It has been emphasized over and over again, but I just can’t get over how fast the term is going by. I blinked and somehow it has been two weeks since I last posted. Midterms have once again descended upon us, but I don’t really want to write about that. Instead, I want to talk about the debate tournament the Parliamentary Debate Team hosted a few weekends ago. As a member of the team, it was a great time to bond with fellow ’15 teammates and help organize a fun event for colleges across the nation.
The tournament started on Friday the 13th and continued on until afternoon the next day. It snowed and sleeted on Friday, so teams got delayed coming in and rounds started late. By the time I had finished my job for the day, it was well past midnight. But somehow by the end of that first night, even after having worked for nine straight hours, I was in good spirits.
Most of my friends were judging debate rounds, which is supposed to be really helpful for cultivating your own debate skills as well. Meanwhile, I helped in “Tab” (where all the pairings and draws were established), answering calls from debaters that were having problems finding their rooms, judges, or opposing teams. It was interesting having my cell phone be the emergency number for the tournament, especially since my cell phone wasn’t completely functional (everything worked out though). Trying to get buildings unlocked so that debaters could get into their assigned rooms late at night and early the next morning kept me on my feet as well, and there were a few interesting surprises thrown in along the way. All in all, those two days are somewhat of a blur in my mind, but I do remember getting free breakfast and lunch with my fellow debate team members on Saturday. Who doesn’t love free food?
With around 100 people coming from other schools, each member of the team had to host a couple debaters overnight. I had people from University of Connecticut and William and Mary, which is somewhat close to my home in Maryland. There were some some teams that flew in (Stanford and University of Chicago) – they take their debating seriously. On one of the rare occasions I had the chance to venture outside of Tab, I saw people from different schools laughing and talking with each other over food. It was so satisfying to see people from different schools creating a sense of inter-college community.
Even though large chunks of that hectic weekend are a blur, it was a great time to bond with my fellow ’15s on the team and to get to know how debate tournaments really work (it is a lot more complex than I thought). Moreover, it is an example of the level of campus involvement you can immerse yourself in even as a freshman. Whatever clubs you may be interested in here on campus, I bet you can look forward to engaging in big, exciting projects as well.