Not Quite An After-Party

As predicted a while ago, the advocacy competition which finished yesterday kept me fiendishly busy.

The short account of things is that we got to the finals, where we lost, but won prizes for best team in the general rounds, best memorial, and I won for best speaker in the finals.

A long account of things, however, will be difficult, since writing about the final here in any amount of detail might be risking defamation suits. It would also make me look like a sore loser, which I am not. I congratulated the winning team with all sincerity. They were a good team, and nice people. I would have been fine with losing to them on an equal playing field, but (through no fault of theirs) that was not the case.

It isn’t really worth writing much more about the final, because it will sound unbelievable to anyone who wasn’t actually there to see it for themselves. All I’ll say is that if it had been a real arbitration proceeding, our team would have had grounds to appeal against the award. I have lost considerable respect for two prominent professionals involved in the final, and if I ever meet them again, I will be hard-pressed to be civil.

At times like this I suppose one is meant to focus on the good things:

  • My wonderful teammates, who did everything I hated (practical stuff like photocopying bundles of authorities) so I could concentrate on everything I loved (the actual advocacy), and kept me supplied with Coke.
  • My co-speaker, who never thought he’d deserved to be chosen to speak, but was so excellent in the finals that I hoped against hope that he’d kept our chance of winning alive.
  • Our amazing coach, who, unlike previous coaches I have had, helped me develop and refine my abilities instead of stifling me with overdirection. I became a much better advocate because of her than I had been before. (And in my not-so-humble opinion, I was pretty damn good before.)
  • Over the course of the competition, certain compliments I received from people (who had no reason to exaggerate or be anything but honest) staggered even egotistical me so much that I’m not actually going to repeat them here.

At any time over the past 5 months, if you had asked me if this damn competition was actually worth it, I would have given a resounding no. Sitting here today, despite what happened in the finals, for the first time ever I’m considering a yes.


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