Hey! It’s JJ here! This past Saturday I attended my daughter’s first Chinese Speech contest. She told me a few weeks back that she wanted to participate. I was a bit shocked that she was so excited about it and as time went on and I saw her practicing, I too got excited! She practiced during school, after school and sometimes at home when she would remember to bring her speech home. Because the speech was in Mandarin I was not able to help at all. All I could really do was listen.
The requirements of the speech contest were to have a 2:30 MEMORIZED speech that you were to perform in front of judges. I think she did her best to memorize it but would often pause while trying to remember the words. When the day of the contest came…she froze. She started off so well and froze for almost 20 sec. Because of this long pause she went over time and many points were deducted causing her to not make it to the finals. When the lady called the name of the finalists Alani was so excited to hear many of her friends were going on to the next round. She clapped and cheered for her friends but as the last name was called she broke down into tears. She ran to me and wrapped her arms around me with her head in my stomach. I seriously had to fight back the tears myself. It was at that moment that I realized this was the very first time that she had an experience losing. She had never competed in ANYTHING prior to this…not even on a team.
I told her that she did a great job but so many others did a great job too. All the kids received trophies and she became a little more cheerful when she picked it up. Her friends who went on to the finals came over and hugged and showed great sportsmanship.
Later we talked in the car about her experience. She understood where she messed up in her presentation and she is excited about the opportunity to go back again next year. I shared with her how courageous she was for even trying. I know many ADULTS that could never stand in a room of 100 people and deliver a speech! She little girl did it AND in another language…BY MEMORY! I am so very proud of Alani. She will always be a winner to me.