For the last four days, Rosa (Gr. 9) and I have been in majestic Winnipeg, where she qualified to compete in the Junior National Debate Championships. She sharpened her wits with the top debaters across Canada, made it as far as the quarter-finals and ranked among the top 10 speakers nationally overall.
I just wanted to express how impressed I was by her hard work, humour, maturity and grace under pressure throughout the tournament.
Much of the pleasure of debate comes from watching the chemistry and collaboration between supportive partners (who, in some cases, have known each other for years). This makes Rosa’s accomplishment even more remarkable since she was placed in a hybrid team, meeting her partner from Port Moody for the first time this weekend.
Rosa and Andrew became a dynamic duo over that short time, making it to the quarter-finals together in an exciting and contentious match-up against another very strong BC team comprised of their friendly competitors from Crofton House.
Their final performance in the quarter-finals earned accolades and praise from the audience and from the coach from the opposing team. Although they did not advance after a controversial call from the judges, everyone watching agreed that it was one of the highlight rounds of the tournament.
This weekend was equal parts fun and challenging for Rosa, and I am so happy to have been in the company of such a lovely, level-headed student! Staying up late, eating chicken fingers, and discussing the intricacies of a two-state solution for Ukraine was probably one of the best, quirkiest teaching moments of my career.
If you see Rosa, please give her a huge pat on the back. For such a young debater, she has had a banner year.