Berkeley S&D 2007

It was the most fun tournament last year, and so far I think it’s the most fun this year: the California Invitational, a.k.a. Berkeley. Competitors from all over the west U.S. (out to about Utah Minnesota), all-varsity speech, all-varsity debate (at least for us, this year). As usual, the best parts weren’t the rounds themselves but the time in between…

Day 1

  • Christine’s car gets to CHS late, but Jin is even later. They get there about 5 minutes before the round starts. No one is late.
  • All topics were quotes. First set included sci-fi quotes (mostly Star Wars and Star Trek).
  • Sridhar and Richard already doing well, Edward and Kushal not so much. Richard got a bye on one round already. Everyone is using the same cases.
  • Jin has to catch up on 32 hours of sketching for art.
  • Watching Policy through the window.
  • On a poster for water conservation: “Take shorter showers, or spice up your social life and take one with a friend!”
  • Christine really wants to go to Jamba Juice but we had to wait for everyone to get back. Others get ice cream.
  • Gordon bought a shirt from the street seller guy (who was there last year too). “Ten Ways Dick Cheney Can Kill You”
  • Sridhar: *holds out fist* “Come on, Gordon!”
    Gordon: “Fine!” *punches fist*
    Sridhar: “Ow!”
  • Impromptu people don’t seem that good…do we have a chance? There are more DI (Dramatic Interpretation) people than Impromptu people, for once.
  • Kellie and Gordon finish off my goldfish. I stick to my grapes and a sandwich.
  • Melinda moment: all the little novi (Sridhar’s plural for “novice,” at least last year) are going to be juniors next year…Most of the time I’m just one of them, and they’re not even novices this year. Still…
  • Flora and Persia try to do readings with normal cards, while Kushal and Gordon play Big Two with another deck. Result: I will own a cat who will turn into Christine, while I merge with Gordon and dance around a stripper pole Richard is holding. Christine and Richard bud (remember Bio). Yes, we are a weird little group of people.
  • Speech people are done; we go out to dinner (down Telegraph so that Richard can go to his Flight B round after). We follow Richard, eventually deciding not to go wandering down “the ghettos” at night. Elaine, Da Seul, Kellie, Persia, Kellie’s mom, and me have dinner at a Korean restaurant (I liked it but Da Seul said it made her a bit sick; her mom cooks a lot). The others…keep wandering…
  • (from Flora’s perspective) We follow Richard to Fat Slice, which looks like a dump at first, so we leave. Then we go to this crepe place, but no one wants to eat there, so we leave. Christine sees Smart A+’s or something like that; we go in and stand around for a while. Richard is perverted. Then we leave. Finally we go to Subway, and Richard, Gordon, and I get something. When we get back Richard leaves for his round, the rest of us sit around for an hour waiting for Christine’s dad. Gordon and I (Flora) dominate the conversation on the way home, with Christine participating for a fair portion. We try to get a picture of Jin sleeping but it’s too dark.
  • Kellie’s carpool tells random somewhat embarassing stories while we almost get lost trying to get out of Berkeley.
  • After the speech people leave, Sridhar goes into a telephone booth. Edward and Kushal then block the door. Turns out the soundproofing is pretty good.

