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The Garland High School Speech and Debate Newsletter

STATE At Cypress Creek

V O LUME 1 , I SSUE 7 M ARC H N E WS LE T T E R


GH S S PE E CH & D E BAT E

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March 5, 2014 The week before any break is, more often than not, filled with fidgety legs and tapping fingers that eagerly anticipate the glorious release of Friday and a week of no school. However, for the sweet 16 going to State, school would end a little earlier on Wednesday as they boarded the yellow school bus (driven by the one and only Big Jim). It is safe to say that smiles came easy because of the excitement of the TFA tournament as well as the opportunity to miss two and a half days of school (which we would never admit in front of our teachers). Hugging our pillow pets, luggage (you would not believe how much luggage we had), and snacks, we set off!

Upon our arrival at the brand spankin’ new La Quinta we were notified that the hotel had overbooked and were not fit to accommodate us as their guests. They then send us to a branch that was “just down the road” (they lied, it was about an hour away). Not without grumbling, we were happily surprised to find out that this branch was a rather nice hotel as well. After unpacking we realized that we had made a very large mistake. We had brought too many snacks.


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We later channeled our inner shopping queens after eating our first dinner at the mall.

Let’s go to the mall, today!


GH S S PE E CH & D E BAT E

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March 6, 2014 Waking up much later than usual for a tournament day, we enjoyed the breakfast of champions (who knew that waffles could be so good?) and split in to our respective groups to prepare for the day. From two different rooms near the lobby of the hotel various sounds poured out as we conducted a pre-tournament warm up. The interpers poured out a variety of tongue twisters and physical stretches (“Unique New York, Unique New York, You know you love, Unique New York”) while the debaters confirmed that their cases did fit within the allotted time (no hotel guests, we are not exorcising a demon, our LD’ers are just spreading). At around noon we left for Cyprus Creek. The game was on.

D A Y 1


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GH S S PE E CH & D E BAT E

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March 7, 2014 Nerves were at an all-time high as performances never mattered more on Day 2 of the tourney. With perfected blocking and prepared blocks, we set off to conquer the competition and break in our respective events. But even the stress of this tournament couldn’t stop us from taking a multitude of selfies and socializing with the rest of the teams. Today confirmed both the breaks and the losses of those who had advanced and those who hadn’t, yet team morale stayed high as there was undeniable support from everyone, for everyone. There were some bumps in the road (honestly, who puts a CX’er as a judge for DI’s), but Day 2 was simply a continuation of the party (with overpriced food) at Cyprus Creek.

DAY 2


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GH S S PE E CH & D E BAT E

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March 8, 2014 Day 3 has arrived! And with it came multiple breaks to semi-finals as well as two breaks to finals in both impromptu speaking (holler at you Emily) and prose (go Connie!). A day of observation allowed the team members to get a better idea of how to dominate the competition next year. It was a day of public Promposals from other schools at state (three of them actually) as well as concerts. Yes, I did say concerts. The Houston area treated us to a concert before beginning the awards ceremony which allowed us all to realize that there is a reason we were in Debate and not in dance class. Alas, State had finished and we closed out the day with a dinner at Chuy’s. And let me just say that we were all grateful for a dinner that wasn’t Ramen. Thank you to Stewy, Martens, Big Jim, and TFA State for granting us an unforgettable experience in Houston during the Spring of 2014.


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16 Speech & Debate students traveled to Houston for the Texas Forensic Association State Meet March 5-9. Here are the results: Connie Ly - 2nd Place in the State - Prose Interpretation Emily Jilson - 3rd Place in the State - Impromptu Speaking (please see picture) Semifinalists: Esrael Yohannes - Humorous Interp - 7th Place (out of 96 entries) Esrael Yohannes & Michael Isenberg - Duo Acting - 7th Place (out of 73 entries) Liam McCoy & Louise Nisperos - Duo Acting - 13th Place (out of 73 entries) Ashley Tsao - Foreign Extemporaneous Speaking - 16th Place (out of 102 entries) Quarterfinalists: Jordan Guillory & Jochebed Fekadu - Duo Acting Amani Abderahman - Prose Interp Thanks for your support!


A Word from the Editor

Hello parents and team members! My name is Ashley Tsao and I am the VP of the Speech and Debate Team. I’m the individual behind these newsletters and am proud to say that it has been a pleasure documenting the progress and success of the team throughout this year’s season. Thank you for tuning in to another one of our newsletters which, as you have seen, focuses predominately on the State tournament. I know that all of the students on the team are always speaking in jargon and debate slang, so for all of the parents who would like to know a bit more about the intricacies of the Debate team, here it is. Throughout the year, each tournament that the team attends is an opportunity to earn “State” points. Once you make it to finals in an event (or perhaps an out round in debate) you will earn these points. After getting twelve points, you are eligible to attend the TFA State tournament which was held in Houston this year. As the year draws closer to an end, Speech and Debate is now preparing to sweep the Academic UIL District competition, as well as host a successful Middle School tournament as a fundraiser for the team that could definitely use some help from the parents. To our coaches who have put up with us from as early as 5 in the morning to being our loving “Moms” for three days at State, we could not thank you enough. Truly, we all sincerely love you both. To Big Jim who is a member of the team, we could not have had a better ride to Houston, or anywhere else for that matter, without you. To my fellow members I am always grateful for the support, encouragement, and ambition that you display. Despite our quirks (which I think adorable, by the way) I would say that you all have given me quite a lot of hope for the future. To our parents, the real individuals that should be praised, we cannot say thank you enough. We love and appreciate you all. Signing off, Ashley Tsao

If any of the members or parents wish to obtain a digital copy of these pictures you can email me at ash.tsao@gmail.com and I will send the pictures you would like ASAP.


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Thank you to the sensational Stewy whose encouragement towards all of her students is indescribable. We most definitely could not have endeavored to do so well in our previous tournaments, as well as State, without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you to the magnificent Martens for being proud of us regardless of the outcome of any event as well as reminding us that we are extraordinary when we are feeling down. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thank you for the smiles, sandwiches, and kindness that you grant us as our most favorite bus driver. Our trips would definitely not be the same without you Big Jim!



Volume 1, issue 7