The Declaration of Excitement and Nerves

Regionals for my national government and politics competition is tomorrow, and it would be an understatement to say that I am not freaked out. I’ve forgone the butterflies-in-my-stomach stage and moved straight to the rampaging-elephants-in-my-stomach level. There’s this intense fear lingering inside of me that I am going to say something so horribly wrong that my group will do poorly, my school’s team will loose, and everyone will hate my stinkin’ guts.

Now, there isn’t anything that I would deliberately do to make this happen. I don’t plan on not showing up, shrieking and cursing in the middle of the of the presentation, or telling the judges that people trust the Supreme Court because the Justices are magical elves. But the terror of answering their questions still persists. I’m convinced that I’m going to say something so impossibly stupid that I’m going to be sent back to the first-grade and be forced to wear a dunce cap until the Rapture (May 21, 2011, guys. Better get ready.), the apocalypse, or until I die.

When we did in-class presentations and the in-house competition, I would become so over run by adrenaline that I can barely remember what happened. At the in-house competition, our presentation had to do with the president’s power as commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, because the judges were members of the community, and some of them did not know much about the subject, we got asked a lot of weird questions. I’m still trying to figure out why we were asked about how Monica Lewinsky distracted the nation’s attention from the then military activity. First, that has nothing to do with our question. Second, there wasn’t any substantial military activity then. Third, REALLY!?! I MEAN, REALLY!?! We were out of Bosnia, and the Gulf War was long over. Thank God, Doc was able to figure that one out and give a good answer.

When we’ve practiced questions with one another I’ve become convinced that I sound like a blathering idiot and have apologized profusely much to everyone’s annoyance. I’m still working on the whole not-apologizing-when-you-haven’t-exactly-done-anything-wrong thing. Here’s to hoping that tomorrow comes with more peace and grace than these past few day’s meetings.

But the anxiety hasn’t taken away my love for the competition. I adore my group. Last night, we ran around outside when the snow was just beginning to pour down. Chip wrote his name in the street by using some funny hopping and shuffling method; Cecelia made a snow angel; and all of us ran around throwing snow at each other. Because it was powder, you could take a running start and slide across the thin layer of snow on the street. However, it did not make for good packing snow. I spent a majority of the time cupping my hands the way I would if I was holding water and hoping that most of it would land on the person when I threw it in their direction.

Milky (who now wants to be called “Champ” in light of his recent impressive fencing victory) drove me home because he lives one block over. And let me tell you, the roads were scary, and Milky’s driving was quite impressive. The car had trouble turning, the brakes weren’t at their best, and the wheels would spin twice for every wheel-length travelled. I’ve never had to plan a route home based on the path of the least elevation before. But we didn’t die!

On a different, more whiney note, I’ve got two essays to write, critical essays to read, speeches to memorize, and facts to drill into my brain before I go to bed tonight. Good grief.