Welcome back to Judge of the Week! This week’s spotlight is on Kali Rainwater, a military regular by day, and a writer at night.
Name: Kali Rainwater
Current Level: 2
Current Location: Somewhere on the globe.
Date certified as a L1: June 20, 2015
Why did you become a Judge? Spite. My ex-husband (when we were still together) wanted to become a judge, so I found judge classes for us to attend, and accompanied him as a way to spend time together. I discovered that I really loved learning the rules. We split before the last class, and I continued out of sheer stubbornness.
Occupation: US Navy
Favourite card: Havoc Festival
Least favourite card: Jokulhaups
Commander General: All commanders are equal, I love the commander format.
Favourite non-Magic Game/Hobby: Knight Realms LARP
Best tournament result: Won the Battle for Zendikar Pre-release.
Random fact about yourself: I am a published author.
How did you get involved in Magic in the first place?
My ex-husband started playing with his friends, and I got involved as a way to spend time with him. My first night playing, a group of us played six games of Commander. I was playing Olivia Voldaren vampire tribal, and resolved a Havoc Festival in five out of those six games. When I moved up to Georgia, I taught all my friends. Ironically, shortly before we split, my ex started complaining about the amount of time I was dedicating to the game.
Tell us your favorite Judge story.
Several judges were having dinner at a restaurant, talking loudly to each other, and the waitress was trying to get their attention. The judge nearest her told her, “Stick your hand up and yell ‘Judge!’” At her look of confusion, he assured her, “Trust me, it will work.” Still hesitant, she did so. All the judges immediately stopped talking and turned toward her.
What is your favorite non-judging moment that happened with other Judges (or after event story)?
Isaac King, Scott Jenkins, and I were playing Commander in our AirBnB after Friday of GP Montreal. I controlled an Ink-Treader Nephilim, and Scott controlled a Grip of Chaos. Scott targeted my Ink-Treader Nephilim with Arcbond. After resolving the Ink-Treader Nephilim trigger, we then had to reselect all those targets at random due to Grip of Chaos, upon which we moved to combat, creating cascading triggers from all the copies of Arcbond that had resolved upon the various creatures involved.
What motivates you to continue being a Judge?
I love helping people. Being a judge, to me, means making sure the tournament runs smoothly, and the players have a fair and fun experience. I really enjoy untangling complicated situations and explaining things to the players so they understand how the different cards interact.
How has your non-Magic life influenced you being a Judge?
Because I am in the military, I can only travel a certain distance before I have to take leave, so this limits the events I can judge. Writing gives me practice seeing things from every perspective and imagining what could have happened to cause whatever went wrong, and whether it makes more sense that it was accidental or deliberate.
What positive aspects has the Judge Program contributed to your everyday life?
Learning how to give and receive constructive feedback has been great for me as a writer. Also, the leadership experience I have gotten from being a team lead translates very well into my job in the military. Not to mention all the friends I have made in the program.
What are some tips you have for other Judges?
Keep working and improving. Just because you are not where you want to be right now, does not mean you can’t get there.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
Receiving an Exemplar from my Regional Coordinator, Nicholas Sabin, after my first time Team Leading at a SCG Open.
If you could chat with one person, real or fictional, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Grainne Ni Mhaille, a.k.a. Grace O’Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen. She is my favorite historical figure, because she was a strong woman in a time dominated by men. After the death of her father, she took over her clan, despite the chieftainship passing to a distant cousin. She so impressed Queen Elizabeth, despite the fact that they were enemies and Grainne preyed on Elizabeth’s ships, that the queen invited her to tea.
You have been nominated for providing great constructive feedback. How do you consistently provide good and constructive feedback for others?
I make a point of taking copious notes at events, often having a goal of reviewing particular judges in mind before the event starts. That lets me keep an eye on how they are doing and evaluate the good things they are doing and what they might do better. When providing the feedback, I try to think on why they might be doing things in a particular manner, and phrase my advice as just that–a suggestion. I also use “I” statements. “I noticed that when you drop match slips, you drop them one per table, and when you get to the end of a row, you go around the next row, which takes a bit longer. What I do is I drop them two at a time, on either side of the table tent, and then stay in the same row and go back down the other side, skipping the next aisle so I only have to go around the tables every other row.”
Tell us, how to be as awesome as you!
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. I used to be the quiet, shy kid who never talked to anyone, right up until senior year of high school, when I realized that I never had to see my classmates again if I did not want to, and decided I was just going to do whatever I wanted. I had more friends that year than in my entire life up to that point. Also, try to see things from other people’s perspective. When someone is arguing with you, even if they are wrong–especially if they are wrong–consider what might make them think that way. Understanding where people are coming from is a great way both to convince people to your point of view, and to expand your own way of thinking.
What are your short term and/or long term goals and/or projects that you will be taking on in the future.
I would like to get my Day Two Team Lead certification, and eventually test for L3.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
- I have never set foot on an active Navy vessel.
- I have written my first novel when I was eighteen.
- I have not won a game at Competitive REL
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!