It all started on Friday…I started to get a sore throat, and it hurt to play any instrument. “This has happened before,” I thought, “where I get some awful cold right before a forensics tournament.” In an unrelated event, a close family friend ended up in the hospital and was thought to not live through the weekend.Saturday rolls around and I compete in forensics all day–I was worrying about this family friend. I was also drinking 2 bottles of orange juice and at least 4 bottles of water because my throat hurt SO bad. I had a hard time speaking loudly, and when I made it to finals in DI, I nearly nailed the performance but my voice wanted to quit a few times. But here is where something really wonderful happened… A couple girls from my squad who were coming back early to sing in a concert were waiting for me when I walked out of my finals round. They were going to take me home hours early! Even better, they had surprised me with a milkshake to cool my throat! They could not have done anything better for me at that moment.Sunday I did not compete in the tournament because I was flat on my back feeling like crap. I wished to go see this family friend in the hospital, but people were afraid that I would put him in danger because it would be exposing him to yet another sickness. It was really sad.Monday I went to the doctor and found out that I had a ‘severe case’ of strep throat. Surprise! I haven’t had it since I was 12. Apparently it’s been going around… Not that I had heard ANYTHING about it. The doctor wanted to give me a shot of antibiotics it was so bad. He had looked in my mouth and said, “oh, mercy.” Here is where something else wonderful happened. My professors were so very understanding about me missing class. I really never miss unless the sky is falling, but I was greeted with encouraging emails to get better, and not worry about what I was missing! (Of course I would have to make up the reading, but I knew that would happen.) Things are better now. I feel better anyway–only having a sore throat in the morning and evening. That family friend was diagnosed with a bone marrow disease and is being moved to an assisted living facility. He wanted to make it to my birthday party, and it touched my heart. As far as the tournament goes, I placed 4th in DI. The disappointing thing about the final round is, the judges gave me a 2nd place, 3rd place, and 7th place! The 2 and 3 were from really good forensics programs like K-State and Doane College… I’m pretty sure the 7th place judge had no idea what they were doing. It would have been nice to get a better leg for nationals–I already have 4th!