Love at first…speech?

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Rachel Hogen, Staff Writer

So let’s recap my summer. While everyone was out at the beach getting tan and eyeing half-naked men, I spent a week losing the little tan I had in a dark and gloomy corner of a college library.

When I registered for Gustavus Adolphus Speech Camp, I was ecstatic because of one goal: cut “Twilight,” a 500 page novel, into a humorous piece. It was a tall order, but by the end of the camp I had one more tall order in mind, whose name will be Jim for the sake of confidentiality, and to keep my stalker identity unknown.

As fate would have it, I passed him in the link which lead to the library. Hot and sweaty from lack of air conditioning, our eyes met for the first time. His eyes, so deep and blue, penetrated into my soul. We clicked like Ugg Boots in winter. Nay, butter and popcorn, because I melted in his presence. I knew from that moment on that he was my new speech crush.

In the world of speech, there are a four different categories that speech crushes fall into. The big teddy bear who all everyone wants to do is hug; the talented one whose voice makes me melt; the jock-convert for the “Troy Bolton” effect; and finally, the one who I wish I could spend time with beyond the nine-hour speech tournaments. Jim of course fit all of these categories, making him my perfect speech man: a feat many have attempted, but only Jim had truly met.

My relationship with him soon blossomed from the much heated eye contact and flashing smiles in the hallway to something more: photographic evidence. The final phase in the speech crush process.

On our final day, I was standing next to my longtime friend Jack and a couple of others when a counselor who was taking pictures for the camp came up to the group for a photo. As if from a dream, Jim emerged from the dorm rooms. His hair was combed to perfection, and the cleft in his chin appeared when he grinned.

In my head, “Chariots of Fire” blasted as he cautiously ran––as to not spill his tea––towards the group, more importantly within touching distance. On the verge of death by happiness, I flashed him my biggest grin. Our eyes met once more, and then he turned towards the camera, moving his arm in my direction. I counted down the seconds: five, four, three, two, one. CONTACT. His hand grasped my waist in a manner that seemed the “perfect fit.” Trying to be subtle as I held back tears of joy, I forced myself to not only smile towards the camera, but lean towards him in the process. I thought I was very clever, until I saw the picture a few months later (my body language was a little too strong).

After that highlight of my life, I endured three rounds of speech, and then the worst time of the day came: postings. We broke to final rounds, and I was ecstatic for us, but then the reality hit. We weren’t in the same room. And there still wasn’t an “us”. So I sat there preparing myself to play Bella, when my Edward was in a different room.

The last time I saw Jim was when I walked out of Gustavus with my mother. I caught one last glimpse of him before we parted. That was until we became Facebook friends…and I found out he had a girlfriend. O, speech camp. O, my love life.