Volunteers sought for speech contest
Growing up with an English teacher father, Max Greb was exposed to poetry at a young age.
That, the 17-year-old said, has helped him in competition where contestants read a five-minute piece of prose or poetry.
“You have to understand it to perform it well,” he explained. “You have to be able to read it clearly and understand it to be able to do it justice.”
Greb is one of about 15 students on Carson High School’s speech and debate team who compete in contests incorporating public speaking, writing, performing and debating.
Coach Patrick Mobley said the club often helps students become the school’s best and brightest.
“It helps them with their public speaking, of course,” he said. “It also helps with their organizational and analytical skills. It increases their self-confidence and helps them interact with others.”
Carson High School will host the state tournament of about 400 students March 19 and 20. About 150 volunteer judges from the community are needed.
“If we run out of judges, we get stuck,” Mobley said. “The more volunteers we have, the less work everyone has to do.”
And, besides free food, the judges will get something out of it, too.
“They’ll be entertained,” Mobley said. “They get to see students you don’t normally hear about. Speech and debate is pretty low key.”
Shradha Thokala and Edgar Casildo, both 16, paired up to compete in debate. They said researching the topics has given them insight into current affairs and could help to inform community judges.
“It really sheds light on certain issues,” Casildo said. “We go into these topics thinking one thing, but you find the complexity in the issues. Sometimes, the media presents something like it’s cut and dry, very simple.”
Julianna Powell, 15, hopes to entertain them with her humorous interpretation, where she has to perform for 10 minutes with no props, acting all the roles herself.
“Your main goal is to make it funny and make people laugh,” she said. “I love to perform, and for me it’s easier to be over the top than to be serious.”