Lovejoy & Branham to State!

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Rebecca Lallemont

Caitlyn Thompson, Reporter/Photographer/Administrator

Move over athletes and make way for the academia!  With the quieting of the recent hustle and bustle of an impressive basketball season on behalf of both the boys’ and girls’ teams, those somewhat more quiet, academic accomplishments are about to make a loud statement.  Makayla Lovejoy, a senior, and Signe Branham, a freshmen, have been consistently practicing and rehearsing their prose for the local Forensics competitions. Late last week the duo traveled with their coach, Mrs. Lallemont to Hayward where  Lovejoy presented Break In by Dora Bona, a rather comical tale about a marsupial thief.  Branham also preformed a piece by Bona entitled A Fractured Fable: Cinderella the Untold Story, also a comedic selection with a twist on the classic tale.  Both students will compete at state on April 17, hosted by the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  If it is anything like previous years, the competition will be fierce with thousands of students competing for the top awards.  The highest achievement in Forensics is to earn a gold medal at state.  According to Lallemont, both students have the skills to go all the way to the top!  Their biggest challenge at state will be having only one shot.  It has to be perfect the first time around.  Unlike at the subdistrict and district levels where the young academics perform their piece 3 separate times for a judge, state is a one-shot-and-done deal.

Just like any sport, the rules for successful competition in Forensics are equally daunting.  There are a multitude of different categories in which students can compete.  Both Lovejoy and Branham are competing in “prose.”  They each had to write an original introduction, which they then needed to memorize.  However, they could be docked points if, during their presentation, they appear to have memorized their piece.  That is a big no-no.  They need to look as though they are reading, but of course, the other components that are being judged: body movement, tone, gestures and facial expressions, are much more easily focused on if the story is familiar.  Lovejoy said that all of the criteria must be appropriate to the story, but their feet MUST stay rooted in one spot.  The only time they’re allowed to move their feet is when they walk to their spot or during transitions.  The field of competitors come from all over the state of Wisconsin and positively no school – prep, private, public, charter – are excluded.  “I am really proud of South Shore because they are going up against so many different platforms,” Lallemont stated when she was describing who Lovejoy and Branham would be competing against.  There is no leveling of the playing field in Forensics, if you’re from a small school, deal with it.  And so they are!  Best of luck to South Shore’s Forensics team!