Years of debating against his mother (*sigh*) have turned my Senior Son into a pretty determined debater. Excellent advice from his teacher and support from his debating team have turned him into a strong debater. Which is why, as an 11 year old, he can handle topics like the one he had for this week’s interschool debate – “Beauty Is Skin Deep.” Easy to prove this negative, right? Except that his team had to prove this statement to be true.
At the end of every debate that Senior Son has lost, he has taken himself off to the adjudicator to get feedback. The advice has always been constructive and Senior Son has always done his best to carry this advice into his next debate.
Proving beauty to be only skin deep is not easy, but I swallowed my personal horror from a distance and kept out of it. As teachers and parents aren’t we constantly trying to teach our children that beauty comes from within? I had to watch my Senior Son clacking away at his computer, working out every possible way to prove that this value that we teach so strongly in our schools is totally incorrect.
He spent hours this week doing his research and putting his speech together as well as preparing possible rebuttals, only with guidance from his debating teacher.
His team lost.
The feedback he personally got from the adjudicator at the end of the debate went something like this:
“You lost points for your speech because your arguments were too advanced.”
Ummm…hello? Am I missing something here?
When he brought home his anger and confusion and related the details to me, all I could do was laugh. I mean really…what else could I do?
Could someone please explain?