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Speech and Debate career has been incredible


During the past weekend, the Speech and Debate team ended our season with a bang. Hunter Bosson, junior, and I are one of the top 16 Parliamentary Debate teams in the state of Oregon. Joe Erickson, freshman, and I reached the semifinals for Dual Interpretation with our recitation of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale “The Butter Battle Book.”

And West Linn High School can claim one more state championship in addition to our basketball and ski teams: I brought home first place in Original Oratory.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Elise Brown

My oratory is titled “We Built That,” an analysis of how interdependence is the most potent and necessary force for creating individual success. We all depend on each other to keep our lives afloat and create our identities, and when we embrace that — as opposed to trying to convince ourselves that the individual can do everything for herself by herself, as the rugged individualism of American culture makes us wont to do — we can build each other even stronger.

We have had an unbelievable season, and the victories we’ve had do not exclusively belong to the people who take the trophies home.

The community we live in has been extremely supportive of our efforts. When my father could no longer coach the team, Tonya Dailey and Jan Bosson almost immediately took the reins. I will forever be grateful to all three of them for guiding our team to victory. Our teachers and administrators have been so accommodating, making sure our needs were met whenever we missed class, sought critique or needed resources for attending tournaments. When Hunter and I wanted more debate practice, the team at Portland State University gladly allowed us to participate in their meetings. And of course, the bonds I have made with my teammates will last a lifetime.

So much time, money and effort from countless individuals has gone into the team’s success. They built our team and they built our victory.

And this Saturday, you have an opportunity to help build the foundation for next year’s victories.

We are proud to announce that this Saturday evening we will be presenting a showcase and fundraiser. For an admission fee of just $5 you will have the chance to see our team in action. Our state qualifiers will present the work they’ve been competing with, and our teammates will prepare debate cases and speeches solely for your entertainment. It will be a night of persuasion, literature, clash, humor and simply a lot of fun.

Hopefully this opportunity to present our skills to the public will end up being a team tradition. We look forward to seeing as many of our friends and family there as possible. Every single bit of support we can get — moral support, time, money and so on matters because it ensures that all the incredibly talented students who join Speech and Debate can continue to grow as leaders, writers, speakers and thinkers.

My high school Speech and Debate career has been nothing short of incredible. And I cannot wait to hear about how incredible my team’s future seasons will be, because of the excellence this team so amazingly continues to show and the support our community so generously continues to provide.

The first Speech and Debate Showcase is Saturday at 7 p.m. in the forum at West Linn High School. Admission will be $5.

Elise Brown is a senior at West Linn High School.