Great reports on NJFL in the Saipan Tribune and the Marianas Variety.
Some additional comments from the participants:
From Esther Manzano—GCA coach. Said they went to Living History Farms-a living museum of 300 years of how early Americans live. “We saw their farms, houses, how they lived, clothes they wore.” Also went to Adventure Land, an amusement park with different rides, gift shop, restaurants, water park; the Iowa State Capitol where they saw the architecture, library, Supreme Court Office, legislative offices, etc.
June 25, 2010 was the first day of the competition, held at Dowling Catholic High School. The students competed in Pattern A events: Dramatic Interpretation (DI), Humorous Interpretation (HI), Duo Interpretation, Prose, Poetry, etc. Students were busy doing three rounds in their events, while the coaches were busy judging other students.
June 26 was the second day of competition. Pattern B events included Original Oratory (OO), Extemporaneous, Impromptu Speech, etc. Students competed in three rounds; coaches judged.
June 27 was the final day of competition. Those who advanced competed in quarterfinals, semifinals and some students in storytelling. This was also Awards day: Kanata Omari-semifinalist in Extemp; Hye Young Oh-quarterfinalist Impromptu; Matthew Lopez-quartefinalist, dramatic Interp; Arianne Narvaez-quarterfinalist-poetry; Darvhan Moses and Devonne Dotts—second places in storytelling.
Esther also said this was her first time to judge in a national competition. “The students are really good performers. Sometimes it is hard to rank them from the best to the last.”
Sang Hyuk Park, 14 year old at MBA. “When I was on the plane, I looked down through the window and it tells me that the world is big.” “I was so nervous before I competed in the NJFL, but after that I got confidence. I want to do better next year. I really had a good experience." Also missed rice at the restaurants!
Kimiko Tenorio, 12, GCA. Had never been to the mainland before and found it exciting, even to ride in the plane. "The competitions were exciting. I got to meet new people and make some new friends. Even though we were kind of nervous to speak in front of faces we haven’t seen, it was exciting and fun!” She said Iowa was cold, windy and there was thunder and lightning. The competitors were tall!
Kanata Omari, 12, MBA “At first I was disappointed when I did not go to the next round on the first day. Then my coach told me that there was tomorrow for more competition.” Also missed rice—“No rice for one week--I almost died.”
Kimberly Camacho, 12, GTC—“The NJFL trip to Des Moines, Iowa was really exciting and fun. It took 24 hours to get there…The places we went to were really cool…The competition day was tough…Overall the trip was awesome!!”
Hye Young Oh, 13, MBA—Commented on how the NJFL team members were supportive to each other.
Darvhan Augustine V. Moses, 13, MCS—“It was my first time to go to the states…We had a long layover in Houston, where the airport is really big. ... When we got to the competition, I felt nervous because of all the tall people. I didn’t know middle school people could be so tall! But when I started, I didn’t feel that nervous anymore.” Also said, “I was happy with a 2nd place finish in storytelling.”
Eron Constante, 14, SCS. “Considering the competition that’s here on Saipan, there’s a chance for anyone who puts in some sort of effort to get a free ticket to the states. All the practices, showcases, and experiences after the CNMI regional competition were helpful. However, once we stepped from the airport, we knew what we were getting ourselves into…On competition day, we knew the next three days were going to be extremely tedious. When I got to the school, I found myself as a small fish thrown into a big pond. Competition here made me feel as if I was stupid, but it taught me what I needed to do when I watched the competitors in the Finals. At least during the Award Ceremony, it was a relief to see four of my teammates had made the break.” “All in all, it was a good trip.”
Matthew Lopez, 14, HJHS. “The NJFL trip was a success. I had a great time in Des Moines, Iowa. I had the opportunity to compete against the best people of the US. It was a great experience.” Says he had jet lag, dizzy and tired a lot. “I was really scared and nervous at the competition. Competition there was tight and difficult. I really didn’t expect them to be that good. “ “We were successful, though, getting into quarterfinals and semifinals. Our team was really supportive and watched the quarterfinalists and semifinalists in their performances.”
Alina Ishikawa, 14, MBA. Her first time going to the mainland USA. She noticed that the daylight hours were longer and it was still bright at 8 PM. And mentioned that the students there “talked professional.”