Every year the city hosts speech and recitation contests for the middle school students. This is open to anyone, but there aren’t generally more than just a couple from each school. There is first a district competition, and those that place in the top two spots for each contest will go on to the citywide contest. Last year I had one of my two speech entrants make it to the next level (Miyaki Asuka), which was great. This year, Kubo Narisa would be giving it a go, though in the recitation category. The two events are basically the same, though length and expected degree of characterization varies between the two categories. I was happy to embrace a shorter speech. Narisa is probably the best English student among the 2nd year students, and has a good attitude. So, after school most days we would practice for about a half hour. This generally consisted of working to maker her intonation fluctuations and accent sound as natural as possible. Sometimes it can be hard to to explain things, there being a language gap and advice needing to be rather technical. We could usually make things works though.
On the day of the contest, I got there and we did some last minute practice. She was the very first person to go which I think can be a bit nerving. It’s also a tough spot from a judging standpoint. I was then also tasked with sitting there for a very long time, with nothing to look forward to as I waited for it to wrap up. Fast forward about 2 hours, realize there is more to go, and then jump ahead some more. Finally, we arrive at the judgment. Narisa didn’t have to pause and think or anything, but I would agree with the judges that she wasn’t a champion that time. I’m sure she will try again next year, so I’ll be rooting for her then.
This was her speech, which I recorded at the School Culture Festival