Sunday, October 16, 2016 / Year C
All Saints’ Episcopal Church / Brooklyn, NY
When I was 12 years old, I was selected to be in an oratory competition. This was kind of a big deal and it was hosted at the local rotary club. The challenge was to write an essay on a specific topic and then deliver it as a speech, and compete against other local sixth graders.
Here’s what I remember: I remember working very hard on my essay and practicing my speech over and over again. I remember going to the event on a school night and I remember that I was wearing shoes with a small heel that were very uncomfortable. I remember feeling uncomfortable in my body in the way that 12 year-old girls are specifically prone to feeling.
I remember the boy who won, and I remember his speech, which was all about, as he called it, “nucular war.” In my memory, he was pacing back and forth telling us that in the future, we would all be engaged in “nucular war,” and we would have to live in special shelters and a new kind of human would evolve.
And I remember thinking, how did that win this competition???? Continue reading