I revel in proving people wrong

I’ve always been very opinionated and argumentative and while debating may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I revel in proving people wrong.

Debating is basically a polite impersonal cat fight of the wits and what could be better than that?

Recently I had the privilege of going to the Hawke’s Bay for the Russell McVeagh debating competition to represent Gisborne Girls’ High School. Though we didn’t come out on top to claim Gizzy gold, it was a very interesting experience, and our egos were definitely fuelled when we beat the Gisborne Boys’ High School team by a significant amount.

We didn’t really have much of a say in that matter, but when we realized we were facing Boys’ High (who we had put up with on a shared three hour car trip) we realised that no matter who won, the other team would never hear the end of it.

Many of the motions we were given were about current events, politics, trade, and morality, which yes — young people actually do think about.

Debating is especially helpful in making people think from other perspectives; are 16-17 year olds really mature enough to vote? Do criminals deserve the same rights we do? Should we be supporting non-democratic countries with trade? The art of Debating really causes us to think about issues, and as Seneca says; “We live not for life but for the debating room.”

Though slightly unwilling and inexperienced, I was thrust into the role of third speaker, the person who has to improvise their way out of a paper bag and undermine the opposing team’s ideas and models, preferably with heightened levels of sass.

There are always some interesting tidbits that we remember and reflect on whilst participating or watching debates.

Here are some rather interesting, amusing, out of context, slightly irrelevant quotes:

“Some people consider killing a cat and painting pictures with their blood art.”

“If you look at the negating team’s arguments, you can find a truck-sized hole in their logic.”

“I’m sorry Lucy, I looked through all our notes and couldn’t find that truck-sized hole you were talking about.”

“Communism isn’t that bad.”

“You can teach a monkey to go to the toilet, doesn’t mean you should be paid for it.”

“I am of English, Irish, and Italian *hand gesture* descent.”

“Why wouldn’t you accept my points of information? It’s because I’m black isn’t it?”

“You brought up China first”.

“No, you did!”

“Okay, we’re sorry for bringing up China.”

“Mothers only teach their children how to eat and go to the toilet.”

“Criminals should not be supported, they have no rights.”

“Would you go up to a pedophile and give them $20?”

“Point of information!”

“Accepted.”

“Do you agree that 16-17 year olds do not make up the majority of the population?”

“Um . . . yeah.”

Sentences fly, the atmosphere is tense, pieces of paper with witty remarks are shuffled around, and pens scribble in an attempt to finish one’s speech last minute.

Points of information are gladly accepted and declined, and confused expressions cross people’s faces regularly.

Sparks fly, the heat is turned up and the adjudicator looks on, mouth set in a grim poker face.

There’s nerves, fumbling for words, glances exchanged between tables, a couple of crude signs directed subtly at the Boys’ High team ... and then, we cross the floor to shake hands and spend the next 10-20 minutes laughing about it and acting as though you’ve known the other teams forever.

No hard feelings, all just good fun.

I’ve always been very opinionated and argumentative and while debating may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I revel in proving people wrong.

Debating is basically a polite impersonal cat fight of the wits and what could be better than that?

Recently I had the privilege of going to the Hawke’s Bay for the Russell McVeagh debating competition to represent Gisborne Girls’ High School. Though we didn’t come out on top to claim Gizzy gold, it was a very interesting experience, and our egos were definitely fuelled when we beat the Gisborne Boys’ High School team by a significant amount.

We didn’t really have much of a say in that matter, but when we realized we were facing Boys’ High (who we had put up with on a shared three hour car trip) we realised that no matter who won, the other team would never hear the end of it.

Many of the motions we were given were about current events, politics, trade, and morality, which yes — young people actually do think about.

Debating is especially helpful in making people think from other perspectives; are 16-17 year olds really mature enough to vote? Do criminals deserve the same rights we do? Should we be supporting non-democratic countries with trade? The art of Debating really causes us to think about issues, and as Seneca says; “We live not for life but for the debating room.”

Though slightly unwilling and inexperienced, I was thrust into the role of third speaker, the person who has to improvise their way out of a paper bag and undermine the opposing team’s ideas and models, preferably with heightened levels of sass.

There are always some interesting tidbits that we remember and reflect on whilst participating or watching debates.

Here are some rather interesting, amusing, out of context, slightly irrelevant quotes:

“Some people consider killing a cat and painting pictures with their blood art.”

“If you look at the negating team’s arguments, you can find a truck-sized hole in their logic.”

“I’m sorry Lucy, I looked through all our notes and couldn’t find that truck-sized hole you were talking about.”

“Communism isn’t that bad.”

“You can teach a monkey to go to the toilet, doesn’t mean you should be paid for it.”

“I am of English, Irish, and Italian *hand gesture* descent.”

“Why wouldn’t you accept my points of information? It’s because I’m black isn’t it?”

“You brought up China first”.

“No, you did!”

“Okay, we’re sorry for bringing up China.”

“Mothers only teach their children how to eat and go to the toilet.”

“Criminals should not be supported, they have no rights.”

“Would you go up to a pedophile and give them $20?”

“Point of information!”

“Accepted.”

“Do you agree that 16-17 year olds do not make up the majority of the population?”

“Um . . . yeah.”

Sentences fly, the atmosphere is tense, pieces of paper with witty remarks are shuffled around, and pens scribble in an attempt to finish one’s speech last minute.

Points of information are gladly accepted and declined, and confused expressions cross people’s faces regularly.

Sparks fly, the heat is turned up and the adjudicator looks on, mouth set in a grim poker face.

There’s nerves, fumbling for words, glances exchanged between tables, a couple of crude signs directed subtly at the Boys’ High team ... and then, we cross the floor to shake hands and spend the next 10-20 minutes laughing about it and acting as though you’ve known the other teams forever.

No hard feelings, all just good fun.

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