Debaters travel to improve skills

Park students gain experience at Emerson College


Nietzsche Deuel

For two vigorous weeks sophomores Grace Farley and Ayanna Nathan attended the National Debate Forum at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Nathan said she enjoyed having someone familiar with her at the National Debate Forum.

“Having Grace there was great. We were roommates, so it wasn’t uncomfortable, because sharing a room with someone you just met from an entirely different part of the country would be weird,” Nathan said.

Nathan said the Forum required a lot from the students who went, with long hours and an abundance of homework.

“It was very difficult, very challenging,” Nathan said.

Farley said the camp consisted of speaking drills, studying topics and debating topics.

“Every single day you have a round debating someone. We do lectures and learn about different strategic ways you can debate. You learn different strategic stuff and you do that as homework. Then you debate the new technique you just learned,” Farley said. “We did a lot of drills. So like speaking drills, topic literacy drills. We just read everything we could on it and just like the process of writing things.”

Nathan believes the camp changed how she feels about her ability to debate.

“It’s kind of shaken my confidence about debate a little bit because it’s so many layers, so many aspects that I don’t fully grasp like complex theories and philosophical questions and things I’m not sure I’m ready for. But I’m going to try anyway,” Nathan said. 

Farleys said the camp inspired her to keep participating in debate.

“It showed me that I really do want to be in debate. I was like ‘maybe I don’t, but let’s go to the camp and see’ and I realized that I really want to be in it because I like the community and the people” Farley said.