Ibid 2019 – “The New Wave”- Pages 30-31
review Most novice debaters start with no debating skills, and it’s Director of Debate Tom Fones’ job to teach the debaters everything they know: “You teach them the game, which is an educational game — the time limits, the structures, the content — so you start them from when they really don’t have any idea of how it works. And if you think about it, it’s sort of like teaching someone to play tennis. This is where the net is; this is how you serve, all that stuff,” Fones said.
helpful hints Emotions flood novice debaters at their first debate because of how little they feel that they know. Some debaters specifically remember their mistakes.
“The first time I ever debated, I began to argue for the wrong side in the middle of one of my speeches. I can still remember the horrified look on my partner’s face,” sophomore Liam Lynch said.
Others remember how intimidated they were by their partners and their opponents. 9th Grader Per Johnson said., “My first debate was really memorable because we went to a varsity debate before we actually started debating in novice and the first debate was really interesting, and the people spoke really quickly.”
Fones watches as the debaters’ confidence grow, and their public speaking skills improve, and the debaters see it as well, but they see it through wins.
Johnson said, “Our last tournament, we won. It was pretty fun. We had some really strong opponents, one of whom was going maverick, or solo, and she totally crushed us. And the judge (who was not paying attention whatsoever) told us we won, so that was good I guess.” McCauley said. “My partner [Kieran Singh] and I made semi-finals at the Mid-America cup, which was amazing.”
Fones argues the love for the trophies and said there’s more than winning that comes out of debating: “I’m excited for them because it makes them happy, but, to put it bluntly, I’m trying to sneak in the skill while they’re winning the trophies.”