First of all, I’d like to apologize for the very slight and hardly noticeable lack of any writing on this blog. Things have been busy with my debate and other school.
And speaking of the debate, in case you had any doubts, I did actually engage in a policy debate on the 16th of March and, more recently, on the 30th. The first went pretty well, all things considered.
My public speaking class has a set schedule for all of our policy debates: both the negative and the affirmative side have five minutes to present their initial case in a constructive speech, after which there is a three minute crossfire, during which questions are asked and both sides try to discover where their arguments really differ. In the following two sections, the first two minutes long, and the second one minute long, both sides really just try to consolidate their arguments and explain why they thought they won the debate.
In all of the excitement, my first debate, in which I debated the affirmative side, felt very brief. The constructive speeches were good. The crossfire passed surprisingly quickly, and neither side really highlighted any of the differences in our arguments. The last two sections followed uneventfully. Overall, the debate was quite the learning experience, and while we didn’t necessarily do great in the crossfire, the teacher said that myself and the person I was debating would be getting extra points for being the guinea pigs. There’s that, at least.
My second debate went considerably better. As it happens, I was debating the affirmative side again, due to the very same events that delayed my first debate so much. After having done the side once already, I was much more confident in my ability to defend it. In addition, I had a better understanding of how the debate was supposed to work, and the debate as a whole went very well. The teacher also mentioned in passing that I would be getting extra credit for having to do the affirmative side again and debate a total of three times. I’ll be getting lots of extra credit, it seems!
The topic for the debate which, if you don’t remember, is whether or not students should be guaranteed two years of free tuition to a community college or trade school, is a very well-picked one. It really could go either way. In the end, the thing that matters the most is that you believe what you’re arguing for, even if you don’t continue to believe it after the debate. It comes down to which person believes their side more. It’s really been quite interesting to watch all the debates thus far.
My last debate, which will be on the negative side, is on April 20th, and after that, I should have considerably more time for other pursuits, or so I certainly hope!