It’s all done now, we are sitting in an airport with weird signs ready to go home. This blog post is written in an attempt to give closure and not end with a blog post about food from George. As such it is mostly a series of random commentary about the final days of Worlds.
There is one particular sign next to us that rather bizarely seems to be attempting to console us with the claim that “There is an 87% chance that your next destination is sunnier than the Netherlands.”The sentiment is indeed appreciated even if the destination is London for now.
Penny is thinking about writing a David Foster Wallace style commentary about debating and taking the joke about The Hunger Games to its conclusion. During the tournament Worlds was repeatedly compared to The Hunger Games. And by repeatedly, we mean that before each round there was a slide that said ‘may the odds be forever in your favor’ etc etc. Who is president Snow? Who are we being oppressed by? Are we meant to be stopping Worlds, a humiliating ritual that makes kids fight each other but instead we enjoy it? Are we all president Snow by participating in the affair?
Best part of final days was two things. One, the incorporation of music into the announcements. Finalist teams even got to choose their own song to enter the stage with. Oxford A’s choice of the Imperial March was particularly fun. Then they announced the winners and top ten speakers to very good music as well such as “We are the champions” and “Final Countdown”.
Second, the keynote speaker who was a supreme court judge. He was excellent. None of the usual hyperbole about the importance of debating. He told us we speak too fast, we have too many unimportant ideas in our speeches and frankly he would rather not have debaters in his courtroom. At the end he said and I quote “As my son is involved in the organization I thought to myself, it would have been good to have a similar event organized 40 years ago when I was young but then I remember we were busy throwing stones at the policemen”. Translation? go do more important things with your youth than sitting in lecture theaters. He did tell us were smart though which is nice of him.
This blog will probably not be updated till Euros (bar a massive catastrophe) in the summer but thanks for reading.
-Xoxo George and Penny