Where else in the world can you hear a satire of teen culture, a story of a middle school boy sneaking chocolate into summer camp like contraband, and an eloquent explanation of the ramifications of adult actors playing teenagers in media, all in the same place? This is why I love speech competitions. Specifically, the Hector MacIntosh Competition, which pits students in the Cowichan Valley against each other in a riveting night of laughter, existentialism, inspiration, and persuasion.
Just over a month ago, students competed in the internal selections here at Brentwood, as well as other schools in the valley. Three students in each age category were selected for the semi-finals. With Juniors (grades 9 and 10) delivering didactic masterpieces in the persuasive category, and the Seniors performing flawless after dinner speeches in their category, three Brentwood students made it the finals.
Last week, Kennedy M, Jaylynn B, and Emma M all went into Duncan to compete in the nerve-wracking final. Each of the three girls had to construct an entirely new work of rhetorical genius, memorize it, and perfect its nuanced delivery, amidst the rest of their busy commitments, in two short weeks. And believe me, the brilliance these girls showed on stage is applied to every facet of their Brentwood careers, so this was no easy task.
Yet, with a surplus of eloquent prose and dedicated grit, they each managed to craft medal-winning speeches. Emma, with her “2019 Almost Mid-year Review” had the audience genuinely doubled-over as she explained the hopelessness of our society from the perspective of a perfectly embodied Brooklyn ‘defecto crazy lady”, earning her second place in the senior division. Kennedy poignantly revealed the dangerous impact of adult actors in teen media, which, combined with her poised stage presence, gave her a first place in the junior category. Finally, Jaylynn’s priceless, self-deprecating speech, “Teen Like You”, earned first place in the senior division, with a $1200 scholarship to university in the fall, which happens to be McGill.
The night was a great success, and it was truly fascinating to listen to these amazingly talented girls. Congratulations to all involved!
Amelia H, Allard '20