We could’ve done a lot more, but I learned a lot about things beyond just debating or even breaking.
I learned that Economics debates are my forte.
I learned that implications are a must in any speech, as well as 500 other things and strategies to remember and cram in barely 30 minutes of prep time and only 7 minutes to speak for your life.
I learned that morale plays a huge role in performance. As well as He-Man and his man-tear, Kate Bush and getting in through Heathcliff’s window, and lastly, high maintenance egg babies with dragon tattoos.
I learned that the best people are the ones you can talk to about anything and everything about the world in one mature, intellectual conversation (i.e. including The Uncanny Avengers, tigers eating chickens, zipper earrings, the Israel-Palestine conflict, Locus Parenti, Commodification of rights, religious neutrality, sexual kinks, the 2007 Subprime Mortgage Crisis, ancient gay Greeks, and/or mutual hate for certain teams)
I learned that public exclusive boys schools in Sri Lanka have dapper white suits as uniforms. and that sometimes it snows there.
I learned that sometimes the most “Filipino” of people are actually Singaporeans. And that Malaysians love Justin Bieber.
I learned that you should always sit at the table right beside the buffet table.
I learned that a back issue of The Economist can save your life. As well as back issues of Marvel comics.
I learned that people who you think have left your life can surprise you.
I learned that your support system is as diverse, stubborn, and impactful as a new strain of the bird flu. In China.
I learned that my teammates are fuckin’ awesome. Like, legitimately awesome. I cannot fathom how we won a debate wherein both my partners had no idea what “fiscal policies” were yet were able to argue based on those pragmatics.
I learned that bad things happen to good people.
I learned that losing with honour is better than winning with compromises.
I learned that sometimes your best isn’t good enough, but it doesn’t matter because you tried anyway.
I learned that you need to keep fighting, to try harder, to speak louder, to think clearer, to pray longer and to sleep earlier because Debate is fucking insane.
And well, the thrill and perennial dilemma of wanting to puke, pee and/or before a speech still feels fucking baffling, but amazing.
Here’s to intellectuals mercenaries and Asian people.
We make the game beautiful.