One of the best things about Timber Creek is the vast number of options students have in their choice of extracurriculars and classes. From the athletics hall to the science lab, there truly is a little something for everyone, but in the midst of so many options, it can feel like there are a lot of extracurriculars that tend to get overlooked. One of the most prominent examples of this is the Speech and Debate Team.
Students on the team compete at various tournaments throughout the year, with many taking part in events for each branch of speech, debate, and oral interpretation. In the case of some students, the first time competing in a tournament can be a bit overwhelming. However, once that first competition is over, it’s just a process of finding your own groove in the system, and many students have taken a deeper liking to it.
One of the unique aspects of being on the Speech and Debate Team is that a student that wants to join doesn’t have to be in the class to do so. When someone thinks of a competitive team, thoughts of grueling practice, sacrifice of schedule space, and frantically trying to juggle aspects of everyday student life often come to mind; that’s one of many positives of being on this team: the extremely flexible schedule. Students can participate without having to give up something else in order to do so. Team members aren’t required to go to every tournament and practice, giving students the flexibility of doing something they love without the strain of trying to juggle a ridiculous amount of other classes and extracurricular activities.
This is my first year being on the Speech and Debate team, and in just the few months I’ve spent on the team, I’ve grown a lot as a person. I’ve never been good at accepting failure, and I’m still not, but being involved in Speech has taught me that not all failure is bad. It’s actually an essential in the writing process. That knee-jerk reaction of “I can do better” used to come from a place of jealousy of the success of others, but now it comes from a place of pride in myself for producing a slightly better speech each time.
Speech and Debate overall is a great way to not only improve communication skills and writing ability, but allows students to have a family at the school. There are many to choose from, but not all students find joy in the clubs and organizations they decide upon. With Speech and Debate, while developing useful skills, there are other students there that really benefit from gaining both new and longtime members, and they too will seek constructive criticism as well. With all this in mind, Speech and Debate definitely deserves more credit as a club, a class and, most importantly, a team.