I Rise on a Point of Order
Rhetoric, wit, passive-aggressive jabs at your opponent’s intellect (or lack thereof): these are the principles of debate that our introductory Grade 10 English Elective aims to instill in its students. Comprised mostly of newcomers to the wide world of debate, we’ve steadily stepped into its depths, learning the basics of forming a compelling constructive speech, practicing cross-examination style debates, and working our way into Canadian National Debate Format (CNDF).
Debate, almost by definition, tackles many relevant topics in our contemporary world that are otherwise seen as touchy or taboo in casual conversation. We’ve tackled racism, feminism, and ways of life in the past versus life today, to name but a few. But it hasn’t all been grave and serious. We’ve also challenged why boys are better than girls, OS X is better than Linux, and whales are better than you. Yes, you.
Reaching the end of the unit, our class has become more comfortable and confident articulating arguments and defending incoming verbal attacks. I think all of us will leave with a greater appreciation of the powers of speech, as well as the ability to speak without nervously flipping our hair (looking at you, Privett boys). ;-)
Yasmeen G, Allard ‘17