All posts tagged debate

Debate, College, and Road Trip Music

Published April 16, 2014 by Britt

I’ve been busy the past few weeks doing various different things. Starting out with debate and zombie army crawling towards Spring Break. But now I’m doing the Spring Break thing and I’m super duper happy.

Debate is a really odd thing, especially my style of debate, Student Congress. It’s similar to Model UN only much more AMURIKA and serious. Odd things happen in the chamber. People act like actual politicians and it can get actually pretty scary. But then there are some people who make for interesting stories.For example, I was at regionals and someone goes up to give a speech. This guy (We’ll call him Reek because he got on my entire team’s nerves and it rhymes with sneak… cookie for reference) went up and gave a decent speech, then took out a pocket version of the Constitution of the United States of America. Yes, the We the People one. He reads a section from it and ties it into getting rid of tobacco subsidies being unconstitutional then THROWS IT ON THE GROUND. Literally. Not dropping it.

Like this.

Now, we do the whole congressional oath of office thing at the beginning of the tournament, including swearing to protect and defend the Constitution, and I think throwing it may be a violation of that. Somehow.

We tried to disqualify the speech and label the book as a prop (which we were pretty sure you can’t have), but the speech was included later on because apparently the prop rule was in the rule book… two years ago. So the director gave them benefit of the doubt and kept the speech, and Reek won the tournament, much to my team’s distaste.

Funny side note: One of my teammates is in theatre, so she taught us some vocal warmups they do in theatre and we were doing them in a circle. A girl we know came over and thought we were talking strategy but then she heard us chanting about mixed biscuits and became concerned and confused.

So once that exhausting tournament was over, spring break came down upon me like a gift from the gods of the universe and Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Yes, I’ve been watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey and it is magical).

Spring Break means vacation time, and vacation time means college touring.  It was while I was college touring that I have found the college of my dreams.

College is a weird thing. College is like a wedding dress. You have to try on a few before you find The One and it’s super expensive.

Randy and the other lady were my parents. I’m in the dress. Mel and Munchkin are on the couch.

My parents and I have pretty much been on the same page of the college thing. I made my expectations fairly clear to them, and they seem to have gotten it. They’ve been pretty okay with it too. So they took me college touring on this fine spring break, and we went up to Gettysburg College.

We pulled into town and I was in love.

We pulled into the parking lot and I was truly in love.

By the time we finished the tour, I was ready to pack my stuff and move in.

Gettysburg is a magical place filled with quaint historical houses, ghosts, and you probably are breathing the same air Lincoln breathed when he gave the Gettysburg Address. It’s a bit of a tourist area, but it has more local restaurants than chains. I mean I saw the chains, I ate at a Friendly’s and got Starbucks plus saw the fast food chains and a Domino’s, but it’s CHARMING. There was one restaurant we ate at that was in the tavern area of the oldest building in Gettysburg called the Dobbin House and it felt like I was eating in a tavern, complete with somewhat dim lighting and candles. The food was delicious and it was my favorite restaurant that we ate at.

The college itself has gorgeous buildings on a well maintained landscape, nearly in the heart of the historic area of Gettysburg,  and is a bit larger than my high school. It has the traditional feel of William and Mary but there’s less of a pressured vibe to it and it’s not like other schools in its own weird way. It’s scholarly, but it’s not intimidating, and it’s interesting. I felt like I would fit in perfectly there, and I would never want to come back home. I’m sure I will, but I love that college so much it’s a problem. The library is wonderful, the on-campus housing is beautiful, and I love everything and everyone. Mom and Dad really liked it too, and was happy that I was happy. I really couldn’t put it into strong enough words at the time so the best I could do was emit high pitched squealing.

