IASAS Forensics and Debate in a Nutshell

Throngs of nervous students fill a single hallway in which they branch off into several classrooms to speak. Extemp speakers cling on to their articles and sources of information anxiously as they prepare to step into their prep rooms. OO speakers recite their speeches under their breath trying to get their tone just right. The OI participants stand in place making different faces that go along with their excerpts. Debaters are still taking notes rapidly as they enter the rooms in which they will soon argue for their points. Lastly impromptu speakers rest their heads against the wall–as they attempt to calm their nerves. Some try to meditate, others find comfort in socialising and conversing lightly. All of the forensics events required extreme concentration and energy–thus IASAS was a series of stressful, exciting, and adrenaline filled moments.

Students ranging in age, nationality, and schools came together in a week for speaking and spirited debate. There were particular challenges that came with every event and left participants exhausted at the end of the day. Each day was comprised of 1-2 rounds for the forensics speakers. They were given three rounds for their speeches before those eligible for the finals were announced. The debaters had 3 exhausting debates on the first day, and 2 the following day before finding out if they had made semi-finals.

ISKL performed particularly well getting various forensics speakers into the finals. There were certain cut offs for the points required in order to continue speaking. Those that were below the cut-off had to prepare for their final round comprised of 6 talented students for every event. ISKL finalists included: Isabella ’20, Alexis ’18, Liam ’18, Lily ’17, Valentina ’18, and Kris ’18.

The extemp finals included Isabella, and Alexis. They were faced by fierce competition, as the many experienced extemp speakers set a high bar for the performances. They both gave it their all, and Isabella Jokela took home the gold for the event. The OI finals were filled with talented speakers who brought their passages to life. They ranged from serious excerpts to ones that were meant for a good laugh. Many coaches and judges alike commented on the level of competition for OI and kept repeating how this year’s competition was the strongest they had seen. Lily received the bronze medal for her hilarious piece ‘Julie and the Warlord’ by B.J Novak. Finally the impromptu finals included the prompts: ‘Scratch’, and ‘For your Information’. After some emotional speeches, and some lighter ones, Valentina ended up in second place after a feminist speech.