A group of 20 Harker middle school students attended the local Spring Forensics Tournament at Santa Clara University, held earlier this month. Many of them were competing for their very first time in the event, which predominantly consisted of high school students. The Harker contestants held their own, winning a number of awards, as noted below:
Divya Rajasekharan, grade 7: Rajasekharan took first place in Humorous Interpretation. She has received many awards for this piece; a 10-minute memorized number titled “Beauty is a Beast,” about a spoiled princess. She also received first place in Dramatic Interpretation for a 10-minute memorized piece, titled “The Shape of a Girl,” about bullying.
Lisa Liu, grade 8: Liu competed in several different speech events and was a finalist in each. She competed in Dramatic Interpretation and was qualified to go to the final round. Her piece was a 10-minute topic about illness and family. She also was a finalist in impromptu speaking for which she was given a topic and just two minutes to prepare before speaking for five minutes on the subject. She also received second place in Varsity Humorous Interpretation with her piece, titled “Wayside School is Falling Down.”
Carissa Chen, grade 7: Chen competed in Dramatic Interpretation for the first time and advanced to the final round.
Adele Li, grade 8: Li competed in the varsity division with a topic questioning whether or not targeted killings by the government are justified. She advanced to the Sweet 16 level.
Shivali Minocha and Jasmine Liu, grade 8: Both eighth graders competed in the public forum with the topic “State Mandated Childhood Vaccines” and were undefeated in the preliminary rounds, winning all five. They were the top candidates going into the elimination rounds and made it to the quarterfinals. Liu, in this, her first debate competition, was individually recognized as being the 10th best speaker in the tournament.