Grab your gavels

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Taking your first Debate class, as a freshman, can be a bit overwhelming. But overall, it’s very interesting and life-changing.

Debate instructor Jennifer Kerkhoff does her best to instill knowledge in our heads about the political world. And yes, at times it will definitely take some transitioning. But with hard work, dedication, and of course, the help of “Dr. K,” as she says to call her, I guarantee you will change your views on at least one topic.

In Debate we learn many different skills — speaking skills, for example, by giving individual speeches in class, which also helps us gain confidence. In the law field, there will be many times where one may have to get in front of a judge in a courtroom to prove your case.

Dr. K also teaches us the skill of being ‘’accurate with the facts.’’ As she says, “We can sit and discuss opinions all day, but that won’t get us anywhere.’’

She teaches us the importance of handwriting, citing sources, professionalism and recognizing certain skills from other speakers that we can use. She had us watch videos of speakers discussing things going on in the world, and then asked us:

“What did these speakers have in common?”

“What did all of them do while giving these speeches?”

“Did they give eye contact?”

“Did you notice their hand movements?”

“Did you pay attention to her lip twitch?”

“How can you incorporate this in your speech?

Dr. K also taught us a neat trick of persuasion — using ethos, logos, and pathos — which the Greek philosopher Aristotle, more than 2,000 years ago, argued were three basic ways to persuade an audience of your position.

So you see, just because something may be a little hard at times, don’t give up. Everything that you’re going through is preparing you for everything you asked for.