While we were there, that stupid cold front that dumped snow on Watson while she was looking at Notre Dame blew through while we were tramping about on the Gettysburg battlefield. It was muddy, it was cold, it was rainy, and that probably muddled my concentration on remembering the battle, but it was still really amazing. It’s a huge battlefield, and we only saw a few of the monuments. We tried to find where Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address (which my mom was surprised was only a few minutes) but the only sign we found about it said that it was “nearby.” Eventually we gave up because it was cold and rainy and went to get hot chocolate from Starbucks.

Today we went to Chocolate World in Hershey and made our own chocolate bars while wearing sexy hairnets. And then we drove home for most of the day.

Road trips aren’t a bad thing, right? And then you get caught in D.C. traffic. So you turn up the radio to distract yourself from the annoyances. This wouldn’t be so bad if you hadn’t spent most of the trip listening to music from the 70s-2010s. I like that music, but it gets less nostalgic overtime. And I would want to go back to the modern pop hits because my parents don’t like my indie rock jams, but dear god can radio stations overplay songs. So can society.

Let’s do a case study.

“Happy” by Pharrell was originally written for the movie Despicable Me 2. It’s a positive and upbeat tune that doesn’t discuss drugs, sex, alcohol, violence, etc. because it was originally intended for a children’s movie. It’s also been nominated for an Oscar for best song, but lost to Frozen‘s “Let It Go.” By now, if you haven’t heard this song, you’re living under a rock and I would like to join you.

Now, I like the song. It’s a good song, it’s refreshing. The video features normal people doing a happy dance and it’s cute. The only thing I dislike about it is Pharrell’s ridiculous hat.

I don’t get it! What is he, a mountie?! Why is this a thing?!

But then it comes on so much you can’t escape it. And then your school does a video with the teachers dancing to it. And they play that song in the hallways. And project the video during lunch. On loop. For thirty minutes. The video was cute. But then I grew increasingly UNHappy. My taste for being happy was soured by a bad case of Overplayitis. And that’s sad.

Of course I tried to change the channel a lot, but I was trapped in the back seat, so my arms didn’t extend that far. I also had earbuds and freshly loaded CDs on my phone, but phones die eventually.

The music industry is weird nowadays. I don’t like how they’ve allowed so much screaming of sex and drugs to be played so often, and they’ve let autotune rule everything. Then they spoil a perfectly good song and then it all goes back downhill from there. I really liked “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons, and “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. And then they beat it until it was beyond dead. “Happy” will be the same way. And looping songs like this made for a bad road trip.

I’m just glad to be out of the car. I don’t know how I got to this. It made more sense in my head, but it’s late and I’m tired. We’ll go with it.


The Tragedy of Brittany: What I’ve Been Doing That Isn’t Blogging.

Published November 5, 2013 by Britt

Am I secretly turning into Hyperbole and a Half with strange content and infrequent posting? Maybe.

I guess I’m back for now. Before I disappear on a long hiatus again (watch it happen. Watch. It. Happen.), let me just tell you what I’ve been doing.

  • Reading

Yeah, I don’t know if you’ve looked at my One Year Book Challenge page, where I’ve been challenging myself to read as many books as I can in a year, but that deadline is coming up. I’ve gotten way more into reading recently in an attempt to cram last minute. I’ve done a somewhat decent job, but I don’t know how I can cram 10 books into 8 days unless I read two a night or something. After that deadline, I’m going to take a short break and restart it on January 1, 2014, with a few different rules. I’m only going to count books I own or read in school, which means no library books. The reason is I own over 200 books and a decent chunk of them I have yet to read. Mainly because I keep buying more. But whatever. I may also try to keep them in alphabetical order by author, but I probably won’t because I have books in the Ps and Rs and I’m impatient. What I also might do is include some friends and make it more of a competition. Maybe organize it into a Facebook group or something and use the same rules, except the people I do it with don’t have Facebook.

Also, I know I haven’t been posting reviews because I’m a dumb and I’ve been reading books faster than I can review them. I’m sorry. I may do a roundup post and do short reviews of the books I’ve read that weren’t reviewed. Although, by now there may be details I forget. I don’t know. I’ll try.

