We arrived back at Logan Airport last night at about 8:15 pm, happy and exhausted! Here's the group with their awards.
From Left to right: Jonathan Kirshenbaum ('15), Naomi Eisenberg ('14), Jasper Primack ('15), Sophie Hill ('14), Mrs. Lisa Honeyman, Tuleeka Hazra ('13), Mr. Jim Honeyman, Sachin Srivastava ('15), Dipal Nagda ('13).
Finally, a morning where we didn't have to get up before 6:00 am! After sleeping in a bit and grabbing some breakfast, Naomi, Sachin & Jonathan are taking final exams in the hotel conference room. We'll be leaving for the airport in about an hour.
This morning was a busy one for the Newton South Speech & Debate Team! Sophie judged middle school national semi-finals, Naomi competed in Expository Finals and Jasper walked on stage to receive his semi-finalist trophy. Mrs. Honeyman Judged U.S. Extemp finals and everyone else watched and supported teammates.
Naomi's sound check on stage before her final round.
Most of the New England District watched the round, including our friends from Natick High School and Shrewsbury High School.
Jasper Primack is awarded a semi-finalist Trophy.
He placed 13th out of over 240 entries in U.S. Extemp. Because he has not yet graduated from high school, he automatically qualifies to compete in U.S. Extemp at NFL Nationals next year!
Afterwards, we went out to lunch. The meal was delicious and we were able to eat outside in a shaded area.
We also celebrated our team members who advanced to out-rounds and received plaques:
Sophie Hill & Sachin Srivastava in Public Forum Debate
Dipal Nagda - Octofinalist in Original Oratory
Naomi Eisenberg - Octofinalist in Original Oratory
Jonathan Kirshenbaum - Octofinalist in Humorous Interp
Jonathan Kirshenbaum - Semifinalist in Poetry Reading
And then back to the hotel to change and . . . .
. . . to celebrate Naomi's 17th birthday!
Performing on stage in Finals was a great way to celebrate in the morning, but after lunch, we ate cake!
Then it was time to go back to the tournament site to watch some of the craziest Public Forum Debate we've ever seen! We had to wait for a little while to get in because things were running a bit late. While we waited, Tuleeka kept warm with a beautiful wrap. It was rather chilly in the convention center.
Finally, it was time for awards! The New England District managed to secure seats together (not an easy feat!). We sat with our friends from Natick HS, Shrewsbury HS, Needham HS, The Bancroft School, & Milton Academy and celebrated everyone's accomplishments during this long week of competition!
Naomi Eisenberg is awarded 4th place in Expository Speaking
Sean Lambert of Shrewsbury High School was recognized as one of six "NFL Students of the Year".
Newton South High School was awarded an NFL School of Excellence Award in Speech for placing in the top 20 of over 1000 schools entered from around the country.
Shrewsbury High School was awarded an NFL School of Excellence Award in Debate for placing in the top 20 of over 1000 schools entered from around the country.
After awards we went out to the Asian Rim Restaurant for a District Dinner. There were about 40 of us, coaches, parents and students, celebrating the end of an exhausting and wonderful week! New England is somewhat unique in it's camaraderie. Most districts around the country are ultra-competitive. We, on the other hand, rejoice in one another's successes and enjoy the company of our fellow New Englanders!
Competition in Speech Events has been at Hoover High School & Bumpus Middle School in Hoover, AL.
The speech competitors started the day with warm-ups at Hoover High School.
Competition began at 8:30 am and all of our students had two rounds this morning.
After that, we ate lunch and waited for breaks. New England had a great showing:
OO: Dipal Nagda (NSHS), Naomi Eisenberg (NSHS) and Harry Wood (Milton Academy)
US Extemp: Jasper Primack (NSHS)
HI: Jonathan Kirshenbaum (NSHS)
DI: Sean Lambert (Shrewsbury)
PFD: Sophie Hill & Sachin Srivastava (NSHS) & Alden Harris & Brendan Hastings (Shrewsbury)
Then it was time to go back to the hotel to change and to grab some dinner. We at at the "Flip Burger Boutique." They had a large variety of burgers and shakes which we all enjoyed!
After dinner, we were off to the McSwain Science Center for postings. At this point, many of our students dropped out of their main events. They will begin competition in supplemental events tomorrow morning.
Still in main events from New England:
OO: Harry Wood (Milton Academy)
US Extemp: Jasper Primack (NSHS)
Senate: Abhi Gupta (Shrewsbury) & Matt Kokkinos (A-B)
House: Nic Gerard (Shrewsbury)
PFD: Sophie Hill & Sachin Srivastava (NSHS), Alden Harris & Brendan Hastings (Shrewsbury)
Competition resumes tomorrow morning. More later.
We slept in this morning and then headed up to Birmingham. The first thing we noticed after getting off the highway is that the streets were almost deserted on Sunday at 11:30 am. It was hot and humid and a few people were sitting in the park, but all of the businesses were closed and there were very few cars on the road. We started with a brief visit to Kelly Ingram Park. On this site, many of the boycotts and protests were held here in 1963. There were many statues commemorating events such as the "Children's March" and other demonstrations held by black citizens during the Civil Rights Movement.
Then it was time for lunch! We ate at Mrs. B's on 4th, an authentic "Southern" restaurant. The Fried Chicken and the Banana pudding were big hits!
The highlight of our afternoon was our visit to the Civil Right's Institute. We watched a short film about the history of the City of Birmingham, Alabama and the context and events leading up to the Civil Rights movement. From their website: "The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute documents the struggle of African-American citizens in Birmingham to becoming full participants in the city's government and business community." We spent about two hours looking through the exhibits, watching videos, listening to music and reading about this tumultuous period of American history. It was extremely moving and informative. If you're ever in Birmingham, do not miss a visit to the CRI!
After our day in Birmingham, we returned to our hotel for a quick break, dinner and then an evening of practice in preparation for competition, which will begin tomorrow.
After flying to Atlanta, GA from Boston, we drove two and a half hours to Birmingham, Alabama. It was an uneventful trip. We arrived at the Drury Inn & Suites Hotel and were ready to begin our adventure.
First stop: Dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen nearby.
Here is the group of seven NSHS students who will be competing at Nationals in Speech & Debate next week.