This class is a requirement for the LAS protocol. That means that I got to take it with half of the members of my cohort which was around 20 or more. At the beginning of the year I was excited to take this class because it would allow me to grow as not only a speaker, but in ways to be more argumentative. This did not happen though. I thought that it was one of my most dreaded classes. Our professor, Dr. Kai, was very well rounded and was able to let me see the areas I needed to develop more in, but he wanted us to debate primarily on politics.
He referred to us as his Master Debaters every time he walked into class by saying, “Good afternoon Master Debaters,” and we’d have to respond with, “Good afternoon Dr. Kai.” I feel like he was unsure if he wanted to be serious with us or joke with us during the semester. Eventually he warmed up to us and we would have our laughs.
Even though this class overall was not my favorite, I would have to say that it has made me realize what places I need to improve on while debating. Since I know the general areas I need to work on you’d think that I’d know how to fix them right? I expected to get input from the debates so we could fix those problems the next time we went to debate, but we didn’t debate that many times anyways. Our first debate was dragged on because we had to do research on the resolved and form arguments which is understandable, but then he had to give us quizzes on material he didn’t go over which would have helped substantially in our debates. The only skill that I picked up from this class is how to find information on Cmu’s database in the library (even though he showed us how to do this AFTER we got all of our briefs/information for the debate).
I can see how this relates to leadership in that every great leaders should possess argumentative skills, but we spent over half the semester doing basically everything reverse of how we were suppose to do it with little to no feedback. As a leader, I will strive to tackle these breaks in my argumentation and create ways to enable my ability to ague better in the long run. As the semester Dr. Kai warmed up to all of us and he did do a good job with the class, he just needed to come in a little more prepared.