Volume 31



First Person: My Experience at Debate Nationals

On one bright Saturday morning, a team of Luke Rascoff ’27, Margaux Schlumberger ’27, Julia Thomas ’27, and team Noah Koo ’27, Kaison Maruyama ’27 and I were preparing for the day ahead of us, the National Speech and Debate Tournament.
As it was my first time competing in nationals, I wasn’t alone as Koo and Maruyama were experiencing the same. We were reviewing our speeches and were primarily focusing on the harder cases of the debate, as we didn’t know what we were debating about from the round not starting yet. In what felt like only a few seconds, the first round was already starting. And round after round, we were both winning and losing rounds. My teammates and I were thinking of rebuttals and strategies and so was the other amazing HW debate team right next door. Before we knew it, the two days were almost ending, and my team and I were waiting on the final results of whether we could go on to finals.

Pullquote Photo

In what felt like only a few seconds, the first round was already starting.

— Joanna Xia '27

My team knew that the possibility of us moving on to finals is small as we did lose some rounds, but that didn’t stop our excitement and pride in how well we did. And before we knew it, Rascoff, Schlumberger and Thomas were able to move on to finals! I was so proud of them and I knew that they have worked very hard throughout the season and now they are rewarded with finals.
Koo, Maruyama and I were eagerly waiting for the final results. I remember standing right outside of the glass windows of the classroom, waiting for the last few minutes before the results came in, and looking right in to see suddenly their faces morph from nervousness to happiness, as they burst into cheers and screams. They won nationals!
I remember how my teammates and I eagerly ran up to them and congratulated them for such a huge success! I have to say, this is probably my favorite memory of the season and hopefully, this is only the beginning for us.
As I reflect on this outstanding experience, I have to say that it was truly a great time, and I am so glad that I was able to be a part of it. It’s important to know that in life you lose some and win some, and even that, people win some and lose some, but it’s important to always look for that light at the end of the tunnel. Because if you work hard enough and never give up, you will be rewarded with a great outcome!

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