This past Tuesday, the sophomore class and a portion of the Blair community gathered in Dubois Theatre to attend the annual Sophomore Public Speaking Contest. One student was selected by the vote of his or her peers to represent each of the nine sophomore English II classes. Thus, a total of nine members of the Class of 2018 presented moving personal stories and anecdotes in the competition, taking the opportunity to utilize public speaking skills acquired over the course of the academic year.
The competition kicked off with wrestler Matt Vinci ‘18, who spoke about his experience as a child of the military, and the sense of patriotism and sacrifice he has acquired as a result. Whitney Januszewski ‘18 told the story of her depression and the negativity she strives to overcome each day. Callie Toal ‘18 opened up about her struggle with ADHD and dyslexia; Daiden Kent ‘18 spoke about his recent struggles with depression and fitting into social groups. Siena Tipton ‘18 painted a colorful description of her artistic perspective and identity, while Glenn Bechtler ‘18 presented a moving narrative of the influence of music from his childhood to the present day. Huong Nguyen ‘18 spoke about accepting her identity as an international student from Vietnam in the face of hardship associated with being culturally “different”. Tim Johns ‘18 lightened the mood of the evening with a joke-accentuated speech addressing his identity as a jokester. And last, but certainly not least, Ethan Amato ‘18 presented a funny, yet deeply moving account of his life as an introvert, and closed his speech by encouraging the audience to spend some time alone to reflect on and observe their surroundings.
All speeches were a tremendous success this year, providing some good laughs and provoking some deep thoughts in those who attended. The winners will be announced on May 6 at Friday School Meeting. Special thanks go out to judges Mrs. Shaw, Mr. Browse, Dr. Higgin, and Mr. Newell. A very special congratulations to all who participated in the Sophomore Public Speaking Contest as the Blair community awaits the results of the competition.
(Copyright 2016 Rebecca Xi)