Debate: the art of rhetoric. Using persuasive language hopefully win a formal argument was the focus of “Introduction to Debate;” however, so many more leadership lessons were taught throughout the course.
The first half of the course focused on developing our understanding of debate. We read passages from famous published works, learned debate terminology, analyzed structure of professional arguments, and practiced how to utilize reliable sources of information as evidence. As we progressed into the second half, we began to debate in front of the class. My group consisted of Gabe Heidbreder, Megan McGillis, and Cassy Daoust. Our first debate was parliamentarian style. Megan and Gabe served as the government, arguing that, “Firearms should be allowed on school campuses.” Cassy and I, being the negative, stated reasons why the current policy, in which guns are banned, is safe and should not be tampered with. Both sides fought brilliantly, and a tad sassily. Being the last of the parliamentarian debates to go, we truly went out with a bang.
This course taught me more than how to strategically use words in combat. Debate requires extensive research, and furthermore, requires close attention to detail of sources. Also, debate happens in a public setting: therefore, my public speaking abilities were further tested in the course. Lastly, being able to admit to a loss was a lesson I learned through my group’s Lincoln-Douglas Debate; Cassy and I again the negative, arguing in favor of animal testing, fought a weaker argument than our group mates, Megan and Gabe.
Being familiar with public speaking and growing up in a house where all I did was argue with my two older brothers, I entered this class assuming it would be a breeze; I quickly learned that, like most everything, it required time and dedication to find success. I plan to take these lessons beyond the classroom and into every day life. An attention to detail, strong public speaking abilities, and being a good-sport will propel anyone in any situation, not just debate class. I am grateful for this experience and plan to continue growing in all of these areas.
A song to accompany this post: