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A Brand New Self Through Debate

By Carl Guo, III Form

A Brand New Self Through Debate

“I think I should give some thank-yous. First, I’d like to thank this kid, Rajesh, who gave me one hundred dollars to be in the thank-you speech…” This is how the champion of the US National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) Nationals began his thank-you speech. I was there, watching the finals, imagining that one day, I could stand there on the stage and give a speech like that in the finals. This dream came true quickly after two months. I won the championship of the Chinese debate nationals last summer. It felt amazing and unbelievable, and in retrospect, my debate journey is a miracle that truly shaped the person I am now.

It was coincident that I found out about debate three years ago when I accidentally saw a poster in front of my extracurricular classroom. I thought it might be an excellent opportunity to practice English since I was not a native speaker, so I signed up for it. This turned out to be the most important decision I have ever made in my life. (more…)

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

By Isabelle Kim, Jovin Ho, & Rachel Wang, IV Form and Matt Walsh, Stephanie Moon, & Alan Gao, III Form

Working Together to Launch the Model UN Club

To understand what the “Model United Nations Club” is, it is essential to know the concept of the “Model United Nations” or “MUN”. Model United Nations acts as a simulation of United Nations conferences, in which participants act as delegates. Delegates represent various countries and their ideals, and engage in formal debates over global issues as well as international affairs, through which a resolution is achieved that is, ideally, satisfactory for all parties involved. A couple of weeks prior to the conference, the delegates are assigned respective countries, councils, and issues that will be debated upon, thus allowing delegates ample time to research the topic at hand and formulate their arguments. A big part of MUN is the delegates recognizing that they are not representing themselves, but are a part of a larger picture, having to uphold their country’s beliefs.  (more…)

Why Speech and Debate Matter

By David Eacho, VI Form and Jane Cho Watts, IV Form

Why does the United States Constitution’s First Amendment grant us the right to free speech if we don’t know how to use it? Up until the 1970s, St. Mark’s had mandatory Public Speaking class for IVth formers and form-wide debates and speech competitions across the entire school. Since then, oratory has been limited to a Third Form Seminar event. The quality of presentations across the school has deteriorated to the point where school meeting announcements cause dread among the student body. It’s time for all that to change. (more…)