Thursday, July 9, 2015

And Then There Were Four

About ten minutes into our second to last class session, the best eight debaters in the class, ranked by the amount of wins a person had accumulated, were brought to the center of the classroom.  I, surprisingly, was one of those selected.  I was partnered up with Deena and we comprised the Opening Government.  The motion, in English, was "This House believes that poor regions should eliminated liberal arts in favor of vocational skills."  When I first heard the motion, I was caught off-guard because it took me a little while to understand what I was being asked to do.  I talked with my partner about it and she said we had to prove that vocational skills, also known as labor-intensive skills, were more important than liberal arts in poor regions of the country.  The three main points that we wanted to address were 1) Students, if they got into college, couldn't afford to pay off tuition 2) Students that jumped straight into a job involving labor would be able to make money straight off the bat and 3) liberal arts were not as important as vocational skills to these poor regions.  I had a difficult time writing down arguments so all I did was write down the three main points, along with some minor details to keep me on track, and hoped for the best when it came time to speak; and it worked.

The Ulysses 
I was the Deputy Prime Minister on the Opening Government, the second person and final person to speak for the Opening Government.  After the Prime Minister of the Opening Opposition spoke, I walked up a little nervous and began to speak.  I started off by addressing and refuting some of the points that my opponent made in his argument, then I went into my own points.  By some miracle, I was able to stretch my speech out to six minutes and fifteen seconds, the longest that I've ever spoken in a single speech!  I think that the lack of notes caused me to have a sense of urgency and think on my feet rather than be confined to my notes.  I found myself slurring my words a bit and repeating some of the arguments I previously made, but I was proud of myself that I was making progress.  At the end of the debate, it was announced that me and my partner secured second place, meaning that we, along with the team that secured first place, would duke it out tomorrow against the Cornell debate team.  In case I haven't said this before, the Cornell debate team is the best debate team in the entire world.  No reason to be scared, right?  Following the debate, the class went to a library and viewed an old, rare, copy of Ulysses, which was real interesting.

I worked on my Negative Constructive until around six, then I headed to the Ultimate Frisbee field for one last game at my time at Cornell.  At the time I arrived, it was raining pretty hard, but I had hope that at least a couple people showed up and to my suprise, six people other than me did arrive.  Somewhere along the lines, it started pouring so hard where no one cared how soaked they got.  By the time I arrived back to my dorm, all of my clothes were soaking wet and it felt as though I had been showering for the past couple hours.  I couldn't have asked for any other way to end my Ultimate Frisbee tenure at Cornell.

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