Home > Teddy Bear Diary > [October, 1993] Oral Interpretation

[October, 1993] Oral Interpretation

"We're #4! We're #4!"

Saturday, October 30, 1993

Dear Journal,

Before I write anything else, I must mention that tomorrow Larry Mullen Jnr. is turning 32! Happy Birthday Larry!!!! I don’t know if I mentioned this before but I really want to go to Ireland. The only thing is I have to go in at least a couple of years, ideally after college. At 22 I would be old enough to go to bars (which is where I’m going to meet Larry, God willing) and I would be young and independent.

I joined the speech team about a month ago. I am doing Oral Interpretation which is when you read a prose and poetry piece. My poetry is Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf/The Three Little Pigs by Roald Dahl and my prose is part of The Princess Bride. Today was my first tournament. I only performed my poetry. There were about 65 people competing and the top 8 Junior Varsity (9 & 10th graders) and the Top 8 Varsity (11th & 12th graders) went on to the Finals. I actually made it to the Finals! In my first tournament! Then, out of those 8, I came in fourth! And I ACTUALLY GOT A TROPHY! My first trophy!  I am so happy. It is one of those trophies with the winged women on top of it. Just the kind I always wanted. I feel like I finally found my niche. This is something I enjoy doing and I guess I’m pretty good at it.

I don’t like Elliot anymore. I made myself stop liking him. I am not completely sure why but mostly because I never talk to him.

Pretty good reason to stop liking someone, I’d say. It’s difficult to have any reasonable courtship when no words are exchanged. Besides, I had it all mapped out with Larry Mullen and only needed to wait it out six more years before I’d be on my way to being Mrs. U2 Drummer.

Thank heavens for the speech team, which was able to pry my attention away from U2 and boys for a little while. For those unfamiliar with Speech, it is a subset of Forensics along with Debate. I don’t remember how I ended up on the Speech Team, but it probably involved a teacher scouting me after hearing me read something aloud in class. In elementary school I participated in storytelling competitions, so it was a natural progression to  pursue this particular extracurricular (hey, that rhymes!) in high school. While “Oral Interpretation” may have naughty connotations, it simply referred to reading a passage of poetry/prose for 6-10 minutes in an engaging way, but not too over-the-top that it veered into Dramatic Interpretation territory. I’m sure nobody will be surprised when I confess I did a lot of veering (though I never believed myself to be a good enough actress to go full-on Dramatic).

Winning the trophy meant a lot to me because it was the first noteworthy thing I had really done since being accepted to Hunter that did not involve questionable fashion statements. For a while, I felt like the dumb smart kid, like I made it in just under the wire and had to struggle for an A- average (I didn’t have the discipline and work ethic to go for the full A). Attending Hunter was sometimes like being in a prison (our school was even nicknamed the “Brick Prison,” partly for its lack of windows), one that was extremely competitive and ostracizing to me. After years of not measuring up in this academic setting, being rewarded and having a sense of new-found belonging felt nothing short of miraculous. It made me believe high school might not be so bad after all.

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  1. Liz
    November 5, 2010 at 7:00 am

    I remember when you won the trophy. I think I joined the Speech Team shortly afterward, because it was run by the same people I knew from Hunter Improv. I only went to one or two meets because they were never someplace easy to get to…I know that one was in Staten Island, and I got a ride there with my friend Meghan from the neighborhood, who was on the Stuy speech team. Neither she nor I ever won anything. 😉

    • Liz
      November 5, 2010 at 7:01 am

      (I mean, I wasn’t there when you won the trophy but I remember being impressed when I heard about it!)

      • November 5, 2010 at 9:32 am

        Aw, thanks! Speech team was a blast, especially since our advisor was never around, so we pretty much got to do our own thing. I remember we even had t-shirts printed up that said “The Autonomous Speech Team.”

        Did you also do oral interp?

  2. November 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Actually, this was exactly what I thought of when I heard “oral interpretation.” Thanks, Emerson College!

    • November 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Did Emerson have a speech team? I never knew that!

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