6. Pingback: The Time of Your Life | Castaway Sojourner

  7. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! πŸ˜€ I managed to get into the slideshow this time! πŸ˜‰

    The car ride to Boston was epic. πŸ˜€ And protecting you from the *ahem* enough said. πŸ˜‰
    Love you girl, and it has been an amazing year! πŸ™‚

    July 1, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  8. Pingback: times of our lives « …grace revealed…

  9. Pingback: The Time of Your Life « This Is Home

  10. Pingback: The Time of Your Life | This Is Home

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