Debate students spent their Saturday at a workshop to learn the basics of debate and work on perfecting techniques with debate consultants Julian Erdman and Chris O’Brien. .
“Both of these men consult around the state and teach at multiple debate camps every summer,” coach Melonie Menefee said. “I was excited to be able to get them to come to Buffalo to work with our students.”
Menefee invited Leon students to come learn with the Buffalo group.
“It was a day filled with hard work and challenging learning experiences,” junior Mollie Ditmar said. “I’m excited to apply everything I’ve learned into a real competition.”
The debtors focused on the basic structure of an argument. They played a game where they had to identify a statement as a claim, warrant or impact then come up with the missing two parts. Each person on the team had to do a different statement and if they got it wrong then they had to restart all over again.
“This was really helpful for the team,” Ditmar said. “We took a lot of notes that helped us identify what type of statement we were looking at.”
Interp students were also invited to come work; although there wasn’t an outside consultant to work with, there were mounds of interp pieces to look through to choose the right competition selections. .
“At first it was very difficult going through all the poetry books; I couldn’t quite find anything that interested me,” senior Sheri Donaldson said. “I finally came across a book full of poems by Sandra Cisnero, who has many poems about Spanish and Mexican culture.”
The day also gave interp students a chance to find performances they liked online to help them get ideas.
“Watching people perform poetry interpretations helped inspire me and encourage me too find a poetry piece that works for me,” Donaldson said. “That is why I decided to add on to my Spanish poetry piece.”
The team broke for lunch around noon before continuing with their work.
“It was a very busy day of learning for all of us,” Donaldson said. “It was nice to take a break and just relax.”
It was a full day of work for the students as well as for their coach.
“I was proud of how focused the students were and how much they worked,” Menefee said. “It will pay off when it is competition time.”