Speaking of Facebook…

  • Social Networking

Ugh, I have a problem. I’m a little bit of a social networking addict. I will contentedly scroll down Facebook and Tumblr for hours, and I will happily watch several Youtube videos. Today, while at Barnes and Noble, I reluctantly gave in and made myself an Instagram. It’s a case where “If I care about you, you will receive follow. Otherwise, you follow me.” Following people means following 8 people and letting the rest come to me. I already have two followers… both of whom I know. I know, my life has hit a new low.

  • Driving

Hehe… driving… Yeah, about that…

So there I was, driving home from the grocery store with Mom. It’s around 6pm at night, and I’m on a busy road that I have to take to get into my neighborhood. It’s a right turn to get in from the direction I’m going in. I slow down (not enough) and I take the turn (not wide enough) and all of a sudden I feel a huge jolt. I slam the brakes, put the car in park, and put the hazards on before I started crying and freaking out. Mom, being sane, got out of the car to look at the front wheel only to discover it was blown.

Mom calls Dad and makes him come get us. We transfer groceries to his car then Mom drives it home, leaving my dad and me to change the tires. This proves to be a challenge, since I lack upper body strength. It took me 5ever to get the donut out of the trunk, I had to have Dad at least start the lugnuts, and I had trouble getting the messed up tire back in the trunk. I at least know how to change a tire, I also know that I need a AAA membership.

  • Discussing politics… probably better than most politicians.

Happy Election Day, I get off from school because they use schools as polling locations so it’s probably not  a good idea to have adult strangers wandering around with elementary school children. It’s been a super tight race here in Virginia because both candidates suck. I’m just hoping for McCauliffe because Cuccinelli is an idiot. He came to my school once as a keynote speaker and he gave a speech about prostitution that put the principal to sleep. I also generally dislike conservative ideals because I think progress is far more important, and they’re kind of holding us back. Maybe I’ll do a post on that later.

But, on a more personal note, I’ve been working on debate things. I have an invitational coming up and I just took second place in a local tournament.

So shiny. It matches my “head b*tch in charge” red lipstick. That’s been my official title for Student Congress. The guy who took first is my “Co-head-vice-head b*tch in charge” and he has been accepting of it. He’s like a cross between Bill Clinton and Obama with a dash of Republican ideals. Mom wants me to date him. I don’t think it’s going to work out between us. Reason I have this title is because I’ve been handling the new people and teaching them the ropes.

At the local tournament, someone suggested that we take an oil rig in the Chesapeake Bay, paint it, and make it a tourist attraction. I couldn’t say anything because I was presiding officer, but what made it sweeter was the fact he was a bully to me in middle school so I got to wipe the floor with him. (: It was sweet revenge. Mom was judging, and she suggested that I compliment him and say he’s doing well. I did so. You know what his response was?

Not a “thank you.”

Not much of an acknowledgement.

But. A. SHRUG. Ugh. People sometimes.

I’ll probably post a thing from the invitational.

Other than that, there’s not much else. I’ve been sleeping because I’d rather nap than face any of my problems. Wearing my red lipstick and looking hot because I don’t go outside. Being civilly disobedient and going trick-or-treating to give our exchange student the full Halloween experience despite (stupid) city ordinances. Buying books.

Yup, that’s just about it.

Days of the Week: A Rundown of Why I’m Tired

Published September 13, 2013 by Britt

Okay, this is going to cover a lot of things that have happened the past few days. Bear with me, they aren’t quite that related. We’ll take it on a day-by-day basis.


Tuesday was the day for theatre auditions. The play we’re doing is Night of the Living Dead. Zombies. Yep, zombies. Spoiler alert: Everyone dies. I came to the auditions feeling excited but nervous. My first reading was of a doctor, and it didn’t go very well. I felt nervous and I don’t think my voice was loud enough. But we were allowed to do second readings, and based off of what I saw, I picked a scene and did the second reading of it.

