Sunday, February 24, 2008

Such a trial

The intense preparation is over. The Dunwoody High School Mock Trial team competed in two rounds yesterday at the DeKalb County Courthouse. Weeks of practice, fine-tuning arguments, preparing for objections and procedural questions culminated in absolutely stellar performances.

As one of the prosecuting attorneys, A took the opening statement and cross-examined two witnesses. He looked good in the unaccustomed suit and managed not to tug at the collar during the competition.

Favorite personal competition moment: the defense objected to one of A's questions to the witness, that it was "hearsay." A paused, thought for a second, then quoted the appropriate rule verbatim that would allow the question. Even A's prosecution team looked at each other in pleased surprise. And the judge ruled in A's favor. See, our guy is so reserved and shy that his performance in mock trial is an ongoing lesson for me in not underestimating him.

Most "are you kidding me" moment: in Round 2, the defendent impeached herself loud and clear on a key prosecution fact. I wish I could plug in an audio track for the DHS attorney's "Okay, then." Because the intonation makes it really worthwhile. The jury would have definitely found for the prosecution (but that isn't the point of the competition.)

DHS didn't go on to the final competition, but their scores showed that it was very close. Just points away from the final round! That's amazing, considering the school had a two-year hiatus in its mock trial program. We fielded a raw team, who had to mesh personalities and talents in a very short period of time. But thanks to super attorney coaches Curt and Heather, and talented teacher coach Mr. Vincent, as well as the students' own exemplary efforts and natural talents . . . DHS rocked.

Of course I knitted quietly the entire time. Hey - it was a really, really long day. Quant flowed off the needles to the point that I started and nearly finished before the day was over. I used a leftover ball of Yarn Treehouse's Rhythm striated wool. The colors flowed really nicely.

Note: we inadvertently were originally sent to the Fulton County Courthouse. Cranky punch-the-clock security, who really didn't want to deal with the hordes of teens descending on their courthouse. With a timely correction, we all made it to the Dekalb County Courthouse. Super-friendly security, who made us feel very welcome while ensuring we all followed security procedures. Both security staffs made it clear they were there to protect the building and occupants. But Dekalb does it with class.

And now it's Sunday. We're headed for the respite of church and there's a glimmer of spring in the birds' songs outside the kitchen window.

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