Talkathon prepares students

Debate team held their annual talkathon Saturday, Oct. 25 at PHS in preparation for their upcoming tournament Nov. 7 and 8 against Gig Harbor High School.
Sophomore debate novice Madi Martin who attended the talkathon explained her eagerness for the upcoming year and her future on the debate team.
“This is actually my first tournament so I am excited for the future and excited to create memories,” Martin said.
Martin’s specific debate style is public forum or “Crossfire” in which the debaters argue a topic of national importance. What interests Martin about this specific debate style is being able to hear each side of an argument and being able to flip her own.
The debate “novices” as the new team members are called, encountered their first tournament experience in the talkathon, debating against their own classmates. Debate adviser Taylor Reynolds explained his goals for this year’s group of students.
“My goal is always to help them achieve the highest levels that they want to achieve. I have constantly said when I was in college, post- college, I can have discussions with my high school debate students that I could not have with people who have their degree from colleges, because they find a motivation to learn about things that the average high school [student] does not,” Reynolds said.
According to Reynolds, debate teaches students many skills that are necessary and beneficial in any professional job that students may want to pursue after their high school career. Reynolds continued to explain the benefits of being in debate.
“Debate has a lot of wonderful benefits, research skills, formatting, argumentation being able to support what you do and what you say, learning how to argue both sides of an issue but not put yourself in an uncomfortable position in doing so. Not necessarily having to say an issue is wrong but saying ‘here’s a better solution’ to an issue and thinking critically in that way, thinking strategically,” Reynolds said.
The talkathon is not the beginning of the preparation for the debate team; Reynolds stated that debate is not a seasonal team as most sports teams are but a year round team that prepares for events beginning in July and August.
“We have several students who go to debate camps during the summer including we host one ourselves at [University of Washington] Tacoma that we work with and have several students go to. So [in] July and august they are preparing already for the next year and those going to nationals are competing up until June. It is a pretty big year,” Reynolds said.