Jun 10, 2012

Debate Update

Amazingly, debate night is still going strong.  We added yet a new recruit to our ever expanding line-up of debaters this past week.  Another neighbor (12 year old girl) had strong opinions on our topic and couldn't wait to join the fray.

Our topic this week was, "School Lunches".  It was more of an opinion forum instead of a debate since it was such a generic topic.  We all agreed that school lunches suck and are not nutritious.   My goal was to see if anyone would come up with a solution.

I came up with what I thought was a whopper of a solution.  I thought it would be great if chefs in each city adopted a school, trained it's lunch ladies how to make fresh food and encouraged the schools to all start their own gardens.  Many people in my debate circle thought that was way too idealistic.

Then one bright person had the ingenious idea of googling the subject to see what, if anything, was being done about school lunches in the real world.  Excellent idea!  Let's see how what we are talking about translates into the real world.  Well, what do you know.  It just so happens Michelle Obama, our very own First Lady, has the EXACT SAME IDEA as me.

Would any one like to rethink my idea as "too far fetched" now?

Sadly, I do have to say I received some pretty harsh feedback during this past debate.  And it wasn't even from the judge.  It was from all the other debaters.  Apparently, in my effort to look like I'm paying attention and trying to relate to the speaker, I come across as a little too intense.  My fellow debaters all confessed that they can't stand looking at me when they talk because I look them right in the eye and nod and smile in agreement and horrible things such as this. I guess this is a tactic that causes others to forget what they were going to say. They're lucky I'm not clapping and yelling, "Preach it Sister!".    So I guess I need to work on grunting, averting eye contact and not smiling so much while listening to others.  In essence, I need to revert back to teenagehood.

Interestingly enough, the 12 year old confessed, "I don't think I can do this.  I have really strong opinions and I don't like it when other's don't agree with me."  Perfect!  Then this is the place for you.  This is a safe place to learn to give your opinion without trying to convince me you're right.  This is where you can hear an opposing view point and learn to disagree agreeably and maybe even learn something.  This is the place where you can learn not to let those passionate emotions on a subject control you or isolate you from others with differing opinions.  We're all friends here.  We respect each other.  We learn from one another.  We appreciate each opinion because we value each person.

If we can achieve this in this small setting, maybe one day these same people can take the things they learn in our family room and transpose them into real world scenarios.  Oh happy day.
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