Debate team competes in districts


Christine Tamir

Senior Brian Quang performs an impromptu speech about the value of Starbucks.

After their successful debut, the Forensics and debate team will continue to compete at the district level. The district competition for speech is in two weeks and the competition for debate is in two months.

“I didn’t expect it at the beginning of the year, but I think the team has owned their own success,” Forensics and Debate team sponsor Lynn Beal said. “Obviously I’m really proud of them.”

The forensics and debate team began this September and surprised AHS with a sudden success. They have participated in one competition this year, during which one AHS student ranked first place. Another AHS student ranked second, one student ranked fourth, and two others ranked sixth.

“I’m really happy with our success. I think we’ve done a lot better than any of us assumed would happen,” team member senior Khadra Said said.

Forensics and Debate is one team, broken up into two separate categories. Even though they compete separately, the team feels united and has close bonds.

“The best part is kinda how we’re like one big family and we kinda support one another, whether you’re doing debate or impromptu, or improv or  or poetry or whatever it is we kinda just come together to help one another out.” Said said.

Forensics students compete in an Interpretation category. Students  prepare a script from a piece of literature, and select important passages to use in a ten-minute presentation that basically summarizes the story.

“You have to present it using different character voices, gestures, facial expressions, bodily movements, without moving, pretty much,” Beal said, “[Students have to] then memorize those quotes and then learn to present them in ways that are very dramatic, without acting.”

Most team members spend long periods of time preparing their piece and making sure their presentation is perfect.

“We work every class period, the whole class period, and after school,” Said said.

Second to that, speech competitions include a Ritual Oratory where students have to write their own speeches or even participate in an Impromptu section, where students must present a speech on a given topic with only a few minutes to prepare.

“[It’s] a ton of work” Beal said.“The class and the team are really self-driven. I’m more of a guide and they’ve done the work.”

Students participating in the the speech (forensics) competition are due to compete in two weeks at the district level, and many are hopeful for more high scores and great results.

“Hopefully we’ll rank third, second, or first so we can go to regionals,” team member senior Nisha Sarath said.

AHS looks forward to supporting the new team and to their continued success.

“My hope is that we do even better than we’ve already been doping and that we’re able to  get more people involved in the club in the future to expand more from the class to a more bigger after school club,” Said said.