By Alex Galvan
“Sam Houston State vs Baylor” blared the speakers. But this wasn’t a football game. Instead, it was a Moot Court playoff round, albeit still in the scrimmage stage.
The teams made their way up towards the front of the room for a coin toss to let fate decide whom they would represent, the petitioner or the respondent. As our team members–consisting of Austin Taylor and Kristyn Couvillion–won the toss, they chose the petitioner role.
About three hours prior to that coin toss, our alarms blasted, and we rose from bed to hastily get ready for our exciting second day of the UNT Invitational Moot Court Tournament. This invitational is especially helpful to the new team members as it provides them a chance to see and experience a real tournament. Additionally, it prepares them for the regional competition which will take place on November 18th – 19th at Texas Tech.
While navigating the inner streets of Dallas, Kristyn Couvillion and Austin Taylor began mentally preparing for their competition of the day. Their hard work and dedication had paid off as they had made it to the top 32! Kaitlyn, Bryan, Beatriz and I were excited to support our advancing team in their competitive endeavor of the day.
When we arrived at UNT Law school, we checked in, and went up to the meeting room where all of the other schools waited in anticipation for the rounds to be announced. Each round would consist of two teams pinned against each other from the top 32 teams that were announced the day before, Kristen and Austin included in those teams.
We sat in anticipation waiting for the three judges to arrive so that the round would begin. We observed and quietly rooted for our team members while they argued their case with passion and quick mindedness. By watching both of the teams, we also gained skills. After the judges had scored both teams and offered their advice, we rushed back to the meeting room and waited in agony for the results to be announced. The round was decided in a 2 to 1 split decision, in favor of Baylor.
Even though we had no further advancements in the Invitational, we stayed to watch Josue and David, two students whom we had befriended at our Boot Camp. During the competition, we were impressed by the poise and arguments of the opposing team from the Air Force Academy. Sadly, Josue and David did not advance, but the team which they were against actually ended up placing first for the entire competition!
After the round we decided that it was time to bid UNT farewell and ease into dinner. After much arguing (and still more to decide on dinner) we finally decided to visit a small sidewalk café, the Veracruz Café. With a motto to “Celebrate life,” the restaurant adequately captured the Veracruz spirit of amazing cuisine and beautiful vistas. Consisting of various herbs and spices, there was a myriad of flavorful dishes to be tasted. The Café brought to us a little bit of Veracruz with food ranging from MesoAmerican, Mayan, Huasteco, and Aztec cuisine. Everyone chose their preferred food choice. Dishes ranged from an enormous fajita plate to a spicy chile relleno, from crunchy flautas to cheesy quesadillas. Every single dish as scrumptious as the other.
After we finished our lunch at the Veracruz Café, we decided to go explore the variety of shops that lined along the Bishop Art District. Chairs lining an old gas-station-turned-furniture-store, people milling around, enticing smells, and interesting window displays worked like a hypnotic swirl of curiosities that compelled us to immerse ourselves deeper into the street. Among the stores was an art gallery which we visited called the Ginger Fox Art Gallery.
A West Texas native, Ginger Fox was a self-taught artist disciplined in painting murals, trompe l’oeil, grisaille, and replicating the masters. Her style of magical realism was reflected on her canvases which meshed real and imaginary dimensions together with the purpose of invocating thoughts of how we, as humans, can better coexist with the natural world. We got to see various of this style in the art gallery. One in particular caught our attention.
There was a picture of Queen Elizabeth made entirely of blurry paint chips, making it almost impossible to disambiguate the painting. However, when looked at through a camera, the pixelated image grew into sharper focus.
We the wonderful art gallery as our last stop we decided to end our trip and head on home. After a long day of tiresome litigation, exotic eatery, and mind boggling art, nothing compared to the quiet, peaceful ride down I45 back to Huntsville.