Something Unheard Of: Debate/Forensics 2017

Cameron Jantsch

Lucy Brock (9)

 

Covering her mouth with her hand, freshman Lucy Brock can’t help but giggle. The announcer calls sixth place, fifth, fourth, third. She anxiously waits for her name. Second place is announced, followed by wide eyes and held in breaths awaiting to hear the name of the state qualifier. 

The judging room she had stood in an hour previously brought nerves, hitting Brock like a truck. She took a deep breath, reminding herself that this was just like the play auditions she enjoyed so much. Her hands shook, she began to stutter through her piece. 

One deep breath and her entire body calmed. She got into the character of her humorous piece, “How to Rock Braces and Glasses,” an interpretation of a popular girl who gets glasses and learns to live with them. The nerves slipped away. Her emotions and facial expressions became just as loud and “in your face” as she had practiced.  

“When I was walking up, there was this girl there that was like, ‘I triple broke and triple won in my last tournament last season.’ I just thought, ‘Oh gosh, I’m competing against this girl?’” Brock said. “That was really nerve wracking.”

And before she knew it, she had made it to the final round, despite her anxiousness. She felt confident and proud of her performances throughout the day. But she wasn’t done yet. And although she didn’t expect to win due to the lack of the first time forensics competitors that make it to state, she expected to place within the top few contestants. 

“Lucy Brock.” 

Her eyes light up at the news of her state qualification, her uncontrollable giggling increasing. Looking around at her competitors and down at her teammates, she flashes a big smile and walks over to the announcer, her hands still slightly shaking. But this time she wasn’t shaking out of nervousness, it was from pure excitement. 

 

Margaret Veglahn (9)

 

Strutting confidently into the room, freshman Margaret Veglahn walked over and stood in front of the judge. “Don’t drag your feet,” she told herself. Rolling her shoulders back and reminding herself that this was as if she was just auditioning, she began to deliver her piece. 

When picking her first piece to perform in forensics, Veglahn decided on writing her own oratory, a persuasive speech. She wanted to use it to educate and persuade people about a topic she was passionate about- self diagnosing mental illness.

“It’s always something that’s really bothered me, people who self diagnose mental illness, because you really can’t do that without going to medical school and having a degree,” Veglahn said. 

She spent an hour after school every day for the two weeks leading up to her first tournament, going in after school to practice with the older kids and teacher, Mr. Witt. Her preparation and passion for the topic made delivering the piece at the tournament easy. 

“I wasn’t very nervous because to me it was like an audition for a show,” Veglahn said. “Plus, you’re in a room and it’s only one person, so if you mess up, it’s just one person.”

She felt confident after she performed, but was surprised to qualify for the final round. She was even more surprised to find out that not only had she placed well, she had won her event and qualified for state. With her qualification, she was one of two freshmen to qualify for state at their first tournament, something unheard of in the forensics world.