The Last One
While I was going through my numerous university applications and alumni interviews, the one question that I was asked the most was “What is one thing you are passionate about?” While some people might find that question challenging to answer, it was a very easy question for me.
Every time I was asked that question, I did not hesitate to say, “My passion is debate.” Throughout my volatile high school career, the one thing that remained a constant was my passion for this somewhat obscure activity. Debate is an activity that allows one to be critical. It encourages me to think logically, observe open-mindedly, and speak eloquently. The feeling of standing up at the podium and convincing other people of your thoughts and ideas is by far the most satisfying and exhilarating feeling I have experienced.
The Brentwood Debate and MUN team has allowed me to pursue my interest to its fullest, with the most recent event perfectly exemplifying the competitive nature of our ever-expanding club.
Much like how the basketball team and the hockey team has their annual provincial tournament where athletes face off against their most competent peers in the province, the Law Foundation Cup is a place where the best debaters from all over BC come to compete. Qualifying for this tournament is not an easy task. One must first enter a recognized debate tournament, which qualifies them to enter the regionals. Then, they must place amongst the best within their respective regions in order to qualify for the Law Foundations Cup. Approximately a month ago, twelve students, six in the senior category and six in the junior category, placed amongst the top 5 teams in the island and solidified their places in the 2019 Law Foundation Cup.
On March 1st and 2nd, talented students from the Brentwood Debate Club headed to Glenlyon Norfolk School to compete. The tournament, as expected, was full of talent. Throughout two days, five rounds, and 10 speeches, the debaters gave it everything they have, all speaking with passion, cunning, and expertise. Although everyone was extraordinary, like all tournaments, there had to be a winner. By the time the tournament directors were ready to announce the finalists of the tournament, everyone was visibly anxious. This anxiety was well-rewarded when Jaylyn B and Amelia H were called as one of the finalist teams.
The finals perfectly exemplified the spirit of debate. The four debaters were nothing less than amazing. As they passionately spoke in favor and in disapproval of media’s demonization of extremist groups, the room tentatively listened, showing their utmost attention to the talented debaters. After a close and intense final round, Jaylyn and Amelia came on top, officially earning the well-deserved title of the best high school debaters in BC, and earning a spot at the 2019 Canadian National High School Debate Tournament.
After the closing of my last high school debate tournament, I felt a wave of emotions go through my head. Throughout the six years of my debate career, I have been to 38 different tournaments in 16 different cities. I have laughed and cried; I have won and lost. I have made countless friends and connections that lasted through the test of time. But most importantly, I grew as an individual. Not only did I gain the ability to think logically and speak fluently, but I matured as I learned about the various issues facing the world. I became more aware of my community and became confident that one day, I can contribute to solve these problems that I now know so much about. If anyone reading this is thinking about trying out debate, my advice would be to give it a shot. It is most definitely not for everyone, but it is an activity that undoubtedly changed my life for the better.
Marc Y, Rogers ‘19