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Forensics take home first place


The Forensics speech and debate teams competed in their first tournament of the 2023-’24 school year at YISS on Oct. 13 and 14, respectively. Their work on individual pieces began as early as September and their preparations culminated in a first-place standing among all of the participating schools. 

“As a team, we kept pushing to achieve better blocking, tone, characterization, and emotions by experimenting and receiving feedback from each other,” Stella Chae (12), Solo Acting Captain, said. “It was really great to see new members of the team passionately participating in the practices. I was excited to experiment together to find the most fitting emotion, tone, and movement.” 

Out of the Forensics speech team, three students were chosen for each of the seven sections. The debate team was divided into three sections. 

“The speech team has grown this year which is encouraging,” Iain Cowieson, Forensics head coach, said. “We have quite a large number of seniors this year so the speech team has developed in terms of experience over the last two years, as well. At the same time, it is great to have new grade nine and ten students joining the team and gaining experience.” 

Starting from Friday afternoon and continuing until evening, the speech teams underwent three rounds of judging where they presented their speeches in front of teachers and peers. After this, five finalists were chosen from each discipline and spoke once more in front of a larger audience. 

The debate teams began their tournament on Saturday morning and participated in four preliminary rounds before finalists were announced. Similar to the speech teams, the debate finalists also presented in front of a larger audience. 

“It was my first competition, so I did feel kind of nervous toward the beginning and especially in my first round, I could feel my heart beating,” Leah Kim (9), Solo Acting participant, said. “As I progressed, I think I got better throughout the rounds and I felt less nervous. I think it was thanks to the friendly environment because everyone was really nice and friendly to me.” 

Fourteen entries from the speech team progressed to the final round, while eight students from the debate team participated in the finals. 

“I am really happy about our outcome since a lot of us got into finals,” Leah said. 

“We won the first tournament so that is a great start to the season,” Mr. Cowieson said. “I will look through the judges’ feedback for each competitor, talk to the captains of each discipline for their advice on any changes in personnel for the next tournament, and have one-on-one chats with as many of the competitors as possible as we build toward the next tournament.” 

The next Forensics tournament will be held at GSIS on Nov. 17-18. 

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Grace Lee, Reporter
Grace is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times. She is interested in literature, loves watching soccer games with her parents, and listens to pop music during her free time. Feel free to approach her with book recommendations or anything else!

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