On Friday, February 8, the Paul Williams Upper School building slowly filled up, as our ASF students left for their weekend and debaters from all across the city joined us for the 9th ASOMEX Debate Tournament. Fourteen schools participated in one of the largest tournaments of the city, encompassing 30 teams and almost 200 people as they expected to unleash their words and take a side on the world’s current events.
There were two divisions this year: Upper School and Middle School and all our debaters received both prepared and impromptu motions, debated in four preliminary rounds, semifinals, and finals. Through the course of two days our debate teams worked hard to create cases that were concrete, informed by research, and incredibly cunning to be able to bring down the opposing team.
The first day turned out to be a late night, finishing around 9:00 p.m. It started, however, with a welcoming remark from Mr. Mark Iver Sylte as he reminded debaters of the power of their words, citing his favorite growing up stories as he transmitted a heartfelt message. There was no energy missing as debaters argued their way through the night, making it a truly exciting one.
After resting, the next morning debaters arrived early at ASF for their final two rounds of the tournament, leaving behind their flaws from the previous day as they munched on chilaquiles and made last-minute revisions to their cases. Notably the ASF Middle School team won the hearts and ballots of the judges; they were prepared and worked very hard to present their cases. Upper School teams did not fall behind. They were extremely energetic throughout the entire round and eventually moved to semifinals. The 4th round was even more exciting as we had an Edron vs Edron matchup. This round was filled with lots of passion as the two teams already knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses well. Both teams even included a pair of twins pinned against each other.
In the end not everyone could argue their way to the top. For the Middle School division we had a tie in third place for two teams of the Edron Academy, in second place we had ASF Middle School, and in first place as our winner was Humanitree. For the Upper School division of the tournament we had a tie for third place for the Churchill College and ASF Upper School, second place went to the other team from the Churchill College, and finally, the winner in first place was Lancaster School.
This year more than any other, new teams shined and brought alternative and interesting angles to topics such as ethnic appropriation, economic protectionism, cybersecurity, and the integration of various cultures into the world system. Needless to say, the presence of a diverse international group of contenders brought a variety of unique perspectives to the table, and made the experience unlike any other debate tournament in the past. Special thanks to all who participated in the tournament as a team, and to all who participated as judges and timekeepers! We could not have done it without you!
Once again, congratulations to the Middle School and Upper School Debate Teams as they unleashed their words at the beginning of the month. The teams proposed new education practices for areas of socio-economic deprivation, and the privatization of the oil industry in Mexico along with issues of feminism, transsexuality, and precarity.
Our Middle School Team: Mila Lacombe, Kennedi Munson and Devika Padinharay, coached by Mr. Kamm, wowed us with their work, while our Upper School Team: Mariana Icaza, Ale Díaz Pizarro, Barbara Ostyk-Narbut, and Valentina Cassasus, coached by Mr. Jones showed us how far teamwork can take you.
Another round of gratitude for the Office of Athletics and Extended Learning, Finance, Accounting, and the Upper School teams for all their help in this process.