Definitions for Ceremonial Team Evaluations
MEMORIZATION is the confident presentation of the ceremony text verbatim in a strong clear voice and without unnatural hesitations (either from "memory loss" or missing a cue); articulate enunciation and correct pronunciation of each word; proper grouping of words into phrases; and performance of all movements and procedures which are explicitly described in the notes accompanying the ceremony text.
An intellectually bright youth can attain near perfection in the dimension with a few hours work. His presentation will be crisp, usually quite rapid, often mechanical and colorless. The words and actions are correct, but the overall effect is dry and unconvincing.
INTERPRETATION includes all the original forms of expression which normally reveal insight and understanding and which augment the basic text and procedures: appropriate costumes for each speaker; natural gestures and movements which illuminate the spoken word; variety of facial expressions, tones of voice, loudness, and rates of speech which give emphasis to the key ideas and logical pacing of events; use of well-placed dramatic pauses; and good eye contact.
Ordinary conversation is usually animated and rich with "body language": gestures and facial expressions are spontaneous, uninhibited, uncalculated; words and phrases are spoken with unpredictable and attention-keeping variety; even in silence, eyes and hand speak eloquently. At this level the ceremonialist brings to his memorized text the naturalness and spontaneity of friendly, earnest dialogue. A candidate would not know that the speakers were working from memory.
TRANSCENDENCE is the nearly complete loss of self-consciousness arising from the speaker's heartfelt love for the candidates and a keen awareness of the urgency and sublimity of the message he bears.
Transcendence is more than "getting into character." Transcendence is a result of deep personal experiences arising from one's own dedication to and practice of the ideals of Scouting and the Order of the Arrow. If Nutiket speaks of the need for "fasting, sacrifice, and self-denial," for example, it is not because because he is assigned to deliver these lines, but rather because he has discovered the life preserving value of these disciplines. If Meteu recalls mountaintop insights or Kichkinet warns of struggles and tribulations, you would say, "He knows: he's been there." Expressions such as "Awesome," "Inspiring," "Convincing," "Moving," "Impressive," "Spine-tingling," and "They're for real," are typical reactions to a ceremony conducted by youth who have reached the level of transcendence.
Transcendence: Surpassing others; preeminent or supreme. Lying beyond ordinary perception.Revised 07/3/98.
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