It never feels good when you let yourself down, but it always feels worse when you let someone else down. Such is the case during the state debate tournament last week, when my students came in third overall. The disappointment was rampant and I felt so terrible because I felt like I could have done more to help them win. However, this did provide a very good life lesson, one much needed for both the students and myself.
Although these such tournaments encounter variable judging quite often, as well as long hours, and some less-than-peppy coaches, the students usually do pretty well. However, there were a few more obstacles to overcome at this tournament, including favoritism, even longer hours, and a coach (that would be me) breaking down over the variable judging. It seemed to get the best of me, and my students. Well here is where the good life lesson comes in: do not let these little things get to you. Although judges making you lose because they dislike your school, or things running late because there is a lack of judges, these are things that sometimes come with the territory of high school debate, and truth be told there is not much that can be done about it. Such is the way the cards are dealt, and this is something both my students and I had to learn.