We did zombie improvs next, which was interesting because we performed somewhat everyday tasks (At least stuff you know how to do, like play tennis) like a zombie would. That was really fun, despite me smacking myself in the face. Kind of a lot, to be honest.

Afterward was the second reading. I was Barbara, and I did the funny scene with her brother who trips and falls, bashes his head on a headstone, and dies. This one was way, way, way better, and I felt confident I’d get at least a part. Not necessarily a part I auditioned for (someone else auditioned and was 9001x better. She ended up getting it.), but a part.

I ended up not getting anything. Not even a lineless zombie. My friend that I auditioned with didn’t get anything either, but her boyfriend did. I’ll still try to help out with the show by doing work calls, since Avenger Jordan is directing it, but it still was disappointing. My friend (can’t think of an appropriate nickname for her… Oh! Shoelace!) and I are coping by saying we were too beautiful to die such horrible and graphic deaths. Hey, if it works, it works.


Get off the road, people! I’m taking Behind the Wheel! My teacher is a crazy lady in a mumu. It’s pretty funny. My partner is a guy I know, we don’t talk much but he’s pretty nice. He’s got a really loud laugh.  I really like the teacher, more than I had thought. She bought us cookies today because we’re the good kids. It’s surprising because we’re both very weird, can get very loud, but it’s pretty quiet when we’re driving.

But this teacher is incredibly hard to find. Every time I go looking for her in her closet/office, I don’t find her. I had to shove my form in the door to turn it into her. But I got it, and we were told to start Wednesday after school, every other A-day. That was a problem, because debate was that afternoon. I tried to reschedule it to Thursday instead, but she glared at me and said “When would you like your license?” so I quickly agreed.

Which meant I had to tell my debate coach. He wasn’t pleased, and insisted I bring him a note. So I brought him a note. Now I’m one of few that does what they’re told. I ended being back before the buses, so I got the information I needed later. I’m actually a halfway decent driver. Better than I could be.

I drove on a major road today, and I was pretty proud of myself since I didn’t crash. I still need to relax. It’s pretty great.


Extra, Extra! Journalism! I got my beat assignment for the back to school edition of the newspaper, which was to interview new teachers. Except there are 14 of them, including a guidance counselor. My partner and I agreed to cover seven each. In one day. I have no study block. I was supposed to meet with the counselor today (I actually went and talked to her this morning), but I never got pulled out of class for the interview. I got one covered today, my Oratory and Debate teacher. It was an interesting interview that I should have enough material for her, but I have no idea how to cover the last few, especially since the interviews are due Monday morning. Ugh.

Mel taught me Turkish swear words. I love it. I can say things and my parents won’t know. I also spent a crap ton of hours doing homework, including working on a project assigned on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Who does that?! And flash cards, no less?! 71 of them! SEVENTY. ONE. UGH.

Also, Dad’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dad.


Ugggghhhh it’s nine days into the school year and I need a vacation. I’m tired and want to die already. Wake me up when September ends. I’ve been neglecting my Tumblr, so my queues need to be restocked.

We went to my sister’s gymnastics class and the crazy HOA lady rescheduled her strange daughter’s gymnastics class to hang out with her only friend: my sister. Mom can’t stand the woman, and therefore she was incredibly irritated to see her there. Every Friday now. Poor Mom. We made jokes on our phones. One of our neighbors called her Grimace.

I went to Dave and Busters for Dad’s birthday and won a bunch of candy with Mel. Candy party tonight. Also, really good food. They had these yummy potato poppers that they put with spicy ketchup. Good stuff.  I also had behind the wheel today and now I’m super tired. I need sugar, especially since I’m babysitting tomorrow. Party hard.


P.S. I still have a ton of books to review… I’m behind on that. Sorry guys. ): It may be a stream of them coming within the next several days. I’ll probably make up some kind of queue for them. If I can figure out if WordPress can do that kind of thing.

Well, time to go repaint my finger nails then try writing some more blog posts and knock out some of these reviews. Party on, Wayne!

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