Debating Myths Debunked

2018_2019_Provincial_Debating_Championship_001I have been involved with debating since I arrived at LCC in grade 7 and have come to love it. It has led me to exciting opportunities on a provincial, national, and even international level after making it onto Team Canada last year.

While debating is not for everyone, there are definitely tons of people who would love it but who just haven’t given it a chance yet.  Allow me to debunk three myths that might currently prevent you from joining the club.

Myth #1: You should debate for academic reasons. Partly false. Debate will certainly help you academically – with writing argumentative essays and doing oral presentations, for example.   But most of us choose debate because we enjoy it, learn new things, get to travel together and, most importantly, go to The Keg with Mr. George.

Myth #2: You need to be a skilled public speaker in order to be a debater. Wrong. The truth is, you don’t even have to really enjoy public speaking. It is more about the art of arguing than speaking. What you have to say is far more important than how you say it. So don’t hesitate to give it a try even if public speaking is not your strength.

Myth #3: You need to understand all legal principles, the intricacies of international relations and various economic policies. You need to be a moral philosopher and political scientist. False.  Debate motions can be simple questions like whether or not we should try to contact aliens, whether or not we should ban zoos and whether to prioritize saving one child over extending the lives of 5 adults.  It can get more complex, and in order to improve and become more successful, knowledge is needed. However, it is not required in order to enjoy debate.

Here are the most recent results of the LCC debate team:

Based on our performance at the provincial championship, three LCC teams qualified for the nationals. Ella Waxman ’19 and Andrew Vandensbussche ’19, Maren Al Jendi ’19 and Max Schiller ’19, and David Surry ’19 and I headed to Halifax for the competition a couple weeks ago.  Here are a few highlights from the national championship:

  • All LCC teams won at least three rounds in the most competitive tournament of the year.
  • David and I made it to the quarter finals where we lost in a close round to the eventual national champions.
  • I was the top Quebec speaker and 4th overall speaker.

2018_2019_Ella_and_Matthew_003In other exciting news, a couple of months ago, Ella and David were invited to try out for Team Canada after their performance in the provincial championship, which is pretty incredible. Ella made the team, which means that LCC now has two members on Canada’s debate team (including me)!

I hope you now know a little more about debating. Looking forward to seeing some of you around at practices and tournaments. – Matthew Anzarouth ’20

Debating in Halifax

Last weekend, three of LCC’s debating teams, along with Ms. Wall, took off for Halifax, Nova Scotia, to participate in the annual Donahoe Cup debating tournament at Sacred Heart School of Halifax. We arrived in Halifax late Friday afternoon and headed straight to the Lord Nelson Hotel to drop off our bags and catch our breath. Shortly thereafter we took a walk by the water where we all had lot’s of fun climbing up on a giant statue of a wave and then sliding down it. After eating our first delicious dinner in Halifax that night, we all went back to our rooms to get some rest and prepare for the upcoming debates.

The next morning we arrived at Sacred Heart School of Halifax, ready for the four rounds of debating that would be coming our way throughout the day. The topics up for debate were very interesting, and had strong connections to the world around us. For example, the notion of recovering artifacts from the Titanic wreckage site was brought up in one of the debates, and the fact that we debated this on the 100th anniversary of the day that the Titanic sank made it all the more relevant. After the long day of debating, we made our way back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep.

Our third and final day in Halifax started off very well, with two of the three LCC teams making it to the quarterfinals of the tournament, each of them finishing among the top eight teams. Unfortunately, none of our teams made it past that point in the tournament, however I can confidently say that the entire weekend was all-in-all a success, with two of LCC’s teams making the quarterfinals, and four out of ten individual speaking awards being given to students from our school. I think it’s very safe to say that we all enjoyed every second of our time in Halifax, and that we’re pleased with the outcome of the weekend.– Matthew Steinberg ’14