Sunday, March 11, 2012

Debate...Affirm or Negate, that is the Question!

Debate kids can chow down! They decided to have a "party" and bring food...well they decided they would have their moms make food.

Friday I got to spend the entire day with my oldest son and his debate team at day 1 of their district tournament. I am going to be 100% honest here and let everyone know right now that I have been pretty clueless about debate and even after a very long day of being immersed in it, I still don't know much about it. That being said, I had a great time and was very impressed by our youth of today. This is Michael's second year in debate and while it's not something he has a natural ability for, he works so hard on it and is improving so much. His debate coaches told me how impressed they are in his worth ethic and his willingness to step out of his comfort zone.

There group is relatively small and there are different levels of experience. I was so impressed by the topics they were going to be debating. Everything from space exploration to targeted killing. The diversity and the depth of the topics astounded me. These kids knew what they were talking about. They knew how to present their cases and how to defend them. I watched Michael as he negated a topic and was amazed at how he could come up with question after question. In his first round, he didn't even know the topic and came up with some great questions to ask.

A few of the kids in his group also did Reader's Theater where they read a short play and "performed" it in front of judges. They did a fun spin on the Grimm's version of Sleeping Beauty. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I was slightly disappointed that they felt the need to make the prince, a homosexual. My first thought's HIGH SCHOOL! Are you serious? I felt it was inappropriate. A few of the other skits from other schools were even more laced with the homosexual tendencies and I was quite saddened by that. There are two main reasons it saddened, I admit that I do not agree with the lifestyle but I believe in tolerance and love. I didn't feel it was appropriate to make fun of a lifestyle choice in these skits. I also felt it inappropriate to put children in a position that they felt uncomfortable with as some of the kids in the play were put in. That being said, I was impressed with the Reader's Theater groups, but wish that more thought had been put into the storylines they would be presenting.

Aside from that, the rest of the day went really well. Michael received 1's and 2's from his judges and quite a few from his team will be going on to state. Michael knows he still has lots of room for improvement but has made the commitment to work hard and get better. He really wants to excel in this area and we view it as a wonderful opportunity for him to learn skills he can apply to daily life. Who doesn't need good public speaking skills and opportunities to learn self-confidence?
During their downtime, so many of the kids worked on other homework, so proud of them for staying focused on school work.

I really enjoyed hanging out with this amazing group of kids as well. They were so fun and welcoming. They were also the most diverse group out of all the kids in attendance. Being from a Military community, diversity is very apparent. It was a beautiful picture to see all of these kids interacting with each other, laughing with each other, recognizing their differences and loving each other for who they are.

It was such a privilege to be let into this part of Michael's world, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend a wonderful day.
Michael was so cute with his little backpack he used to keep all his debate supplies in. I laughed because he has had this backpack since he was around 5 or so.

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