Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Dang. After a week or so of hard work, intense brain-storming and a week's worth of classes and homework I missed and will have to catch up with to work on our debate topics, we lost the debate. The first round!

Our team comprised of Daniel Choon, the first speaker, Derek the second speaker and me as the third speaker. The two other guys, Daryl and Mohd Ariff were reserves and were arranged to speak for the semi-finals if we won. If.

Setting out from MES at 7.30 am or so, we reached the debate venue which was SMK Sijangkang Jaya, almost an hour later. We were immediately ushered into the quarantine room to prepare. We were drawn as the affirmative team for the topic "Lengthening of school hours will help to solve social ills among school children". This was actually a good thing for us, because we were more well-versed with the topic after having discussed it for 4 or 5 days.

Our first and second speakers went up and did their stuff really smoothly, taking the very few, POIs the opposition had to offer very well. We also POI-ed the negative team many times but they could not answer at all! Their first speaker even had very broken English, saying things like "We a little bit disagree with you..." and "Students doesn't want to..." and terrible grammatical errors like that.

However, as the third speaker, I accept this loss gracefully because I know I did my best. I was absolutely enjoying myself while shooting down all the opponent's arguments and I was so damn SURE we were going to win! The opponents, my fellow debaters, and even the judges said I was good, but... the "best speaker" award went to an Indian girl who was merely reading from a script and hardly debating at all. I think the award should have been renamed as "best reader" or something.

But why did we lose? WHY?!

It was because of our REPLY SPEECH. Daniel Choon was supposed to present the reply speech, but he went and asked me to write it out for him. Without thinking of the consequences, I did so, and as a result Daniel stumbled over and over, sometimes not being able to read what I wrote and sometimes pausing for long periods to think of the last few points that I did not have time to write.

Another thing may be because of the freaking judges, who were made up of 2 Malays and one Indian. Incidentally, our opponents were made up of - you guessed it! - 2 Malays and one Indian from SMK Banting. They may have been biased or they just did not know how a debate was supposed to be carried out, because our arguments were strong, convincing and to the point, while they were reading form their scripts, not rebutting nor counter-rebutting us. Instead, the judges went and gave "best speaker" to a freaking reader, while there was another girl who was better than she.

It was a fantastic experience nevertheless. I realized that I can speak in public, I can debate and I can talk loud and clearly if I really have to... but unfortunately I went to eat lunch and talked lazily again. Oh well.

It was also a great experience because I made so many friends - not only with my fellow debaters and the ex-debate coaches but also with all the kids who come to co-debater Derek's house to hang out almost everyday.

Another good thing that I have gotten out of this is that if ever an exam essay topic in BM or English is about the "lengthening of school hours" or "having a degree is a passport to success", I will have a time of my life writing it with full conviction.


1 comment:

Yamashita Reina said...

If the match was how you described it, the judges *were* biased or otherwise, did not know anything about debate. It happens ALL the time. Faced too many similar judges. =(