Luckily for me there was a reason to come to school my junior year; debate. Our drama teacher restarted the long dead debate team that year and I was elated, you know, because I am a massive nerd? I had had always felt like my super powers were bull crapping and smartassery which are the twin daggers of ultimate victory for a debater. Clearly, based on that last metaphor, clear and concise imagery is not as vital to semi-amateur obfuscator. We received terribly outdated advice from our debate coach who was having us manufacture copious quantities of "evidence" which consisted of quotes from philosophers and other great thinkers. After we found a likely piece of drivel we were to write it on a 3x5 card with a header that we could read and retrieve easily in the heart of trivial verbal combat. I cannot remember any specific quotes but I do remember writing the heading, 'good and evil as emotive terms' - that's top shelf stuff, maybe private reserve. We didn't practice much in class and that was probably a good thing because our well indentioned coach was massively misguided as far as the current state of Lincoln Douglas debate was concerned. We went to our first tournament woefully under-prepared and no one but us had boxes of evidence, they just had prepared statements for the Pro and the against positions which had obviously been written by an adult in the know. I got creamed in my first round against a congested kid with adenoidal issues. I had had to speak first and I had never seen a debate round so I was just winging it, pathetically. After I plowed through my card driven speech which was evidently as painful for the judge as it was for me my opponent got up to ask me some questions with a condescending smirk in his voice. The first question he had was weather I had even ever done this before, I said no. He scored easy jerk points asking me questions about the "case(that is what they called their devil brief)" I so obviously didn't have. I wanted to smash him good but under the unified high school rules of debate smashing is strictly forbidden, had been for years. We muddled through his rebuttals and disemboweling of my argument from my accused evidence cards. We wrapped it up and he left confident in his victory. The judge, a girl a year out of high school, asked me to stay after for a second. She told me I lost and I told her I figured that much out but she said I was a much better speaker and debater then that kid and she hated his attitude so she gave me a perfect score on speaker points, a secondary tie breaking rating that follows the win loss decision. She took the next thirty minutes giving me a crash course in L-D debate and and more importantly explained the jargon and gave me a case to use for the rest of the tournament. She was a good girl to have hand me my first loss and she gave me her number and told me to call her if I needed more help. I didn't.