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The charm of debate: broadens our horizons and enriches our mind
2018-01-05

[SCIE web news, Jan 5th, 2018] Not every fierce competition happens physically, and not all battles of academics happens under pen and paper. 

December 16, closely following the end of the EOS exams, the 2017-2018 National Speech and Debate Guangdong Division entered the stream of time, nearly 250 debaters of Chinas top 30 high school took part, with passion for debate, into this holy battlefield. The purpose for everyone is clear, to win. This is also what I have been debating for all along. I also believed that this is the goal for all debaters. In contrast, those who often claim participation is the key must not often win. With this determination, I was introduced to debating 3 years ago.

  

The National Speech and Debate Association, or NSDA for short, is the oldest and largest high school speech and debate honouring organisation of the United States. NSDA China, was established in early 2012 and is officially authorised by NSDA to run debates and oratorial projects in mainland China. 

There are three different seasons held each year in China, divided into spring, autumn and the national finals. Other oversea competitions are countless, such as the upcoming Harvard-Stanford League. The competition takes the form of a 2-on-2 all-English American debate, also known as Public Forum, in which alternated speeches of debaters make up a 40 minutes averaged round.


 

We want to change the world, but often there are few opportunities to make the difference. Although the opportunity to act is not equal to everyone, the right to voice our own position is inherent. The world may not be able to see us, but our voice can be heard. 

Debate is a platform for direct collisions of words and minds. It not only broadens our horizons but also enriches our mind. The resolutions of each debate cover a wide range of academic areas, from astronomy to geography, from science to economics. For people like me that had no connection with the economy and astronomy, has started to understand, to take interest in these subjects as a result of debating. In the process of cognition, the outline of my future has gradually taken shape.

  

In addition, debate is also a platform for communication. As the old saying goes, no discord, no concord. Debate as a direct collision and exchange of thoughts deep inside, the platform often allows you to fully understand a person in just 40 minutes of friction. That is to say, such a collision made many of my opponents in debate turn intimate close friends in life.

 

Like many Chinese debaters, I have no excellent nor outstanding English skills. I also suffered setbacks in the early stages of debate, and the language gap has become even more detrimental during foreign competitions. Although I may not be as gifted as other debaters, debate depends more on attitude rather than endowment, the degree of preparation is often the one flipping the coin for winning or losing. Wherever there is a chance to debate, I will try my best to grasp it and gain experience. Often I set foot on the plane to another city right after school on Fridays and returned on Sunday. Participating in 3-4 games per season has become more than normal. So, at last, I was able to win the third place in the 2017 NSDA US International division, and the champion of the Guangdong Division this year.

 

Being one of the top international schools in Guangdong, Guangdong's regional tournament should have been a stage dedicated only to SCIE, but instead, weve remained obscured. However, now with the development of the SCIE Debate Club and participation of Alex Lennartz, a member of the humanity department as well as my history teacher. Debate now has taken its own little place in SCIE. 

Alex has spent much of his leisure after school coaching the students in Debate Club. In addition, Alex has also brought Vince, a professional debate coach outside school, to give us a preliminary breakdown of this year’s resolution. With the efforts of teachers, students and the school, SCIE has won the Open Division Championship, second place in Outstanding Speaker; and the Novice devision Quarter Final list, Best Speaker respectively. Lastly, I hope more students can gain a preliminary understanding of debate, take part in the Debate Club, take part in the debate community, and make SCIE, make Shenzhen great again! 

I often fantasise while not debating, dreaming that one day when the opponents see the name of SCIE on the Pairings, they would feel a chill down their back.

 

(Report/Benjamin; Photos/ Benjamin, Alex)

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