An Insight to the Life of a Debate Student

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Article Written by: Felicia Cantu

You know the sort of people who would stay up until midnight arguing over definitions, logistics, and technicalities, and then get up at five A.M. the next day to persuade strangers to agree with them on topics they’ve never heard of before? Debaters are those kinds of people.
The majority of the PHS debate team is the policy debators — the CX kids. CX is cross-examination debate, where two people partner up and argue the pros and cons of a policy change for the US government. Until you get in a room and debate it, it sounds incredibly dry. But once you get there, you’ll find yourself becoming the kind of person who will rant all the way home about how the other team dared to argue an critique of capitalism or make a disadvantage argument without a link. This is not a bad thing, I assure you.
Most Pottsboro CX-ers also extemp. For those who don’t know, extemp is where you give a speech about a randomly chosen topic, with only your pre-prepared news articles as sources. For a typical extemp speech, five percent of it is based on one line in an article that vaguely relates to the topic, ten percent is misremembered lessons from World Geography, and eighty-five percent is metaphors about cake and trees and fishing.
The PHS debate team started strong this year, sweeping the Aubrey Invitational, where Felicia Cantu and Sang Lee won first, and Hannah Frosch and Lindsey Crowley-Scott took second. Their season continued with several more tournaments and several more top scores. Lindsey Crowley-Scott won the Top Speaker award at the UIL district competition in January, where she and her partner were semi-finalists. The team is headed to compete at the National Forensic League district tournament in April, where they could qualify to compete at Nationals, held this year in Overland Park, Kansas.
Like I said, debators are a pretty odd bunch. We’re weird, we’re loud, and we’re obnoxiously proud of our technical jargon. But if you’re looking for a place to stretch your brain and learn amazing speaking skills, debate’s not a bad option. After all, we may be strange, but we can argue the pants off of anyone who tries insult us about it.