Rustlers and their love for Speech and Debate

This was written by a student in the Introduction to Journalism class

Nylie Wilson, Introduction to Journalism Writer

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When Isabel Foley joined the C.M.Russell High School speech and debate team, little did she know she would be spending hours on a bus and having even later nights. 

“It’s the one place you can talk to a wall and it’s not weird,” Foley said, explaining how she gets prepared for a speech.

Preparation has a lot of challenges, but stage fright is not one of those for Foley. It is not a huge crowd like in the movies, but instead, where competitors walk into a room and with the three judges so that helps with stage fright a lot, she said. Foley also added that in practices members say your speech so much that they become numb to the uncertainty of your speech.

Foley is one of three freshmen students experiencing the positives and negatives of the speech and debate team.  

“I was always the girl in the back of the class reading,” Foley said, sharing that everyone in speech and debate is that type of person. 

 Foley said that the people and traveling are some of the most fun parts of being in speech and debate. The hardest part of it for Foley is memorizing her speeches. She said that before a meet they have to remember 8 to 10 minutes of walking and talking. Foleys coach Stordahl tends to get after Foley for not memorizing her speech to its full extent. Foley says Stordahl is really supportive and nice when it comes to teaching students. 

Along with Foley, freshman Rory Hibbs believes that preparation is one of the most important parts of being successful in speech and debate. 

“It’s a lot of home responsibility,” Hibbs says, explaining some of the hardest parts of speech.

 She said that there is a lot of stress and nervousness before every meet. But she said that once the speech is over and done with, it was really fun and she’s glad that she participated The one thing that really helps is advice from others and the open practices the coaches host.

“In debate it’s organized and more facts, but in speech I can express myself more,” Hibbs said. 

She said she would suggest speech to anyone. It improves getting over stage fright, it helps with speaking skills, and it over all improves with interacting with others. Those are just a few of the positives that come with joining. Ribbs. Said that she gets to know a lot of really nice people, and upperclassmen that she wouldn’t get to know otherwise. 

Hibbs wasn’t the only one that would suggest speech and debate to others. Izzi Rukavina recommends it for all of its ups and downs.

“You need [speaking skills] for everything,” Rukavina said. 

She said that in almost all careers need people who are comfortable giving speeches and presenting them professionally. Rukavina explained that, that’s why she would recommend it for other people, also you get to meet different people from all over the state who has the same interests as you. 

“[My favorite is] definitely not the speech giving part,” she said. Rukavina said that there are a lot of fun parts of speech and debate that’s not just competing. Most of the fun isn’t speaking. It’s the bus rides and grocery shopping after meets. She said that the speaking part is really fun, but it is a lot of practice and that’s really the only thing they can do to become better. Competing is very fast and hectic, but there is a sense of relief created after all have done and practice comes to an end.