Image Description: View of the Potomac River. Rosslyn buildings are visible behind the trees bordering the river. Bright green trees stand on the left and right sides of the foreground. The sky is bright blue with a few white clouds.
Hello all! It has been a very chaotic week.
On a personal note, I moved into the dorms of Georgetown which has taken up lots of my energy. The summer program got off to a rough start when a very rude administrator denied me access to the building for dorm check-in because I had my emotional support animal with me. Normally, I would understand that I cannot walk into any building I want with her. But here is the thing. The University sent several emails saying we are not allowed to bring anyone on campus to help us move, so I did not. The administrator kept insisting that I "give her to someone," but bringing anyone onto campus is against the rules. So... how am I supposed to check in and get the key to my dorm? Multiple people around this very rude man kept trying to convince him to let me proceed to check in, but he insisted that I be denied access. After I tracked down the person who dropped me off and returned, this man harassed me some more, followed me into line, and asked if I had filled out every form under the sun. Noticeably, he did not follow anyone else around pestering them with administrative questions equivalent to saying "are you really supposed to be here?"
Yea, I am still pretty upset about the whole thing.
On another personal note, I judged nationals this week. Most of it was pretty standard. I got to judge the asynchronous speech supplementals. I did program, storytelling, and impromptu. I ended up having to report a kid who started off his speech with "Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, and Joan of Arc were all great leaders. They were great leaders because of their integrity." Then he went on to talk about it was only because of Hitler's "integrity" that he was able to accomplish his "vision" to "improve Germany."
This activity never ceases to amaze with its capacity to produce horrifying moments like that one.
To be honest, the work of running an organization is really hard. I have to make the Instagram posts, and run the LinkedIn, and create a Facebook, and update the LinkTree, and check in on the Change Petition, and million other things. I have to find a way to get the word out and make people care, which is an intimidating feat. High school was incredibly brutal for me, so having to re-involve myself in things that very much remind me of the worst time in my life is also rough.
But then stuff like the events of this week happen, and I remember why I want to do this. Ableism is everywhere and it makes life pretty difficult. I do not have a more poetic way of putting it. Ableism obstructs many things I want to do, constantly, and it sucks. I feel like half of disabled people's problems would go away if ableism magically disappeared. Speech and debate also has a special way of generating some pretty terrible discourse. I have seen people advocate that people dying is good in the name of having a fun, edgy K. I have seen people take advantage of the suffering of native communities (that they know nothing about) in the name of getting a niche and pathos-heavy affirmative case. And now, I have seen someone call Adolf Hitler morally upright. With 1AC, I just want to try and make things just a little better for someone, anyone. And if not a single organization wants to listen, at least I helped pave the way for the next person who tries.
Onto the list of things that got done this week. I am more than halfway done gathering the organizations' contact information and ambitiously plan on beginning sending the first emails politely asking for an audience in the next four days. I debuted the organization with the first wave of Instagram graphics. Speech and Debate Stories featured us on their Instagram this week which was extremely helpful, thanks to Andrea Chow. I reached out to some of my old contacts in the community. I tried to make a Facebook (it was way harder than I thought it would be).
The Instagram is almost at 50 followers now and the petition has almost 40 signatures!
Rather then spending the bulk of this week pushing the org and advertising, I wanted to generate work and content first so that there is something to promo in the first place. I want to be able to say I have emailed all the organizations before I really make a hard push asking people to believe in 1AC.
The things I want to do this next week are 1) send the emails, 2) make some Tik Toks 3) keep posting on Instagram 4) promo on Facebook 5) contact some tournament directors.
Wish me luck,