Has anyone ever heard of Forensics? No, not the detective study. In Marriam Webster's words, (f-rnsks, -zks)
n. (used with a sing. verb)
- The art or study of formal debate; argumentation.
Anyway, I was ready to quit our school’s forensics team. We were 2 weeks out from the competition, and I had nothing. I was writing for the division of original oratory, and my feeble attempt at a speech on something that I later decided I couldn’t care less about was, well, boring. I needed something, and was willing to try anything. I confessed all this to one of my friends while throwing and he said,“Dude, really? Do it on yoyoing! You basically give me a speech on them everyday anyway.” So I did. And here’s what I got.
“I’ll only be a minute!” “O.k.!” You sit in the shoe store while your mom shops. You turn on your ipod, and start up a nice game of angry birds. Just as you launch one of your pigeons at the evil piggie your screen goes black for a second, then displays a “connect to power” symbol. You are doomed to yet another painfully boring Off Broadway Shoes escapade. Now stop. Let’s rewind and try that again. “I’ll only be a minute!” “O.k.!” You walk over to a carpet, and pull your Duncan Butterfly and start yoyoing. You forget about the shoe store, and are really having fun. Before you know it your mom is back and it is time to leave. An excellent alternative to an electronic gadget? I think so! A yoyo is the perfect toy because it engages the user, and forces one to use his or her imagination.
A yoyo is defined as an axle connected to two discs, with a length of twine looped around the axle. It is played by the free end of the string allowing gravity or a throw to spin the yoyo and unwind the string thus allowing the yoyo to wind itself back to one’s hand, exploiting it’s spin. According to Doctor Lucky Meisenheimer, chairman of the American Yoyo Association, the yoyo originated in China over 3000 years ago. It derived its current namesake from the filipino language Tagalog. If you ask virtually anyone over 40 about yo yos, they will tell you about their Duncan YoYo from the 1970’s.
One of the reasons the yoyo has had such staying power is the fact that it’s a strong educational tool. “You’ve got all of these neat pieces of physics working in real life,” explains Don Pettit, NASA Scientist, “and it’s good to understand the physics of your recreational activities.“He recently took a yoyo into space and explained to many people through a youtube video how the physics of yoyoing are affected in space, which now has 650 thousand views. Who knew that a man and a yoyo could teach that many people something about physics?
Physics, however, is not the only thing that can be taught by yoyoing. According to USA Parents.com, alternate benefits of yoyoing include increased hand-eye coordination, catching skills, learning the value of practice and persistence, fine motor development, and improvement of focus in children with ADHD. Being an avid yoyoer myself, I find that it brings me stress relief and relaxation, both of which we could all use every once in awhile. Modern yoyos are not as simple as they used to be. If you were to break down a high end yoyo today, you would find quite a few components such as axles, delicate bearings, and other add ons. All of these must be kept clean and in order for the yoyo to spin well. This provides an excellent lesson on the importance of keeping your equipment in good shape. A yoyo is a great metaphor for life. In order to excel at anything, you have to push yourself, just like yoyoing. It is not uncommon to come to an obstacle in life that seems impossible to pass. When learning new tricks, the only way to nail a difficult move is to keep trying, no matter how hard or how much time it takes for you to finish. It’s not always easy, but then again, neither is life. After all, life is full of ups and downs, and no one gets out of here still spinning. In the meantime, you should live, and yoyo, like you mean it. So if you are holiday shopping for that special kid in your life, or maybe making your own list this season, consider adding a yoyo to your must have section. You never have to plug it in, and there is virtually no assembly required. When another hour on your XBox or texting has lost its attraction, wind up and spin. I think that you will find, as I have, that it is impossible to throw a YoYo away. [/i]
I performed it at the competition, and actually won first place! The points I won also happened to push our team’s score just over our rival school’s!
Anyway, thanks for reading. Thought you guys might like it!