April has been a month of opportunities for public speaking. On April 12, three J.L. Crowe students traveled to Vancouver to take part in the Provincial Speech Championship held at Crofton House.
The championship is a qualifier for national competitions and the first time that it has been held outside of the Law Foundation Cup Provincial High School Debate Championships. Students were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of events that included solo acting (dramatic monologue), debate, interpretative reading, impromptu and persuasive speaking.
Grade 11 students, Jesse Bartsoff and Eric Gonzalez participated in the senior rounds discussing the topics: “Ignorance is Bliss,” “Time enjoyed is not time wasted,” “How technology is detrimental to natural human communication” and “Happiness is not about the destination but rather the journey.”
Bartsoff’s debate topic was: This house will determine a portion of teacher’s salary based on their student’s feedback” and his speech placed him tied for eighth.
Gonzalez’s topic for debate was, “This house will implement SAT’s (standardized testing) for admission to post secondary institutions.”
Bartsoff’s interpretative reading highlighted, “The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill” by Robert Service and Gonzalez read from the “Diamond Grill” by Fred Wah. (This author is currently Canada’s Poet Laureate in Parliament and interestingly grew up in Nelson and Trail.)
Gonzalez placed fifth out of 47 students in this category.
Grade 9 student Kyla Mears, read from Shakespeare as her solo acting monologue, her interpretative reading pieces included two poems, “ A Moonlight Ride” and “Minutes like Hours” where she tied for fifth place out of 37 students. Her impromptu speeches were based on “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you are right” and “happiness”.
This is a competition that has a large number of Lower Mainland participants and it is fabulous to see local students involved. All three students had a top ten finishes or better in at least one of the four categories.
BARRY SULLIVAN LAW CUP
This event was held at the heritage courtrooms at the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 15.
The Barry Sullivan Law Cup is a province-wide public speaking competition. The Barry Sullivan Law Cup honors the memory of Barry Sullivan and his contributions to both the legal and educational professions.
Gonzalez’s speech was on “how public opinion influences the law.”
He made it to the second and final round after eight students were paired down from forty. And while Gonzalez didn’t make the top three, he was complimented on the direction he took with his speech and his presentation.