Wednesday, 7 July 2010

My Week in London at Debating Matters Competition

Alot of pictures to come so I shall keep it brief. I just got back from 6
days in sunny London Alumni-ing at the Final of the National Debate Competition "Debating Matters" in which schools from all over the country come together to deabte a wide range of topics from the repatriation of culteral artifacts to embryo screening. It was an amazing week, I feel like I've been on an intelluctual binge. It was also the first time I've been to London longer than a day and I got to wonder round do the tourist thing.Click to make bigger.
Photobombers do make me laugh.
Because every tourist has to go to the palace. (I'ts rubbish)

Wondering along the Southbank at sun set is great, though most of the performers have left. This was the last guy left, he did a bit of juggling, forced himself through a tennis racket but wasn't very good either. He was best at joking around, drawing the crowd, being a bit rude. He held on to the 50+ crowd for almost an hour. He wanted "a brave volunteer" and then spotted this guy at the back, and remarked he was very brave to wear such a bad shirt. The guy wouldn't come any closer so the performer picked him up and carrired him to middle of the circle. The man was very upset and immediatly walked away.

The last time I went to London for a whistle stop visit to the House of Commons. We went to Portcullis House and gave a speech to some mps there, then took the secret underground passage under the road to the Commons where we sat in both chambers, green and red, (commons and lords) and listened to them waffle. twas interesting. This time I just wanted to see the sunset there.

Mandatory picture of the London Eye.

Waiting for Warren Street Station to open the next morning at 9:30am.

There were about a dozen alumni helping out at the competition. I was the only one who hadn't done it before, they all seemed to know each other. They made me feel welcome for the most part, though after a couple days everybody peeled off into their friendship groups. I had my friendship group though anyway (we went to G-A-Y on pride night!) The organisers all put us up in some student accomadation for a week, this was Ed's door.
The Question Time night was great fun. There were a bunch of experts from different backgrounds on the stand and the audience asked them a variety of questions from the BP Oil spill to the banning of the Bhurka. Johnny Ball was one of them, I asked him before hand his thouhgts on the space program because I knew they wouldn't select my question. He has the vocabulary of a pirate, tells the crudest jokes, and is opposed to the exploration of space. Hm. Leo Johnson was another expert, Boris Johnson's younger, handsomer and more liberal brother. Lib-dem, married to a muslim. By the end of the night we all wanted to nominate him for PM.
Johnny Ball having a very passionate rant about his skepticism of global warming.

Often the debates continued well after the motion had finished.

Shortly before the semi-final final. If she felt anything like I did before my debate she's feeling numb yet every sound and movement is heightened. She feels very warm in the face but shivering inside. She spent 5 minutes wondering if sitting foward on the edge of your seat or sitting back and relaxing could change winning or losing. Ofcourse, she got through the qualifying round, regional final and a 2 semi-finals before getting to this point. I was knocked out in my regional final.

Ed asks a question. I think this was the secularism debate, or maybe trial by jury. I sat right in the front row in all the debates I wasn't on "mic duty" for. I sense that Alumni have ranks, and I was at the bottom since it was my first time. Ed is right near the top, being an Alumni mentor. My responsibilities were limited to "tidying room after debate" and "passing the microphone to people when they ask questions." Still, taking a few photos made me feel busy, even though they had a proffesional sat right beside me.

The final final people say is never the best debate because none of the teams ever really expect theyre going to make it through, so they don't prepare as much as they would. This debate was "The genetic screening of embryo's should be celebrated, not feared" and these guys were arguing for. I snapped this picture in the guys final summing up 1 miunute speech just as fell on his own sword and flippently said something that completly unravelled their entire argument. I forget what, but everybody groaned. I think the number one rule of debating is plan every little thing you say because alot of the time you can say something off the cuff that can destroy your entire argument. This team didn't win.

Owen took me under his wing. He became my wingman and got me a snog and lapdance at G-A-Y, best wingman ever! Thanks Owen!

Naomi, the third our threesome (not that kind of threesome :P ) Us three queued up outside G-A-Y for 2 hours not realising it was Pride weekend, it was soooo busy! By the time we got in we only had 1 hour to dance around before it closed. We met some hilarious people in the queue though.

Ofcourse I had to go the Tate, I'm an art student!


1 comment:

  1. GOODGE!!

    PS - This is Naomi, btw. Not some random goodge-shouter. Well, I suppose I am a little.