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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 1 Issue 4 | August 27, 2006 |


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My experience as a debater

Ahsan Sajid

I took part in the first debate of my life in Class 6, and it counts as one of those things one never forgets. You might be thinking it is because the victory made me very happy, or made me very proud, or made my parents very proud, but it's none of those things. I'll never forget that day because one can never really forget such humiliation. Even though our team had won I was one of the worst speakers. People congratulated me, but I knew what they really thought. They didn't deem me good enough to have won; I should have been in the losing team. Unlike a great hero who would try hard and overcome tremendous odds, I gave debating up completely. Two years later, it took the thrill of true victory to make me fall in love with the game.

I was quite forced by my teacher to debate. It was about the load of homework on students, and ironically the debate was indeed quite a load! As most of us, excluding myself, had never debated before, we were told the topic a week ago. I never prepared for any debate as I prepared for this one; a part of me wanted to make up for my previous abysmal performance. I believed I could be a good debater if I wanted, but last time despite my belief in myself I could not perform as well as I would have liked, or anyone else would have liked. The outcome of the debate is yet another moment in my permanent memory. We won! And yours truly became the best speaker. Winning is one thing, but truly enjoying a great debate and on top of that being made the best speaker is another. I still remember the shocked looks on my classmates. Given that I would have no way of knowing it I am still quite certain that I had a bigger look of shock after the announcement.

After that there was no stopping, my journey had begun, one that would not end. And I didn't want it to end. I found a passion in me I previously never thought existed. What allured me to it most was the way one could get oneself heard. I loved the way people got quiet when I started speaking, and how they listened intently. This was what I was missing from my life, going up in front of people amidst cheers (as good luck would have it I never got booed!), speaking my mind, presenting arguments yet not losing my cool, but most importantly, to me, putting on a good show. It's terribly superficial of me but best of all I love the claps, the cheers and the chants!

As I did more debates, and gained more experience, our moderator started sending me out with the school's debate team to represent our school outside, and hopefully I got better. I had my most memorable debates outside school, against other schools. We won most of the times, we were not doing badly, but we also lost, and hopefully learned from each mistake. I love to win, the excitement is unparalleled, but I love debating even more. The debate I enjoyed most is one we lost. It taught me the power of role models; just before the debate my friends were saying how I have to live up to mine, and even though we lost all of our performances were quite good. The debate I would never like repeated in my future is one we won. It was awfully boring, and I'm pretty sure it was not only I, the audience didn't enjoy it either.

Debating has taught me so much- comradeship, believing in myself and believing in others. It has broadened my horizon, and because of debating I have acquired more knowledge than I would have if I had sat around home all day with all the books in the world. And I am sure it has yet to teach me more.

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