I was so proud of my little sister this week, so please allow me to take a moment to brag.
Gabriella became involved with Spoken Word (performance poetry, sometimes called Slam Poetry) this year. The group at the high school meets once a week to perform for each other/workshop and also gets together with the UW-M group. This past Friday was the first level of a big Spoken Word competition. Two people from Gabri’s high school would be selected to move on, and the finals are held in Chicago. Gabri was really excited to compete and spent a lot of time working on her poem.
Friday afternoon Gabriella called to tell me the results of the competition. She had tied for 2nd place! However, because the school could only send 2 students, there would need to be a face-off the next week to determine whether Gabriella or her friend would move on in the competition. Gabriella then told me she had bowed out of the match. I was shocked.
She explained to me that the boy she’d tied with was a friend of hers, and she knew how much he wanted to compete and how long he’d been trying for a spot. Apparently he’s a senior, making this year his last try. Her friend tried to dissuade her from stepping down, as did the judges (one told her he thought she should have taken first place), but Gabri held her ground. She said she felt like it was the right thing to do. I was so proud of her! I really doubt I would have done the same in her place; I’m too competitive.
As it turns out, the judges decided to arrange something for Gabriella as a sort of consolation prize. A renowned Spoken Word troupe is coming to perform at a national festival soon. Gabriella will get a semi-private workshop (her and 3 students from other schools) with them, and then get to perform with them! I am so excited for her. I know she wasn’t expecting anything when she turned down her chance at a spot to move forward in the competition, but I’m really glad she’ll get this opportunity, and I’m proud of her for her selfless act for her friend.