Debate: The Gob-Stopping Golden Gnome

Friday, January 30, 2015 - By: Kimmi G, Hope ‘15

The Debate & MUN program is not just about standing around with sunglasses and suits; they’re also about public speaking, judgement, and holiday cheer. The Friday and Saturday before Winter Break, an elite squadron bustled out of Brentwood, and, tightly packed together, they entered Oak Bay High School for a prestigious island event: The Golden Gnome: Public Speaking and Debate Tournament. 

After classes, student participants and volunteer judges made their way down to a bright yellow bus, ready to make their way into Victoria. Schools from both Vancouver and the Island sauntered in to rally in either the Persuasive Speech or After Dinner category. 

“I’m judging speeches, sitting there and thinking about the level of competition that our school is up against; seeing two Brentonians on the stage for rewards just wows me,” eloquently stated Jordan S, Whittall ‘15.

Covering a variety of topics, from tall people problems, to the tolerance of narcissism, to pro-euthanasia stances, Brentwood students rallied for excellence within their respective pools. Two talented charmers managed to articulate their ways to the finals:

Senior: Maria F, Allard ’15, placing 2nd.

Junior: Andrew W, Whittall ‘17, placing 1st.

With miniature gnomes in hand, the squad silently moved out. Returning to Brentwood in the evening, all students finally had the time to catch well deserved z’s.

Saturday soon arrived and Jr. and Sr. Debate teams, as well as more judges, waddled towards their transportation. A quick pop into Timmy’s and a couple of shots of caffeine later, coaches and students alike seemed ready to brace the day! 

Themed debates ensued through holiday topics, because who else is going to debate Santa’s legitimacy and political views? Like critically acclaimed Birdman, the teams delved into the roleplaying, some opponent students throwing impassioned cries: “You can’t just say that Santa isn’t real.” Jr. Debater, do not ever change. Lunch came, brownies were eaten, and another round of debate finished as time ‘flew’ by.

With Brentwood contenders swooping in, once again like a bird, two Junior debate teams saw victory in their respective nests:

Toria E, Alex ’17 & Cameron W, Ellis ’17  1st

Delaney B, Allard ’17 & Alejandro G, Ellis ’17 2nd 

Basically, Brentwood tears up the floor more efficiently than an angry Siamese kitty, in the realm of Debate and Public Speaking at least. Students huddled outside the Oak Bay campus like birds of a feather and swapped stories of their day’s experience. 

Arriving back on campus an hour before the annual Snowball dance, students swapped their business attire for formal and danced the night away—in a surprisingly un-birdlike fashion.

Who would have gnome that the tournament would yield such high results for Brentwood? Nobody, if it had not been for the excellent Debate Coaches, Mrs. Steele-MacInnis and Mr. Bryant, as well as everyone who participated and volunteered their time!

Kimmi G, Hope ‘15

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