By Yusha Rahique ‘18
With the closing of yet another successful debate season, the team gathered at the Citi foundation in Manhattan to celebrate their accomplishments. Even in the stages of its fledgling second year, the team won first place in the city and consistently had members place in the top ten.
“The team teaches you to be independent, it teaches you to do research on your own, and it helps you to learn to present yourself in a very confident manner,” coach Thomas stated. “It is a verbal sparring match and brings out the inner instinct to argue a point and defend yourself. The students have such a work load that I am going to make the debate class an elective next year.”
Part of being in the debate team means arguing any topic, even those you may have never heard of.
“It is quite difficult for the students, only having a month to prepare for a topic. We had to prepare to argue about topics such as Carbon tax which isn’t exactly a popular subject to debate,” said Thomas.
Tragedy struck the team recently, with the heartbreaking news of Kara’s death. In her honor, the NYC Urban Debate Leader introduced the Kara Healy spirit award.
“Kara Healy was a novice. After only her first two debates, she was immediately placed on the Varsity team winning her first tournament and even debating at Princeton University,” Ms. Thomas stated. “The award that was created in her honor represents a spirit of leadership and dedication and is given to those who are fearless, fierce and have great strength in character, qualities Kara herself had”.
The award was given to Sarah Gur ’19 who had a few things on her mind about the award ceremony.
“It was an honor receiving this award. Kara was such an important part of the team and her time here will never be forgotten,” she stated. “The debate team considers themselves a family being the small group of people within the thousands that walk the halls each day and with the loss of one of our most dedicated family members, this award is a great way to commemorate her”.
The end of this year’s season signals the end for the seniors of the team and one particular senior, Emily Ng ’17, had a few thoughts on leaving the team.
“It may seem cliché for me to say this but it would be bitter sweet. I have spent most of my time counting the days until I started college until I now realize that a lot of my friends would either still be in the city, or still be in Midwood while I am going to be hours away,” she stated. “You never know where your home is until you actually leave. Although Midwood might not be the greatest place, it is about people and the people, especially on my team, will always be the most vivacious I know.”
The team, despite their great achievements this year, is being even more ambitious about their goals for next year.
Sarah Gur stated, “Next year we hope to compete in both city and states with a winning record. The team was established in 2015 so we are very new and are competing in a pool of schools recognized for their teams that have been around for ages. Regardless of how new we are, we are hornets after all and with great dedication as well as working really hard, we can achieve anything.”