国際関係１年次生の松下芽依さんが書いた「Memory of the Debate Contest」
Memory of the debate contest
The main reason why I joined the debate contest is because my friend Minna from Finland asked me to be her partner. At first, I felt that the theme,” Japan should accept foreign workers” was too difficult for me to discuss my ideas. Furthermore, it was in English. In the beginning, I declined her offer but she never gave it up and finally I accepted to be her partner.
After we decided to participate in the contest, we spent many late nights researching information and discussing our opinions with each other. She is Finnish and I am Japanese, and therefore our points of view are different. I cannot speak English well and she cannot speak Japanese so therefore we found it hard to express our opinions and ideas clearly. In addition, it took a lot of time to explain our thoughts. The night before the contest, we were up the whole night preparing for the contest.
The day of the contest finally arrived. I was really afraid that I would not understand what other team might say to me and that I might not be able to answer the questions when they were being asked. What I hoped would not happen, happened. My brain stopped working. Fortunately, my partner Minna helped me out when answering some of the questions. In the second round, I got the feel for the contest so I could contribute to the debate more. Before the result of the presentation, I started to pack up my things thinking that we would not be participating in the final round. I did not want to debate anymore as I was tired but I tried to think of it as a good opportunity. I felt as though I would not get another chance like this to speak in English in front of many people. Unfortunately, we did not win the final round but I had fun.
When I look back now on the debate contest, although, it was extremely difficult for me, I believe that I was great experience. In my case, winning is not everything, that fact that I challenged myself to do something that I would not normally do is important. It is not easy to discuss our thoughts in a foreign language but by trying we can learn a lot of new things. If anyone ever has the opportunity to take part in the English debate contest I would strongly recommend it. Finally I really want to say thank you to all the people who helped me, my friends, the C.I.P. and I-house officers and especially to my I-house’s friends. It is an experience I will never forget.