On Saturday I felt old and retrospectively stupid.
The semi-final debates were on the motion This House Believes That The IMF and World Bank Have Done More Harm Than Good. If I had had to take this on, when I was 17, with an hour to prepare, I would have curled up in a fetal position in the corner and cried for my mother. The teams I judged took it on bravely and far more competently than I would have done 5 years ago, and while I was able, in judge mode, to make many criticisms of their efforts, that really doesn’t detract from the fact that they’d have kicked my 17-year-old ass to Washington (is that where the IMF and WB headquarters are?) and back.
The seven-generational Raffles Debaters party (affectionately christened the Gangbang by Jolene) afterwards had the magnificent cacophony you would expect from an event where you put a lot of debaters in a room but don’t actually have rules of debating in place to control all of them. Party games included obscene charades where people had to act out stuff like Octopussy and Dr Strangelove (the guy doing this mimed wanking a very big dick, and someone guessed it just from that. Go figure), Polar Bear (too complicated to explain, but I am told all the young people play it these days) and Dance Dance Revolution.
As I said, old and retrospectively stupid. But in a good way.