Monday, December 23, 2013

Bulgarian Forensics League

December 14-15 was the first forensics tournament! I had never been to a tournament before. Heck, just a few months ago, I did not know what forensics even was. Now, I coach the first speech and debate (aka forensics) team at Dobrichs Geo Milev high school!

The whole project has been delightful. The students on the team are dedicated and creative folks, bringing their unique personalities and talents to the table. And we definitely have personalities. They are each stubborn in their own ways and high energy... did I mention stubborn? Our meetings are a ruckus combination of witty asides, confusing tangents, and sharp rebuttals. They have also shown themselves to be gracious people, willing to learn even when they lose, willing to accept change and the unexpected, up for adventures and new challenges.

In forensics, there are 5 events students can choose to participate in.

Oratory: composing a speech on a chosen topic.
Prose: dramatic interpretation of a piece of published prose.
Poetry: dramatic interpretation of a published poem.
Duo: dramatic interpretation of text with two people.
Karl Popper Debate: 3 person teams debating a value proposition in a timed speech-crossexamination-rebuttal style.

I am not known for my logic skills. I can get passionate but argumentation has been a new skill for me to learn. It has been a lot of fun. Robbie helped get that process started when he helped coach the team for a day. Before the tournament, we even had a 4 vs Dana debate in my living room. Fun times! I made the greatest first speech about how the internet actively disentigrates human culture. Not that I really believed what I was saying...

We are definitely learning as a team! I am excited for our second tournament in February. Lots of preparation to do! I think we will bring home some trophies this time. :-)

Hannah (past Fulbrighter) and I catching up!

Students thinking hard!

New friends! These ladies were judges at the competition. The one on the left is my Bulgarian instructor!

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