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World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships #5

In competitions, silence from a coach generally does not auger good news. We like to share our successes, and when they do not come, there seems to be less to report. Yesterday's Grand Finals included only two members of the US delegation, Jax Morgan from Stoneleigh Burnham, in Interpretive Reading, (3rd overall) and Josh Beirich from St. Paul's in Debate (2nd overall). At the awards ceremony last night few US names were called, though in addition to the aforementioned successes, Jax Morgan placed 4th overall in After Dinner speaking, and Sarah Albert-Rozenberg finished 9th in the all-around.

This report does save the best for last, however, as our own Patrick Rochford finished 20th in the world out of 160 competitors, and sixth in the extemporaneous debate category. It puts a fine cap on his Northfield Mount Hermon debate career. He was the second highest finishing delegate in the US contingent, behind Sarah's 9th. We are ready to travel back to Franklin County in Massachusetts.


The U.S. Delegation






World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships #4b

Some images from Patrick's finals debate round. Patrick was the first opposition speaker, against the resolution, "The House would ban the private ownership of historically and culturally significant works of art."

Patrick Makes a Constructive Point.
Patrick Exhorts the House

Patrick and His Canadian Colleague Confer

Further Conference

Patrick Concludes the Case for the Opposition


World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships Post #3

Saturday, April 13th saw 8 Toronto athletic teams in action, but it also saw the second full day of competition at WIDPSC (see post title if you don't understand the acronym). Speakers participated in a second round of the three events mentioned in post #2 AND a round of debate. It made for a long day of competition. At the end of the day's events, all delegates gathered downtown at the CN tower for dinner. Yes, at the top! The image here is courtesy of Patrick:


And here is a less than excellent view of coach, competitor, and sunset from the top:


And yes, the restaurant rotates. It went around twice during dinner if you are curious.

Today the preliminary rounds concluded with the second session of parliamentary extemporaneous debate, and we relaxed in rainy Toronto. Tomorrow morning we'll find out which speakers have made the finals. Keep your fingers crossed for Patrick and the rest of the U.S. team. There'll be an update as soon as we know!

World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships Post #2

The first day of actual competition was a long one. With speakers competing in three rounds:

1.) Interpretive Reading
2.) Impromptu Speaking
3.) Persuasive or After Dinner Speaking

Results aren't published until the end of the third day of competition and finalists in each event are determined. Tomorrow is a longer day with the three events outlined above held for a second time, and the addition of a round of extemporaneous debate.

We are all turning in early as a result, but we did get to have a reunion of sorts as Patrick got to meet former NMH Debate Society President, Katie Chang, class of 2013, who now works in Toronto. Here are the present and recent past of the Society, flanking the distant past.


Off to Toronto! And the World Individual Debate and Public Speaking Championships.


Our first flight was canceled, and the plane for our second flight was a little late. It was also a little plane, as you can see above. Still, it was fun to fly in something driven by propellers. We learned that it is less tiring to travel to Toronto, Canada on a tiny plane that's really only an hour late, than it is to get to Capetown. Hey! It's still Thursday!


The food is different too. No Marmite in sight at the spread for the opening reception.



The SWAG was a little different as well.


The real fun starts tomorrow, as Patrick Rochford, '19 gears up for three rounds of speaking events. And I get to judge.

More at the end of tomorrow's action.