well...i'm back/not dead/all that jazz. it was a splendid weekend in bloomington/normal at the illinois state university mock trial tournament... my kids all did SO well--one of our teams took fourth, and one of them took fifth. we've still got a lot of stuff to improve on, of course, but things are happy for this point in the season. we haven't even stacked yet--that fun comes tonight, though...and by fun, i mean insanity.
i didn't get to see any of my teams in action, though...i ended up judging all four rounds at the tournament. second, third, and fourth rounds were okay...there were some really bad mockers in each of these rounds, and some decent-to-good mockers. two of the witnesses in the third round, UIUC B's trienen and Lewis B's girken, were absolutely amazing. the girken got a witness award...the trienen, sadly, did not although i thought he was even better. then again, the third round also included such gems as a kissner who spent her entire time on cross denying her previous shoulder injury (despite the fact that siegfried, who does not have millions of dollars to win in the case, would testify to the injury later), and a dehnert who said all of the following, in response to cross questions:
attorney: "you were fired from your job in december of 2003."
dehnert: "i HEARD i was fired..."
attorney: "other psychiatrists at the hospital disagreed with your medical opinions."
dehnert: "they probably did."
attorney: "you were offered a large retainer to testify today."
dehnert: "i was offered a large retainer, but i didn't take it."
both of those witnesses lost all credibility on cross examination.
first round, though, was a crime against mock trial. i refuse to describe it any other way. i had a siegfried, dressed like a ho (she's the second ho-siegfried i've seen all season, i don't know why teams feel it's necessary to dress their family doctor characters like crack whores!), yell at the attorney (who was just as bad with yelling at her back), talk after objections were made, and YELL AT ME although witness aren't supposed to talk to--much less yell at--judges. that same siegfried, also, had a choice comment during cross examination:
attorney: "you never saw kissner's shoulder injury affect his handicap, right?"
siegfried: "normal people couldn't see it. i'm his family doctor--i could see it! tony kissner was handicapped, he had a shoulder injury!!!"
in that round i also heard an attorney, the smuggest guy i've ever seen in my whole life, say some choice things. one of his kaplan cross questions was, "of course, you can't trust anyone who's been in a mental institution for the last three years, right?" then, in his closing, he kept telling me what i should be thinking. (NEVER tell the judge what to think, just tell the judge what you've proven and why.) he said, in his closing:
"i know what you're thinking. and, i know it's hard for you to stomach all that baloney."
that wasn't the WORST round i've ever seen (that crown still goes to the fourth round i judged at the jayhawk invitational three weeks ago), but it's a pretty close second.
okay...next on my plate, restacking my teams tonight. then work tomorrow, then i get to see my boyfriend on wednesday. thank goodness for thanksgiving break.