June 3, 2012 at 12:40 am

The Debates

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Amanda Moir takes the podium during her debate.

Many of you— hopefully—got the chance over the past few weeks to go to one of the senior debates.  These debates mark the culmination of the seniors’ English course curriculum and all other language arts skills they’ve learned over their entire high school career.  This year there were nine spring resolves, covering topics from organ harvesting to reality television.  Learning more about the debates, one soon realizes that the preparation process is far more complicated and demanding than one may have thought.  The entire fourth quarter of senior English is dedicated to the construction and perfection of their arguments, the search for a visual aid, and emotional preparation for the fight of their lives.  The first step in this long process is to find a group of people whom you’d like to work and then come up with a resolve (the topic which you will be debating).  Then this group of four breaks into two teams of two, with each team taking an opposing stance on the same  topic.  Within this two person team, you must first construct an argument, then write up outlines on how you will present your position, and then formulate a rebuttal—a defensive argument against the position of the other team—all while guessing at the content and evidence that the other team may use. Only after all of these preparations are in place can the seniors make the debates look so darn easy.

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