ISKL takes part in the first Virtual IASAS Forensics and Debate competition
IASAS schools banded together from March 3-7, 2020, to conduct their first-ever 'Virtual IASAS Forensics and Debate' competition. Due to the precautions taken concerning COVID-19, competing schools were unable to travel to the Taipei American School (TAS) for the event. Instead, TAS created a shared Google Drive, and quickly organized a virtual tournament.
Extemporaneous and Impromptu participants uploaded a video for each of their rounds, Oral Interpretation and Original Oratory participants uploaded only one video, while Debate was conducted over video conference calls. Judges were provided with online adjudication sheets, and TAS organizers were in charge of tabulation and providing updates.
Chami Hutterd, ISKL's HS Technology Coordinator, led the task of organizing each conference call and filming every single competition video. Having watched each event and contestant, she said, "I was so impressed with all the delegates. Not only do they have amazing world knowledge and skill in their events, but their ability to change their performances from a live audience to a camera within days was awe-inspiring. I honestly think I couldn't have done that!"
The usual feeling of being a part of a live audience whilst performing at the IASAS Forensics and Debate competition was missing, as the virtual tournaments did not provide official ways for students to interact between schools. This was apparent for Forensics and Debate, as each event relies on an unspoken relationship with the audience - and it was a completely new experience for coaches and students alike.
Grade 12 student, Isabella J., an Extemporaneous and Impromptu silver medalist, and Anne Russell Award winner for the SEA Forensics Tournament in February, shared:
"The experience of competing in the Virtual IASAS Forensics and Debate was unlike any other IASAS I've participated in!
'I had to adjust to not having an audience to interact with when delivering my speeches. I also had to learn how to coordinate, communicate and use the camera to the best effect. It was quite a challenge to display the same competitive fire when trying to get into that mindset.
'However, in the end, I think everyone pulled together in a team effort and did the best we could with the situation we were in."
Here are the final Virtual IASAS Forensics & Debate results for ISKL:
Diya N., who won the silver medal in Original Oratory. Isabella J. earned the silver in Impromptu, while Sean G. claimed the bronze medal in the same event. Ryan L., Tanmay G., and Bryce V. won the bronze medal in Debate.
Although there were some hiccups and adjustments along the way, each school displayed their true commitment to a meaningful competition as well as their flexibility and resilience in the face of uncertainty.
ISKL's delegates represented their school proudly, even through the lens of a camera.