Done With the School Year

Posted: May 6, 2017 in Articles

Well, for the most part.

As expected, I had my last debate on the 20th of April. This went pretty well and almost concluded my school year. If you remember, I went into the debate with a slightly negative opinion of our topic, but as I argued the affirmative side, I began to think it would be plausible. Now, after researching and arguing the negative side, I’m back to my original negative opinion of the topic.

That mostly concluded my public speaking class. The next thing that ended was choir, which ended two days ago. I will still have some subjects like Spanish, but most things are over. Now hopefully I’ll write more. Hopefully.

The Joy of Hotels

Posted: April 15, 2017 in Articles

I recently had occasion to go on a bit of a road trip with some family members and stay in a hotel for a night. The hotel was, as one might expect (if you’re me, anyway) full of fun. We stayed at a Hampton Inn, where my parents are apparently members. We arrived at around 8 PM, so we had some time to settle in before I decided to explore the hotel.

Starting with the room, it had many fascinating aspects. It had a view over an old abandoned parking lot and building. The door to the bathroom also served as a door to the closet and as a mirror, which was interesting. They had some nice security features on the door. They had a cover for the peep hole, so that people can’t look in to your hotel, but you can still look out. They also had a way to make sure that you can only open the door an inch or so, should the person inside the room wish that to be the case.

In another part of the hotel, they had a small gym and an equally small pool. They had some interesting rules for using the gym. You had to be 18 or older to use the gym, and you had to have permission from you doctor in order to use some of the equipment. I’d imagine the hotel was just trying to avoid getting sued. The pool had similar rules, and, at most, was only 5 feet deep. It was underwhelming.

Overall, it was quite an enjoyable experience. Hotels are always fun, at least when they’re good. Also, since it has been a while since the last garden post, you can expect an update sometime in the future. There have been several noteworthy developments.

The Fabled Debate

Posted: April 1, 2017 in Articles

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!

New Garden Gadget

Posted: March 13, 2017 in Articles

If you remember from last year, we attempted to make our own indoor hydroponics system in which to grow lettuce and spinach all year round. That didn’t work so well. At first, it was going well; we harvested some lettuce and planted more, but after a while, it started to not really work. We eventually decided that it wasn’t worth it and we’d be better off buying something.

This year, we did! We bought a very small hydroponics system from Miracle-Gro called an AeroGarden. It’s recommended for growing lettuce and herbs, mainly. So far, we’ve planted it full of lettuce plants and they’ve all germinated. We’re still in the early phases of testing, so we’re not sure how it’ll work in the future, but if we’re happy with it, we’ll write more about it!

In addition, I wanted to write an update on my debate. As you may know, it was supposed to happen last Thursday, but it definitely didn’t. The person I was supposed to be debating is not able to return to the class for the rest of the semester and the teacher had to reconfigure the schedule. As long as all goes well, I’ll be debating this Thursday. We’ll see what happens!


The Prolonged Debate

Posted: March 3, 2017 in Articles

Yesterday was supposed to be the day when my first school debate happened. The morning started out being quite stressful, since we were caught in a bit of very bad traffic. The problem was with a traffic light. Through the course of the night, it went out, and while power was restored to it, it was out of sync, only letting about three cars through at a time. So traffic was backed up for several miles while cars went through the light three at a time. I wonder why the cars didn’t just go through the red light when no other cars were in the intersection.

Regardless, we only ended up being about ten minutes late to my public speaking class and since everyone else got stuck in the same traffic, it really wasn’t a big deal. Even the teacher was late.

Feeling rather conspicuous in my suit (one must look presentable for a debate) I entered the classroom, which filled up quickly after I arrived. In about five minutes, everyone was there – except for one person, who was excruciatingly absent: my friend, the person that I was supposed to go up against in the debate. Eventually, when the class was supposed to have started 15 minutes ago, the teacher found out that he was sick. He had called ahead of time, but for some reason, the teacher didn’t get the message and when he was late, she simply thought it was on account of the traffic. As she found out all too late, he was sick.

We ended up doing impromptu persuasive speeches – basically 1-2 minutes speeches thought of on the spot on silly topics. Next week, debates will resume as usual. Now I have yet another week before my debate. I am looking forward to some more time to prepare, but I do have to wear a suit again next week – not that I really mind 😀