Speech & drama state competition

Namine won a silver medal for her speech and drama performance!

At the beginning of this school year, Namine joined a bunch of clubs: chess club, speech & drama, and an e-sports club. Due to scheduling and timing, she had to drop e-sports, but she’s still going strong with chess and speech & drama.

Her enjoyment of it is no surprise to us, given that she enjoys both reading and writing. She expresses herself in poetry and prose, and has enjoyed delivering many a speech on subjects which interest her. This is all contrary to any prediction given when she was young, so please come with me on a trip down memory lane.

Namine was born with a condition called Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS). Rather than a single defect, often called a syndrome, PRS is the culmination of one small defect after another, resulting in a final condition at birth. In her case, the result was a regressed lower jaw, a partial cleft palate, and a tied tongue. These made it necessary for Namine to have a tracheostomy breathing tube, a g-tube for feeding, and multiple other surgeries.

Namine could not drink from a bottle or eat until she was almost two years old. The same went for speech; she was only able to make small sounds, until she got rid of the trache. Since then, she has had her tied tongue partially clipped to reduce her difficulty speaking. She still has a slight speech impediment that we can hear, but that has done nothing to inhibit her love of speaking.

In the speech & drama club, each student chose a piece to read. It could be prose or poetry, and it could be a piece already written or one originally written by the student. Namine chose to commemorate her great grandfather, who has since passed away. With that in mind, she composed a poem in his memory.

Namine has progressed through competitions in the club, having done well enough that she moved on to the state level competition finals. It is evident that she has poured her heart into her poem, not only in its writing but also its delivery.

We were not allowed to record Namine’s performance at the state competition. We had heard Namine practicing it in the house, and both Jessica and I had read it on paper, but we hadn’t seen Namine read it from start to finish in performance before. Never would we have thought, years ago, that she would be here, in a state speech competition. She did an amazing job, and we are so proud of her!

Sad Love

Tell me, have you ever lost someone you held dear? If so, did it feel like a piece of you went with them? Fret not, for I’ve went through the same thing. The loss of my Great-Grandfather left me feeling like there was a hole in my heart, and so I wrote this poem to help cope with the loss. I now present: Sad Love, by Namine Eiche.

You over there, you shed your tears
But come now, it is time to face your fears.

You have lost loved ones, I understand
But you must face the problem at hand.

People have drowned and been shot,
But they will never ever be forgot.

You must realize that they will always be your friend,
Even though it seems like the end.

I know it feels like you're falling apart,
But they will always love you deep in your heart.

So you still have some doubt,
But here's some more reassurance,
No need to pout.

I know you're hurting,
But let's stop all your worrying.

You may have lost two or five or seven,
But they will always be living peacefully in your heart and in heaven.

This poem is written in memory of my Great-Grandfather, Paul Gionfriddo. May he rest forever in peace.

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