“年度大战”——WSDA 2024 冬季冠军赛 中学组的比赛 于今日正式拉开了序幕~
开幕式精彩回顾WSDA Winternational Championship
01、Luck is when preparation meets opportunity
“Word that came up time and time again when I looked it up. And that was luck. So. Remember. People make their own luck.
Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. ”
- Cale Halley
Good morning everyone. I am one of the judges for the tournament and I am extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to continue my journey with WSDA as a judge, share my debate experience, and talk about how it has empowered me academically and professionally today.
My debate journey started 10 years ago when I was in high school. I actually signed up for it to avoid taking advanced calculus, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I made. I remember walking into the debate classroom and seeing my coach outlining the fundamentals of public forum debate on the whiteboard during my first debate class. That day, the concept of debate itself attracted me instantaneously. Until middle school, the education I received has always placed great emphasis on giving standardized answers: the lessons we learn from history should be similar, and the rationales behind policies are always fixed. Public forum debate showed me the possibility of using logical reasoning and substantive evidence to cast doubt on the irrational and think critically about the potential pros and cons of certain policies. More importantly, it constantly challenged me to explore disciplines in which I had zero knowledge, enabling me to become receptive of the different voices and perspectives.
Apparently, I got way too excited at the beginning and encountered great challenges during the Stanford invitational tournament. Out of all the preliminary rounds, my partner and I won 1 round, because our opponent didn’t show up. Whenever I share this story with people, they always ask why I still remember it —- I mean, it was kinda hard to forget. I remember clearly that as we lost more rounds, I got so freaked out that I started to forget what the evidence was about; I accidentally mispronounced words; and in one extreme case, I started arguing for the other side. Eventually, all the frustration turned into great self doubt, which made me realize how much more I needed to learn and practice. My partner and I went from classroom to classroom to watch other debaters compete, learned the skills we lacked and practiced repeatedly. We then started winning more — from regional to national, and to international tournaments.
My debate experience has profoundly impacted me. Because I enjoyed researching, writing and making arguments so much, I became interested in the legal profession and entered law school. It’s fascinating how I still find a lot of parallels between the legal work I do now and the work I did as a debater back in high school. Whenever I read cases and court documents, I feel like I am reading the evidence packet; whenever I interview clients’ employees for internal investigations, I feel like I am doing crossfire.
I am so grateful for everything that debate has taught me. As you will start your tournament soon, I just wanted to let you know that you’ve all done your work and you will do great, and even if you lose sometimes, it is completely okay because as long as you have enough passion for debate, your passion will help you power through difficult times and become better. Thank you all and best of luck on your tournament.
My name is Willard Mou, a sophomore currently studying at the American International School of Guangzhou (AISG). I’m sure many of yall also know me for being the reigning champion of WSDA winter invitationals last year.
Being this unique role of a WSDA captain punched me with these endless stories. Just last week, AISG hosted a remarkable debate event with Basis International School Of Guangzhou regarding the fall case of whether “The benefits of resource extraction in the Arctic Circle outweigh the harms.” What I saw was in fact truly remarkable; debaters from both schools came out with laughter and happiness on their faces. From being an average high school student to taking over the debate club at our school and hosting debate events with the top international schools in our community, embarking on this journey as a WSDA captain has been nothing short of exhilaration. Every speech I perceived is not just the representation of ideas, but a celebration of power of discourse. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster, fueling commitment to my role of organizing events for our speech and debate club. But it was these moments that I find the true essence of my role for representing AISG as a WSDA captain. I feel privileged to be able to learn my role from a WSDA captain through means of understanding to raise awareness of the absence voices in our community.
Ok but that’s enough of what I accomplished as a WSDA captain. The reason why I am here is I want “you” to be the best captain in the future. Through this 3-minute speech, I don’t want “me” to be heard, but I want “we” to be heard. I want to share some advice to y’all out there is interested in starting a school speech and debate club, or anyone who does speech and debate in his or her school.
First let’s start by calling upon the success of any sort of club. You need a sufficient number of members. This can be achieved by advertising in you school community. For example, hanging up posters in school about an upcoming event or writing an article regarding your club in your school’s newspaper website.
Next, communicate with your club members. Along with two other student coordinators, I had the chance to work with the best and talented individuals in our debate club. Whether it's conducting workshops, facilitating mock debates, or providing assistance in researching with them goes beyond world of debate. It's about instilling confidence, fostering critical thinking, and creating an environment where diverse voices are not just heard but celebrated.
Lastly, it is time to host debates. Have the event be the most memorable experience for everyone. Provide food and transportation, give out rewards, talk with debaters from other schools.
Once again, I am very thankful to be able to share what it is like being represented as WSDA captain. Before I go, I would like to call upon more talented debaters like y’all to join in more WSDA’s tournaments - both online and offline - to represent your school’s sprit. Your voices are the reasons why we are today. Good luck everyone and thank you so much for listening.
学生代表 Amber Yuan的发言中，她对WSDA提供参加很多辩论赛机会表示感谢。她回顾了自己的辩论之路，从 2019 年第一次登台亮相，到成为Golden/IRON Speaker，再到领导学校的辩论社团。
Is everyone ready? My time starts…just kidding. I’m not about to deliver a constructive speech. Hi everyone! I’m Amber from Keystone Academy, and it is my great honor to be here as a student representative. I’m pretty sure that many of you guys are still cutting a card for your case or preparing blocks for your rebuttals, so I won’t bore you for too long.
First and foremost, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to WSDA for giving me the opportunity to return to the debate stage, as it feels like returning to a familiar home. Over the past five years since day 1, debate has been closely intertwined with my life and has changed me in numerous ways.
I still remember the 7th National Tournament in 2019 when I participated in the original oratory division right after graduating from elementary school. It was my first time stepping onto the stage and being able to express my ideas in a loud and clear manner. Back then, of course I was extremely inexperienced. It was the encouragement and support from the professional judges and coaches that gave me confidence to move forward in the activity. Later on, I continued to participate in numerous online and offline debates, including the 8th and 9th National Tournaments in both public forum and world schools divisions. The results I achieved today would be nothing without consistent efforts and continuous support.
While engaging in speech and debate, I have also had the privilege of becoming a Golden/IRON Speaker. As a WSDA captain of my school, I founded an English debate club where we discuss and practice debate topics for each season outside of school classes. We also participate in tournaments together. In the recent competition, Keystone achieved excellent results in elementary, middle, and high school speech and debate, bring our school's ranking from out of the top 100 to the 27th place now. We have all developed a love for this activity and experienced tremendous growth in public speaking, logical reasoning, and critical thinking. Here, we have made new friends, learned from each other, encountered success and failure, established teamwork, and explored various topics such as politics, economy, law, and military through debate. Debate has brought us countless rewards!
Today, I am sincerely grateful to WSDA for giving me this precious opportunity. As this is my last championship tournament before applying to university, I will actively strive together with the contestants to perform well in this competition. We will adhere to the rules, respect the judges, staff members, and most importantly, collaborate with our teammates and learn from our opponents at the same time.
Lastly, I wish everyone a successful and enjoyable tournament in the next two days. Best of luck and happy new year! Thus, I “affirm the resolution”. Thank you.
WSDA Winternational Championship