Speech and Debate is Back in Session


Calvin Mueller, Headline News Editor

A very select few Sahuaro students have experienced a speech and debate tournament, 0.3% of the student population to be exact. I am one of the select few who have. It’s quite an experience to see dorky, funny, highly intelligent and perfectly dressed high school students reciting speeches to themselves like madmen. That’s the norm, at 7:30 in the morning, at debate tournaments.

Speech and Debate has finally kicked off here at Sahuaro, one of three schools in Tucson who actually have a speech and debate team. For those who don’t know, there are multiple types of events one can perform, like Informative Speaking, where you use visual aids to inform somebody about a topic you may not know about, or something like Humorous Interp, where competitors act out characters from a script or play. There are numerous other events like Poetry, Prose, Dramatic Interp, Exempt, and Oratory. Here at Sahuaro, we almost exclusively do Informative Speaking. Last year we had speeches on corn, hair extensions, pugs, and marriage. Last year when I debated, I was drawn to the infos, the speech jargon for informative speaking. I remember watching speeches on movies, psychics, and even supersonic flight.

On November 9th, Sahuaro’s Speech and Debate woke up at 4 am to drive up to Mesa and compete. We had speeches on Formula 1, black music, and the carbon recapturing process. We had 3 rounds of speech among a very busy group of debate kids. Winta Tekle, senior, exclaims that they love tournaments because, “You can go into a round [of speeches] and walk out with information that I wouldn’t ever have known, which makes me want to keep doing them.” I have learned so much about these tournaments, even more about my anxiety. It’s a feeling like no other – walking into a room and speaking for 10 minutes about something you love, making it all very satisfying. Winta again states they really enjoy the tournaments because “the interactions with other kids from across the state–even the country–makes it super fun.” Last year, I debated against people from Georgia, New Jersey, and many other states. It’s really cool to see how other people across the country do things during high school, an experience that’s hard to find and know about if you don’t do speech and debate.