Teams consisted of four of five students, and each team argued either for the affirmative or the negative. Sections of the debate included the constructive, which was the introductory; the cross-examinations, each team’s chance to disprove the other side’s evidence; the rebuttal, a chance to salvage what was destroyed by the cross-examiners; and the conclusion.
After roughly three weeks of energetic preparation, groups presented their cases in front of an audience of four or five classes; the entire library was crowded with students and teachers alike. Some students had even asked to be excused from their 3rd and/or 4th period classes just to witness their friends participate in these vigorous debates, and surely were not disappointed.
Many of Mrs. Lindfors’s students engaged the audience with vivid gestures and passionate tones. Some cross-examinations were so enthralling and intense that the audience even rose in protest when time was called abruptly.
Overall, however, these “great debates” truly lived up to their title. Every student did his or her best at the podium, even in the presence of such a large audience. Even Mrs. Lindfors, who taught AP Rhetoric for the first time this year, expressed her absolute joy and pride in her class.Many students now look forward to the debates next year. They are surely an event to look out for.