Bo did a really nice job of describing the Saturday rounds. There are a couple thoughts I had related to the competition which I thought I’d add. The panel of judges we had in the final round was pretty impressive. There were six judges (three English and three Afrikaan) who liked to ask questions. The head judge was the retired President of the Supreme Court of Appeals of South Africa. I thought that was really neat to have an opportunity to argue before him. I have to admit that at one point in the argument I needed to describe a group of people and somehow as I searched for the correct word I actually muttered the word “folks.” It’s one of those times where I wanted to hit rewind and pick a different word. As it was, I said “folks”. As I quickly switched words the panel got a chuckle as did Bo.
As Plaintiff we have an opportunity to present a rebuttal. Bo is the speaker who does the rebuttal and he always did a good job. This time was tricky because he had to hope that he heard the interpreter correctly and didn’t get up and argue against something they didn’t say. He did a really nice job and the judges didn’t say much during the rebuttal.
The gala was a first for me and it was interesting and really fun. We had the opportunity to get to know some of the students from the other schools and the organizers. Everyone was dressed in black and white and there were big round tables in the downstairs of this building at a museum.
I won’t speak for Bo, but I was surprised that we won the overall round. We worked really hard and I felt like we did a good job. I just wasn’t sure how the judges would score us and what they would prioritize. We found out later that we won on a 6-0 decision.
This competition was the first time Bo or I competed with any other school in a moot court competition. When we tried out last May we knew it would be a family issue, but we never imagined the craziness we were about to read in the fact pattern.
Through this process I learned so much. I learned all the obvious stuff like learning more about research, learning South African family law and their Constitution, and learning how to think quick on my feet. It’s the other stuff that even now, a month later, I am the most grateful. From the boys at the park I learned that even when it seems like all the people in your life have let you down a smile goes a long way. From my fellow competitors I learned that when people live a world apart a common problem (and solution) bridges gaps. From our coach I learned to get to the point and have confidence in my arguments. From Bo I learned when the odds are slim just go in, have fun, trust in yourself and your partner, and “get the damn thing done.”
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