Forensics prepares for first tournament of season

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

The new semester brings with it a new focus for the debate and forensics team. After a successful debate season, students are now working on their forensics entries, which include speeches, acting performances, and poetry and prose pieces.

“I think we’ll end up being fine, but the first few tournaments without a ton of experience is just always difficult to go through,” senior Lily Colburn said.

While debate focuses on the practice of speaking and the form of creating an argument, forensics allows students a greater level of creative freedom due to the opportunity they have to choose the topic their performance will be based on. Team members are looking forward to the new season and have already begun preparing for their first tournament of the year.

“I’m working on a duo this year, and I think that will be lots of fun,” senior Melanie Hernandez said.

A duo is a performance between two students in which they act out a published scene from a play, novel or short story. During their piece, they cannot look at each other or touch.

The challenge and creativity involved in forensics is what keeps students interested and ready to work toward their goals for the season.

“My previous season I didn’t do particularly well. I wasn’t doing that much work in, and I’ll be honest,” sophomore Nathan Paulkstalis said. “However, this season I’m putting in a lot more work than I previously have. I hope to win.”

While students are looking hopefully toward their first tournament, there is also an aspect of nervous anticipation.

“The first tournament maybe I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be, but I feel pretty confident for the rest of the season,” Hernandez said. “After I have my stuff good I think I’ll be fine.”

The beginning of a new season also marks the beginning of the end of some students’ debate and forensics careers at Manhattan High. Colburn and Hernandez will be graduating after spending four and three years in the forensics program, respectively.

“I’m going to be leaving next year and I think the sophomore class is kind of ready to take over,” Colburn said. “But I want to make sure that there are people here next year who are able to lead the team without me and are able to be just as successful.”

The forensics team will be attending their first tournament of the year on Jan. 27 and 28 at the T-Bird Classic Forensics Tournament at Shawnee Heights High School.

“I’m excited for the year,” Colburn said. “It’s always stressful as we prepare for the first tournament, but I think we’ll be successful.”