10 Questions with Mock Trial Coach Mr. Block
March 21, 2017
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The Dos Pueblos High School Mock Trial placed second and third at the 2017 Santa Barbara County Mock Trial Competition. The Varsity team took second and the Junior Varsity (JV) Team took third place. The Varsity team lost narrowly to San Marcos High School in the final round of the competition. The Mock Trial Varsity and JV are preparing for the Golden State Mock Trial Tournament in Sacramento, in which students have a month to prepare. Joel Block, the head DP mock trial coach, sat down with staff writer Joel Delfin to discuss the challenges and rewards of coaching the high profile team, who in the 2015-2016 school year was named the Mock Trial California State and World Champions.
Q: What made you want to be a mock trial coach?
A: I actually started ten years ago when my son was a freshman here. He joined the mock trial team and he got me involved and kept going since then.
Q: Did you ever think you would be a mock trial coach in high school?
A: Never occurred to me. I never thought I would be a lawyer or teacher or any of the things I am today.
Q: How has being the DP mock trial coach challenged you or changed you?
A: It challenged me because the students I work with are extremely intelligent and motivated and they keep me on my toes. I have to keep up with them. It’s not always easy. I like doing it and it’s a happy experience so I guess that’s a way to be changed, but it’s made me a stronger thinker I believe.
Q: What do you enjoy about being part of mock trial?
A: The biggest thing I enjoy and the thing I enjoy the most is actually watching the students go from being shy and not willing to be up and talking in front of people to becoming so motivated and assertive that they put regular lawyers to shame and watching them perform is just wonderful.
Q: Compared to other mock trial seasons what do you think will be different?
A: This team is younger, it’s not as experienced, quite a few new people, we have a lot of freshman on our Junior Varsity who are very enthusiastic and it’s almost all freshman actually on the junior varsity team.
Q: What makes you want to continue being a mock trial coach?
A: I like working with the students it’s a thrill I mean they make me think and they’re fun to be with and motivated, great students and great people I mean who wouldn’t want to work with them. It’s a little scary because they’re too smart sometimes, but I love working with them.
Q: What accomplishments are you proud of that you’ve achieved this year or years before?
A: Well of course last year was a great year for the team. I wasn’t the head coach and Ms. Savio was but it was a great year you know we pretty much won everything we entered into, and this year we’ve done really well. We’ve been really successful at tournaments and we have come a long way again because we had so many new people and their taking over from a team that won the State and World Championship, and that’s hard to do and they’ve done a great job so far, more work to do but they’ve done a great job.
Q: Was there a time where you felt like you didn’t do the best you could?
A: That I didn’t do the best I could? I always worry that I’m not always doing the best. I always try to keep pushing myself to do the best and that’s partly why they keep me on my toes they do that for me.
Q: Is there anything you would like to add?
A: Just that mock trial is a great program it’s a lot of fun, it’s not just work and I’m very proud of everything everybody has done and hopefully people come out and watch them.