Day 2

  • In my car, we listen to songs from my messed-up iPod. Kellie liked it but Elaine couldn’t sleep.
  • Postings are already up but it’s early so we hang out with the debaters for a bit.
  • Edward and I are both coughing…and so are a lot of people in the tournament.
  • More new judges, more not-so-great Impromptu-ers. Other events so-so.
  • Bell Tower – like last year we had to go up. This time Kushal and Gordon climbed up on the bars and looked out, Kushal daring Gordon to take out his cell phone (he did). Kellie doesn’t like heights but goes anyway. Richard goes up on the bars too by the end (he and Kushal went yesterday as well). I guess it’s a tradition now; it’s only a dollar anyway.
  • Lunch: we go to the Fat Slice pizza place that we skipped yesterday. Flora and Kellie split a slice; Da Seul and Elaine are still hungry because they got smaller pieces. Gordon does not split a slice and is still hungry; he jacks one of Persia’s bagels.
  • Kellie does sketches while we sit outside and eat: a version of Jin that could in theory be Harry Potter, a version of Gordon that…just looked weird, and an odd geisha-type person (see the caption in the photos section).
  • Back to our rounds. In my round there was a girl from L.A. and her friend, self-described “Valley Girls”…and it showed. The judge was from Utah and his friend was there as timekeeper. We (mostly they) had a weird conversation for the 50 minutes or so in which we waited for people.
  • (out of chronological order, but…) Flora brought her Tarot cards today, we started with major arcana but moved to the full deck later. We decided that if two people shuffled the deck it applied to their relationship…and we almost got Edward and Jin to shuffle (they refused the whole time). Gordon was “The Tower” (Eye of Sauron), Kellie was “The Emperor”, Jin was “Art” (he didn’t do a reading but he came up in other people’s…mainly Flora’s), Richard’s said his next round was going to make him arrogant (it did), Sridhar’s said he was unstable and would do drugs in college, and I…well, my goal was “The Universe” (described by Flora as “a naked chick holding something”), my personal card was “Lust”, my environmental influence was “The Lovers,” and the final result was “The Star”. My conclusion? I’m going to become a male stripper. Hmmm….
  • During the last debate round, we went to go get more snacks (ice cream and Mrs. Fields). Sridhar stayed behind talking to a monk (a white Buddhist monk), eventually buying his book. “There goes the video game.”
  • The idea of the “Berkeley joke” has been going around…basically any joke that has to do with Berkeley’s crime rate or its liberalism.
  • More readings: “First three things you see” and “First person you think of.”
    Sridhar: “OK, so the first thing I thought was ‘your mom.’ What does that mean?”
    Me: “You’re more interested in disproving my fortune telling than actually getting an answer.”
  • Persia feels sick. :-/
  • Larry shows up, the guy who graduated last year and is now at UC Berkeley. I don’t think he’s changed that much.
  • Pay phone prank: did you know that the Berkeley pay phones have numbers printed on them? I called the one next to our group, Edward picked up. “Christine, it’s for you.” “???”
  • Sridhar told a very nasty joke that I wouldn’t repeat even if my dad didn’t read this blog. It took some people while to get it in its entirety. Then he went to go tell another school (I don’t think he actually did). Persia was in her round; she hasn’t heard it yet.
  • I actually said “hyphen-underscore-hyphen” out loud, after making the face.
  • Rides got way messed up because Kellie and Elaine had gone home early…if one more person had left early we would have been able to take one less car.
  • In the end it was me, Persia, Edward, and Flora who stayed late because I really wanted dinner and none of them really wanted to go home.
  • Edward: “If we get lost, it’s not my fault!”
    We went down into the main area of Berkeley to find this really good Chinese restaurant I went to with my parents before…but it was closed. We wandered around a bit and I feel a bit bad but it still would have taken Edward’s dad an hour to get there.
  • Finally we went in to this vegetarian Chinese restaurant. It was odd but not so bad…except at the very end I ate too much (partially because Flora put extra food on my plate…) and threw up a bit. Bleah. I think that was early signs of the cold or whatever I have now. Thanks to the three of them though for going to eat with me…I was really hungry.
  • Remember yesterday’s Melinda moment? Today I had a worse one when Edward mentioned he was 14. That’s the same age as my brother.
  • Last fortune-telling with fortune cookies, except they had the darn proverbs instead. Edward tried to eat the whole cookie (and the paper) in one bite so we couldn’t see it.
  • We stood outside Berkeley on the entrance half-circle and waited for a while, making prank calls and just talking. “Hey Gordon,” “Hey Gordon,” “Hi sweetheart,” “Hiya Gordon!”
  • Ride home: we’re all tired, and Persia starts calling everyone by Japanese-ish names. We tell more jokes. “I cannot tell you, for you are not yet a monk.”