Making an observation

MARSHALL?- Marshall High School and Southwest Minnesota State University were awash in young people in dark suits muttering to themselves Friday afternoon.

About 800 participants in the Schwan Speech Spectacular representing 34 schools from five states are attending the speech tournament which ends today.

“People are talking to walls,” Becca Klein observed. Klein is an MHS junior, and this is her first year in speech. She was roped into it by her friend and fellow junior, Jessica Blanchard, who is participating for the third year.

“I love it,” Klein said. “It’s fun.”

To ease Klein into the speech world, the two performed a dramatic duo together. The piece is called “Criminal Hearts.”

“She (Blanchard) tries to rob my house, but we grow to realize that we are more alike than we thought,” said Klein.

Klein plans to continue next year as will Blanchard.

Blanchard said speech helps build a person’s confidence level.

“You’re more confident,” she said. “It’s a lot easier to get up to talk in class.”

One negative aspect of speech tournaments are the high heels the young women are wearing.

“My feet are numb,” Klein said. “I could never wear these full time.”

But other than sore feet, Klein felt the atmosphere was exciting.

Teams from around the area that attend are: Tracy-Milroy-Balaton, Pipestone, Adrian, Lac qui Parle, Fulda and Worthington.

Three speech members from TMB just watched others give their speeches this year instead of participating directly.

Stephen Ferrazzano has been in speech since the seventh grade, but he just wanted to observe the other speech-givers this year. He did participate in creative expression last year, but “I feel I’m not ready this year,” Ferrazzano said.

Hannah Brockway is observing as well.

“I’m taking notes to get ideas and get better,” she said. She participated in the storytelling category last year.