Pacific’s Speech and Debate Team Embarks on Transatlantic Odyssey

posted in: Arts and Culture | 0

 A Glimpse into their Journey to the 34th IFA Tournament in Dublin, Ireland

It is time to prepare for an exhilarating journey with Pacific’s Speech and Debate team as they prepare for their upcoming tournament set in Dublin, Ireland. 

   Pacific’s Speech and Debate team is known for their consistent excellence. Since 2000, the team has maintained a respected reputation, regularly making their presence known in the conference rankings—and this season is no different, with the team having ten first-place finishes out of the eight tournaments they have competed in, and on the brink of an international competition in Dublin, Ireland.

   The upcoming trip to Ireland is not the first time the Speech and Debate team has gone out of the country to compete. Last March, two members of the team, Maddie Moradi and Megan Farmer, traveled to Japan to attend a tournament. They competed in four events, placing fifth in each one. After their competition, they spent a week in Tokyo, immersing themselves in Japanese culture. 

   This upcoming IFA (International Forensics Association) tournament will be the 34th annual Speech and Debate tournament and conference. There will be a total of 13 events spanning numerous topics. The IFA chooses a different country to host their tournament yearly, where any school that wishes can compete.

   The Pacific Speech and Debate team will fly out on March 8 and will start competing on March 11. Pacific representatives making the trip this year will mostly be returners from last year’s team, including Moradi and Farmer. However, the team also has one newcomer, Gwyn Sturgeon. The three students hope to carry their momentum from this season across their transatlantic flight to Dublin. 

    Pacific will not be traveling alone. Boise State, Oregon State University, and Lewis and Clark College will make the trip, representing a formidable cohort from the Pacific Northwest. Other than those three, 41 schools will travel to Ireland.

   Farmer has competed for Pacific’s Speech team for four years. She participates in the interpretation of poetry, drama, and program oral interpretation. This season, she took first place for open poetry interpretation in the Earl Wells virtual speakeasy NST Qualifier. She has also finished in the top five in every tournament she has joined. 

   Farmer’s favorite part about the Speech and Debate team is seeing how much she has grown as a competitor. “At the last tournament we competed in, I was not nervous or jittery before [my] speech. I still remember the first time I was 14 and terrified. [I was scared] that when I opened my mouth, I was positive I would not be able to say a word.”

   Regarding the upcoming tournament in Ireland, Farmer could not contain her enthusiasm and affectionate familiarity with the country. “I think we’re all just excited to get to explore Ireland, and I am very excited to get to go back to Ireland. I spent four months there in 2022 during a study abroad.” 

   With this event one of the last times she will compete in college debate, Farmer wants to go out strong. “Since I am a senior, this is also the second to last tournament I will ever compete in, followed only by nationals in April. I hope to be successful competitively so that I can give a proper send-off to this thing I’ve participated in for the last eight years. I am really glad that I get to do it in a country that I love and holds many great memories for me.” 

   As an international competition, the event brings a slew of unique challenges. One such hurdle is the natural variance of English dialects spoken outside of the Pacific Northwest, which may have profound implications. Nevertheless, the task remains the same for the Pacific Speech and Debate representatives: Compete, win, and, most importantly, walk out of Dublin with many great memories.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *