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An afternoon of TEA

A first-hand experience from one of the student speech writers

A first-hand experience from one of the student speech writers

July 14, 2009|By ABIGAIL YEAGER

On July 7, I went to a TEA party at Hagerstown's Unversity Plaza, but it wasn't about finger sandwiches and refreshments.

TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already. The Hagerstown TEA Party was organized to protest the amount of money President Obama is spending and the fact that he is increasing the deficit.

More than 400 people attended the event.

I went because I was a part of the student speech contest, but it was an enjoyable event despite the fact I had to speak in front of people.

Everyone was smiling and laughing, although there were a few of the more passionate conservatives, and the atmosphere was relaxed.

I enjoyed reading the signs, many of which were clever plays on words, and talking with the other contestants.

I had previously received an e-mail from April Parrott, who organized the event in Hagerstown with her husband, Neil. She wrote that she had seen my previous articles in the newspaper and wondered if I would enter the speech contest.

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My speech was to be titled "My Freedom, My Future, My America," and was to be about how the current situation in America might affect my future.

I chose to write on a topic that, as an English major, is very important to me: my freedom of speech and the freedom of the press.

All of the speeches were well received, and the judges had such a hard time deciding on the winner that a tie was declared between two of the other contestants.

While I did not win, it was still a very good experience for me, and I received a book for entering. I would make the same choice, if I had to do it over again.

The two young ladies who won the speech contest gave their speeches again, and several other people spoke.

All in all, I think the protest was well-received, the speakers their job well, and the event was both educational and entertaining.

Abigail Yeager, 18, will be a junior at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md.

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