Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Confidence vs. Arrogance


Wheeeeeeee!! All I've been doing for the last two hours is blogging. In my pyjamas. In a clean room. On a clean bed. Not worrying about homework. This. Is. The. Life.

Ok fine, this is procrastinating. But I've been telling myself that I deserve/need it because my sleep schedule has been so messed up because of speech and debate. It's a slow and steady recovery, and at least blogging is somewhat productive.

Sunday was League II speech. I was entered in expos. I had just finished the final draft of my speech on the Wednesday before (Jan. 7) and had worked on the posters and memorization Thursday through Saturday. Essentially, I finished the whole thing in four days, which is absolutely ridiculous. On Saturday I had a coaching with Sandra*. It was a trainwreck, but that was expected. My first expos coachings had always been with her, and they had all been trainwrecks. But she wasn't in a good mood and went to talk to Mrs. Dasher* and I thought, "Oh god, I am fosho going to be dropped." Luckily, I wasn't, but I had some serious work to do. I went home, plunked down, and worked like a madwoman (I essentially am on on the daily, but even more so when I'm focused).

On Sunday, I woke up at five. I was aching all over from being hunched over on the ground working on posters, and I was terrified of messing up at the tournament. But all of a sudden, something changed. I stared at the ceiling and said to myself, "You worked hard for this. You wrote the speech. You memorized it. You made the posters. You did this all in four days. That is incredible. You can do this," and more, essentially giving myself a fifteen minute pep talk. I also listened to Britney Spear's "Work Bitch" which was strangely motivating. You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch!

In extemp, it is necessary to be arrogant. Arrogance is thinking that you are better than everyone else.
You do have to believe that you are better than everyone else, because it's a solitary event, so doing so helps keep your morale up and confidence high. But arrogance is nothing without a strong foundation of confidence. Neither is necessarily a bad thing, but different situations require different outlooks.

The rest of the morning was a blur as I got ready and carpooled to the tournament. I tried going over my speech in the car and at the tournament, but I felt at ease. Confidence is a state of being in which you know you can do it. You worked for it. You put in the effort. Why wouldn't you be prepared? You are sure in your own abilities. That is confidence.

I started out shaky. A poster was out of order, so in my first round, I skipped an entire paragraph. No worries, change it around and do better next round. Next round however, the prop attached to the previous poster was gone, so I didn't use it. No worries, fix it. The third round, everything went well.

I actually didn't find out myself that I had broken. Another freshman told me. It felt like a dream. After all, even though I'm a senior, that was only my second time breaking at a League tournament.

I went 4-1-2-446, and I couldn't be happier. Though I didn't get a wildcard, I did place a respectable tenth place, and didn't rank dead last in my final round. I know I spoke the best that I could, and there wasn't anything else at the time that I could have done better. I was up against some of the very best, people who had been preparing for months. I did just as well, if not better, than half the people in that round, with four days of intense work. If that's possible, anything else is too.

The wildcards were also based on which round one ended up in for double-finals. The seventh place card (from Leland) had the same prelims ranks as me, but since she was in the (unanimously declared) easier round, she had higher rankings compared to everyone else in her round. That could have been me, but that wasn't, and I'm not mad about it. I just have to work harder so I am number one no matter what. And I know what to do. ◊

*name changed

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