• Who teaches debate and oral communications?

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    Dr. Lowe teaches Competitive Debate, Debate I-IV and oral communications at Oxford High School. She's been teaching and coaching the debate team since 2004. She began teaching oral communications in 2014.

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  • Are the classes easy?

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    NO -- but they're never boring!!!! Debate I, II, III students have research and writing assignments as well as debate in class. Those who procrastinate, dig themselves into a hole VERY quickly. Using the time provided for research and writing in class is the best way to do well.  I'm here to help, and I don't know any student who enjoys homework! 

    Competitive Debate students prepare cases and practice for interp events during zero period as well as after school. Their grades are based primarily on tournament attendance and in-class participation.

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  • What makes them hard?

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    It's more challenging than hard. Debate requires A LOT of research, and that is time-consuming. Students who use their time wisely to research and write multiple drafts find the course more rewarding and less difficult than students who procrastinate. Debaters also debate in class -- in front of their peers. Oral Communications requires each student to prepare to speak in front of the class in a number of different ways. For some people, that is like being tortured.

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  • Why should I take an elective that is HARD?!

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    Because you'll learn more in one year (or semester) of debate or oral communications than you can imagine!

    In Debate I-IV, you'll not only learn how to research a variety of topics completely, but you'll also learn to determine "good" sources of information (as opposed to "alt-facts"). The focus of this course is reading in depth about a monthly topic, learning the format of competitive debate, writing  persuasive "cases" which argue for or against the monthly topic, and participating monthly in an in-class debate.

    In Oral Communications, you will improve your speaking skills through a variety of public speaking exercises such as reciting quotations and poetry, writing and delivering speeches, and interviewing.  The focus in this course is learning how to use your voice (tone, pacing, volume) as well as your body (eye contact, stance, posture) to convey your thoughts orally with clarity and confidence. 

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  • Do I have to join the OHS Speech & Debate Team?

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    No ... BUT, to get the most out of the course, you should -- IF you can commit to competing in at least 5 of the 10 tournaments we will compete in this year. Competing against each other in class is fun and rewarding. But, competing against students from across the state is more challenging and more rewarding -- as well as more fun, because you make lots of new friends!

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  • Will it hurt my grade if I don't compete in tournaments?

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    Absolutely not. Your grade is determined by your performance in the classroom. BUT, it's only fair to tell you that students who compete improve much faster than students who don't, so their grades tend to be higher.

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  • Why do students who compete in tournaments get better so much faster?

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    Because, for every tournament you attend, you compete in at least 5 preliminary rounds. If you advance to elimination rounds, you get even more experience. The old saying, "Practice makes perfect" is VERY true in speech and debate.

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  • So, what's the big deal about competing?

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    Oxford High School is a member of MHSAA (Mississippi High School Activities Association). We're also a member of the National Speech & Debate Association and the National Catholic Forensic League. These state and national organizations sponsor speech & debate tournaments. OHS students have been competing since 2005, and they've qualified for at least one national tournament every year since 2006.

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  • So, I don't have to speak or debate in front of the class if I don't want to?

    Posted by:

    Nice try. If you are taking debate, you are required to debate in class! If you are taking Oral Communications, you are required to give speeches in class!

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  • How do I join the OHS Speech & Debate Team?

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    1. You must be taking Debate S1 and/or S2 or already be a member of the team.

    2. At least one parent and the student must attend the mandatory meeting on THURSDAY, MAY 16 at 6:00 pm in the Lecture Center at OMS. You will be completing online of all the necessary paperwork needed to be eligible to compete in 2019-2020.

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  • How many tournaments does the team attend?

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    Students will compete in up to 10 tournaments in 2019-2020. Students who qualify to compete at national tournaments will compete more.

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  • Is it expensive to compete in tournaments?

    Posted by:

    It's not free, so, in my world, that makes it expensive. Your registration fee (usually between $10.00 and $20.00) and bus expenses will be paid for by the school district. You will have to pay for 1/4 of your motel room and for food. You will also need to own a suit -- think lawyer-wannabe! We are working on a plan to measure new debaters for clothing so that we can start a team wardrobe. You are free to buy your own clothing, BUT until you are sure that you enjoy competing, I wouldn't. Look at the pictures posted on this site to get an idea of what you'll be wearing. We'll talk more about dressing for a tournament in class!

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  • What if I can't afford to compete?

    Posted by:

    We will spend more time fund-raising this year than ever before. I am hoping that we will raise enough money to defray expenses for all students. But, if your family can't help you, see me and we'll work something out. (I will NOT make the fact that you need help public. I promise.)

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Last Modified on May 6, 2019