“Time-consuming” may be the first word that pops into mind when one thinks of debate. In fact, this is one of the prominent reasons behind those who quit debate. Although varsity debaters attend meetings four days a week, they also spend a weekly average of six hours outside of school. A former debater, Aashi D. (12) commented, “It was a tough decision to quit because my leaving affected my teammates as well. However, I don't regret my decision. On top of the schoolwork I had to do, I had to spend my nights coordinating with my team to get the perfect argument.”
While this may be the case for some, it has not impeded other seniors from participating. Sophie L. (12) began debating back in fourth grade as an extracurricular outside of school and has been continuing ever since. To our surprise, she was not essentially interested in debate when she began her career but participated to develop her English. Now on the Seisen varsity debate team, she defines debate as “a sport for liberal art nerds.” She explained that once you refine your skills as a debater, the satisfaction and accomplishment after the debate is greater than the cumulative stress. Therefore, to Sophie and many other debaters, debate is a "source of stress relief" rather than a time-consuming, burdensome extracurricular. Additionally, Khit Nyan S. (12) another senior varsity debater added, “I was considering on quitting this year due to the toil, but reflecting on my past achievements and experiences, I was convinced by my teammates and coaches to continue.”
This perseverance and commitment demonstrated by the team may be the reason for their victories over the previous years. Sophie L. (12) commented, “Our debate team is relatively big compared to our very small student body, which shows that many girls are learning to step up and speak their mind. We have that Seisen spirit within us as a source of bravery to step out of our comfort zone.” In addition to the students themselves, Minkyoung C. (12) stated that the coaches play a key role in their triumphs. Ms. Angelique’s adroit skill of time efficiency has immensely benefited the team, especially due to the limited time the upperclassmen has with IB. Moreover, Mr. Granger, a TOK teacher, has guided the Varsity Team not only to base arguments off logic like typical debaters but tackle debate topics in a philosophical way.
Therefore, there is more to debate than just being a tedious extra-curricular. In addition to the guidance from the coaches, the devoted attitude of the varsity debate team, who overcomes the adversity of time-management, is a substantial factor in their achievements.