There were 6 speech (and 2 debate) rounds today. I judged all 6. Mostly it was interpretation, but I also judge on round of impromptu. You may recall, if you've been following this blog long enough, that I've tied Groundhog Day to impromptu quotations before...

Here, here, here & here and here & here, and here & here.

Today's round was run differently than those previous ones--I won't bore you with the details, but it only had one quotation and competitors came in one at a time. So, this should be easy.

The quotation was:

"If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent could ever get done." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

First of all, it was sad how competitors butchered Wittgenstein's name. Second of all, the interpretation is simple--

But, I neglected to mention some recent... developments (though that seems like an inappropriate word for some of what I am about to mention) at the Groundhog Day Project.

1. As I mentioned yesterday, the iPod copy of Groundhog Day seems to have been inadvertently removed the last time I updated its contents. I will fix that when I am back home in a few days. Tonight I have borrowed the laptop of Diego, one of the students I brought to this tournament, so I have the movie playing as I am typing so I will not have to stay up as late as last night.

2. Frankie, a competitor from another school who I met at the tournament in Utah back in January--he was introduced to the Groundhog Day Project when I had the movie playing on my iPad as I was leaving the restroom--saw me today and asked if I was still at it, and what day was I on. I gave him one of my cards so he can check out the blog finally.

3. Actually, I'm not sure if there was a #3

4. Since Pablo wanted to get mentioned again, I should relate how the viewing of Groundhog Day went two days ago. On the flight from Dallas to Detroit, I got out my iPad to watch the movie and I mentioned to Pablo that I had an earphone splitter. So, he dropped what he was going to do to watch the movie. Turned out, though, that my splitter doesn't work too well, my earphones were broken, and so were his. So, first we had both of our earphones plugged in and we could barely hear anything from the movie. Then, I unplugged mine--I have the dialogue memorized anyway--and removed the splitter from the equation. But his earphones weren't working too well either. Subtitles were on, fortunately. And, I was reciting all the lines, mostly to myself. It was an interesting take on watching the movie. So often, I hear the movie more attentively than I see it because I'll be writing the day's blog entry. This time, it was all visuals--sort of Benesh-ish, I guess, since she watched it twice with the sound off in the process of coming to her list of notable visuals.

But anyway, the silly things quotation is almost too easy to apply to Groundhog Day, or vice versa. For Phil, it's literal. He does silly things before he can do intelligent things. He's got his adolescent/hedonist stage, with the robbery and the Phil Connoring of Nancy Taylor, the costumed date with Laraine. He's got his shallow, manipulative pursuit of Rita Hanson. And, only after that pursuit fails does he, arguably, give up the silly things. I say arguably because it might be fair to call his suicides "silly." Then comes the intelligent things, his reading, his pursuit of music, of helping people--his betterment of self.

And, I remembered what #3 should have been. We ate dinner at Applebee's last night. That isn't it; there's more. So, while we're looking over our menus, I overhear a waiter at the table next to ours say--and I only caught the tale end so I have no idea how it got to this: "...the Groundhog, but he hasn't seen his shadow yet." a) As I said, I don't know what brought that up. b) It's factually incorrect. Groundhog Day was 2 1/2 months ago and Punxsutawney Phil, Woodstock Willie and others did see their shadows...

Well, let's be honest, those groundhogs may have seen nothing at all. But their handlers claimed they saw their shadows. I mean, all those groundhogs except for Phil and Willie. Phil is immortal and does not lie. And Willie--he's the descendant of Scooter who was in Groundhog Day, he's a legacy groundhog. I think we can trust him.

5. I mentioned that Benesh messaged me back. I won't quote the messages (not without permission, and I haven't asked for that) but I will mention that she has read at least two of the latest entries dealing with her dissertation. I warned her that I was nitpicky, critical, argumentative and sometimes rude. She didn't seem to bothered by the first one she read, i.e. the last entry about her dissertation, but that one was particularly nice, I think. She should read the one about lines and spheres, maybe.

Is that one of my silly things or one of my intelligent things? Openly disputing what someone has written and then getting her attention, I mean.

Today's reason to repeat a day forever: not to be horribly specific--to not have my feet hurt. Right now they do. Apparently, my boots are on their last legs and are not doing well for my feet with all the walking to and from rounds. So, if, say, today were to repeat, I would go buy some new shoes first thing.


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