Yesterday, my mom and I trekked to Long Island for a niche debate invitational. Our day started at seven in the morning, and by the time it finished at 9:30 pm, I was passed out in the back of the car. What I did not really think of, though, was that my mother, who had spent the whole day judging a wholly new debate style, never complained, stopped to rest, or focused the attention on anything besides my competitive needs. After all, she has morphed into a true “speech mom.” In three years, my mother has been an ever-present ally in my career, and for many of my competitors, I know the same is true. Our parents don’t always understand why we get up early on Saturdays for tournaments or what we spend hours prepping for, but they tirelessly invest money, energy, and patience into helping us grow as competitors and people.
To all the parents that judge, organize, and support forensics, I want to extend a teachspeech thank you to you. You are the brave academic warriors that make sure our students have a voice in and out of the classroom. You are the well-meaning nurturers who allow your children to compete and struggle in this activity and celebrate that first break and first place when all of their struggles pay off. You are the chauffeurs, the therapists, and the coaches that never get paid, but still continue to work. So, for all the thankless tasks that you’ve done to support your child, thank you. You have a place in this community, and forensics would not be even half the activity it is without you.