Public Forums, Debates, and Extemporary Speaking Oh My

Bethany and Zabdi prepping

Bethany and Zabdi prepping

Miranda Toy

Business suits and boys, Ann Richards debate team was not in Kansas anymore.

On Saturday January 11 the Ann Richards debate team traveled to Bowie High School to compete in a tournament with about 400 other students around the district.

Debate has been a brand new experience for the Salazar sisters, Bethany (sophomore) and Zabdi (junior), however this has not prevented them from taking over the tournament. Placing in third out of 48 teams, Zabdi and Bethany worked as a team in a Public Forum Debate (PF). PF is where two partners present a problem along with a solution to a judge and compete with an opposing team.

Other teams had been practicing for a few years whereas the Salazar sisters had been practicing for a few weeks.

“We didn’t know what we’d gotten ourselves into.” said Bethany.

This was the last PF of the year but Zabdi and Bethany both plan to continue next year, working as a team.

Just like everything else, debate has it’s ups and downs. Sophomore Maya Nunez who participated in PF and Extemporary Speaking, experienced both good and bad things.

Maya working with her partner, Stormy
Maya working with her partner, Stormy Davila (junior)

“My least favorite part is losing and the periods of time when you have to sit around seeing or not if you move on to finals round.” said Nunez, “The anticipation kills me.”

Yet despite the worrying, many debate team members have gained some sort of knowledge that will help them in the future.

“I’ve learned to be more comfortable with myself and speech.” said Asha Mani (freshman), “Also it’s helped me respond in arguments more maturely and I give actual facts rather than just say ‘You’re wrong.’”