First there was waking up at 7 am, after a late night of socializing, sounds exciting right? Then there was sharing a bathroom with 9 other people, Yah! But my Montreal trip started on a whim. After my first inhouse debate fiasco, I decided it was in my ‘ego’s’ best interest to not go to McGill. In hindsight not my brightest moment as it is a great opportunity to learn.
It was in the early hours of friday morning, Maddy called letting me know that a spot had opened up for Montreal. I was pretty eager to jump on board, even though I only had 30 minutes to get ready, and get to the pick up point. I still however made it, but the excitement of the trip really hit me when I reached 2nd cup that morning, seeing peoples astonished faces that I had made it ahead of time was pretty entertaining.
Debating, its pretty exciting when you get a 2nd place in your first debate tournament, and doing it twice in a row is pretty amazing, thats what me and my partner managed to do it. How we did over the next two days is not to be spoken about. You learn a great deal at tournaments, and its as if you get better just by being there. As a novice who has only had a few debates before going to for tournament, I was still learning the ropes. Just being in such a competitive environment, brings out the best in you, and you learn a great deal about style and technique. The judging chairs, give you great feedback.
Now the second day begins, I have had time to analyze the feedback that I received on the first day, you know the feedback that makes you rethink your life. Really changes your perspective. My third debate begins: You know at certain points of your life, that you will never be able to do anything better than what you have just done, this was one of those moment for me. During my extension speech it was like all the pieces of the puzzle flew together, and every point I made was stronger than the last. The analysis for my arguments was actually present, and insightful for one in my lifetime. I used what i learned. It was like i could see what i could do, had an attainable standard to try and reach. My next debates like I predicted were downhill from there. It’s hard to make every round go perfect like that one.
Going to Montreal was a great experience, it was exciting, thrilling, demoralizing and just plain old awesome. The trip lasted just under three days, but each of these hours was a fun experience.
Murtaza Bahrainwala (novice)
Day 1- Hopes and Dreams
We’ve had close to a month with these novices now. It’s always an interesting time in club: that point in the year when we’re trying to spread our word, and get people acclimatized to the daunting prospect of arguing before a crowd. You can only really tell what your newbies are going to be like after this first month of work.
This lot is promising.
They’re outspoken, knowledgeable, and best of all, passionate. That’s a potent combination in most fields; in debate, it’s a hat trick.
Of course, much can change over the course of a first tournament. And debate is such a contradictory world that it turns on its own holy trinity every now and again. But we’re off to a good start.
The day ends with a team on four points (out of a possible 6) two teams on 2, and one with none. If memory serves me correctly, this may be on par with me and my cadre, two years ago. I’m tempted to extrapolate with that, but I check myself.
We are all different, members of an organization that celebrates its liberal democrats as much as it does its Greens, as much as it does its extreme capitalists. We don’t have much in common, but the point of constantly disagreeing with each other is to make common ground. Make, not find, because that’s the wrong way to think about it.
In the end, that, more than winning, may be the real point of the Novice Championships. Good luck, novices.
External Vice President
An article that explains some mistakes that public speakers make. This is good general information that can also pertain to debating!
This year are planning and excited to be sending teams to 7 tournaments and hosting 2 ourselves! (a first for Guelph!)
First Semester British Parliamentary Style
Novice (McGill) on sept. 26-28
Guindon (Ottawa) on nov. 14-16
Pro-Ams (Macmaster) on nov. 21-23
Second Semester Canadian Parliamentary Style
Royal City Novice (Guelph) on Jan 8-10
Seagrams (TBD) on jan.30 – feb. 1
Womens (Vermont) on feb. 13-15
Leubke (Brock) on feb. 28- mar. 1
Leger (Guelph) on mar.13-15
CP Nationals (McGill) on mar. 20-22
*Subject to change