Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A conversation with debate team member Tamara Johnson

After an award-winning inaugural season (being celebrated by Markus Batchelor and Demetrius Suggs in the picture above), the TMA debate team is back at it.  The November debate featured a revamped team with Brittany McGhee and Markieta Johnson making their debuts.  In the competition, Tamara Johnson placed 5th overall.  Recently I had a chance to sit down with the one-and-only Tamara, and here are some of her thoughts:
On her favorite topic from last year...
We have so many topics each year, but the one that really stuck with me was the debate about whether all high school students should be required to get the HPV vaccine.  Since we have to be ready to argue both sides we get to view the topic in two different ways.  I support not taking the vaccine, but [in the debate] I had to argue that taking it was beneficial.

On how debate is preparing her for college...
Debate consists of reasoning and argumentation and college papers will require that.  For example, I take Philosophy at Trinity College and it connects to debate a lot.

On debate preparation...
After we get the topic, the team as a whole goes over the history and the background.  We develop arguments, do research and find evidence to support each side.

On her secret to success...
I try to remember all of the feedback that I get and keep or enhance the things that the judges thought were really good.  However, understanding the argument is also key.
Last season, Tamara was recognized as the top debater in the DC Urban Debate League.  We are so proud of her and the entire debate team.  This year's team members are Demetrius Suggs, Tamara Johnson, Markieta Johnson, Deycha Robinson, Brittany McGhee, Seren Snow,  and Brian Crawford. We'll keep you posted on their success throughout the year.

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