Wise is the person who looks ahead

The Fight

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By Cecilia Sui   L6 Wordsworth

Time flies by ruthlessly.

The sweet dumplings served in our dining hall led to a happy ending of the 2015 Spring Festival and another exam season for us.

It has been approximately six months since I last participated in the National High School Debate League of China 2014 National Tournament in Beijing. Frankly, it was an unforgettable experience to me, allowing me to understand how to debate as well as how to become a “whole man”.

Cecilia Sui (left: trophy for Doubles, right: trophy for International Sixth Speaker)

Shamefully, the national sixth best debater once satisfied me, yet invited to the Harvard 2015 Junior Varsity Public Forum Debate Tournament by my partner Mike Yuan, the president of MCQ School Council, I was both flattered and activated. I could still feel the fire burning in my heart. As a result, unfortunately, without pondering about the feasibility, the registration form was fulfilled and sent as quickly as possible to NHSDLC, the sponsor. Passing the entry examination, we managed to grasp the opportunity ultimately.

Before attending the real contest, all debaters from all over China gathered in Beijing and underwent an intensive five-day training offered by sophisticated American debaters.

Spoilt by teachers and flattered by schoolfellows, I once assumed myself to be good at debating, whereas activities of this sort have always reminded me of the disparity between the ‘good ones’ and myself.

It is extremely lucky for me that during this trip I had the chance to encounter a great number of excellent students from all over the world in Beijing as well as in Boston.

All of our teachers are either currently studying in, or have graduated from, Harvard University or University of Pennsylvania; moreover, all of them have been debating both Public Forum Debate and Lincoln-Douglas Debate for years.

So naturally and automatically when  they debate, that I feel without any exaggeration that debating is to them what  breathing is to us, though I know clearly debating is just one of their many accomplishments.

Sincerely, I have an obsession with extra curricular activities as well, such as debating contest, Model United Nations, Micro Business competition and so forth, as in my view they not only offer the possibility to us to make friends of all sorts, but provide us with the opportunity to learn from the out-standings.  

Trophy of the Doubles & International Sixth Speaker

In so short time, Mike and I, accompanied by Amy, Catherine and Jojo from our school, tried our best to absorb the utterly new knowledge in the training.

Later on, suffering from 14 hours’ incessant flying and 3 hours’ bus-riding, the fascinating hotel finally emerged.

However, none of us was in the mood of having a tour nearby, as the jet leg was killing us.

Even more pathetically, it was almost 1 am New York time after we had actually settled down.

13-hour time difference completely twisted our days and nights.

Winters in Boston are undeniably freezing. Till now, the feeling of trekking through bitterly blowing wind with snow on muddy roads is implanted in my memory. Thereafter the fact that the second day of the competition was cancelled on account of the blizzard became unsurprising at all, since all the public transportation was banned and stopped on that day.

Armed with knowledge and nutrition, it was time for us to face the challenge finally. After several practice rounds with our classmates, despite our nervousness Mike and I found the first round relatively easy, debating against two girls from Canada. As for the rest of the day, the competition got increasingly fierce. It was such a great relief every time we discovered our results with ballots. Unexpectedly, so lucky were we that we won all of our rounds for the first day and got into the elimination round. Neither Mike nor I had expected an achievement like that, so we celebrated in the Starbucks on the ground floor of our hotel, the only available entertaining place nearby. I did ask him whether we should prepare for the coming round or not, despite the fact that none of us was energetic enough to do so. He shook his head, and I smiled. An agreement was reached.

My partner, Mike Yuan

Without further preparation, on the day of the elimination round, dressed up as smart professionals, a taxi booked a day in advance carried us to our destination. I did understand our disadvantages competing against native speakers. Nevertheless, it was always worthy to try. Thus, we sacrificed the opportunity of winning --by that I mean the choice of debating in the international division where all the fabulous American young adults would not appear-- for the chance of encountering the top high school debaters. Certainly it was very worthy, though we were defeated in the Doubles.

With the title of the national sixth best debater, I was endowed with the International Sixth Speaker this time, blessed with good luck. Although the sixth is not as good as the first, it is still a big step. Moreover, my partner Mike was also awarded with the International 20th Speaker. I really want to thank him very much, for inviting me, helping me, and tolerating me from the beginning to the end. As a team, perfect cooperation is the key.

I love debating.

I will carry on my debating career to the end.

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