by Ari Sweedler
To be on the Speech and Debate team, one must love talking. And to make it all the way to a state-wide tournament, one must really love to talk. According to junior Chinmay Vaidya, “You shouldn’t let anyone tell you that talking too much is a bad thing because that’s how you make friends. That’s how you get people to listen, and it will get you places.” By following these words of wisdom, Chinmay and junior Kelly Young were able to qualify for a state tournament in Congress.
Because practice for Speech and Debate starts so late in the evening, it is customary for the team members to go out to dinner in downtown Los Gatos beforehand. After dinner with their fellow teammates , Kelly and Chinmay walk to Los Gatos High School. Practice takes place in Mrs. Smith’s room, Room 12. Kelly described an average practice as full of “practice rounds, kritiks (a type of argument used in Policy debate where one methodically proves why the opposition’s case is bad), debate theory, and Bellarmine Jokes.
The Debate Team is famous for being quirky, intelligent, and funny. According to Kelly, “Some of my greatest memories come from being on the [Los Gatos Speech and Debate] team.” One of Chinmay’s favorite memories happened at an Impromptu tournament, where the debaters must make a 5 minute speech after being given a word and 2 minutes. “I was given the word ‘mountain’… Usually most people take it metaphorically (I.e. there’s always another mountain to climb.) But… I took it literally, and I talked about my favorite mountains for five minutes.” Chinmay was awarded first place at this tournament.
The Dynamic Duo want to make shout outs to Ms. Smith and Ms. White for “being fabulously good at all they do for us, to Efe Torunoglu for almost qualifying, and to the Davids (David Frankel and David Zhang) for “always staying up with us the night before debate tournaments and forcing [us] to drink double shot espressos and do the weirdest dances.”