MHS Musings: Millburn Forensics Fares Well at State Tourney
Students rank among the best in the state in their respective categories.
Editor's note: MHS Musings writer Max Sauberman is co-captain of the Forensics team.
The Millburn Forensics team sent 50 competitors to the NJ Forensic League State Championship tournament at Ridge High School on Saturday and was entered in all 18 events.
The team placed sixth overall in the entire state (behind Ridge, Montville, Freehold Township, Randolph and Matawan Regional), something all hundred-plus team members can be proud of. In addition, both the speech and debate sub-teams are ranked sixth in the state.
Many Millburn competitors broke into the final rounds of their respective events.
In the Student Congress event, senior senator Alyssa Weinstein broke into the selective 12-person Super Session in her last ever NJFL tournament. The bill she authored, "A resolution to remove Pres. Bashar Al-Assad from power in Syria through the UN" was debated throughout the preliminary rounds.
In Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking, sophomore Chase Harrison came in second place. In International Extemporaneous Speaking, senior Henry Chapman placed in second, while junior Chris Lim placed in third.
The team's extempores have the difficult challenge of developing a seven-minute speech in only thirty minutes. These speeches, at this tournament broken up between U.S. and international issues, may relate to current events or global controversies. Without available Web access, “extempers” have to have an exhaustive breadth of research at hand.
In Duo Interpretation, the team of sophomores Andrew Singer and Brandon Perler came in fourth place. This duo presented a very creative and extremely hilarious 10-minute interpretation of "The Lion King." Both Andrew and Brandon play multiple characters, each with their own definitive characterizations, accents and physicalities.
In Impromptu Speaking, junior Chris Lim and sophomore Chase Harrison placed into the state semifinals. Upon reading a quote, these students had the unique challenge of only having seven minutes in which to plan and subsequently present an expository speech, quite similar to the SAT essay.
In Prose Reading, junior Claire Joffe placed into the state semifinals. Her 10-minute cut of Zusak's novel "The Book Thief" tells the dramatic (tear-jerking to many at the tournament) tale of Rudy and Liesel, two children living through the Holocaust, narrated by Death itself.
In Varsity Public Forum, the team of sophomores Nathaniel Schwamm and Luke Tolman came in eighth place overall. They debated both sides of the resolution, "The United States should suspend all assistance to Pakistan", having done a great deal of research, case-writing, and practice with certain points and arguments.
In the novice division of Public Forum debate, freshmen Aidan Ahamparam and Alex Brod also came in eighth place.
In Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, junior Yang Yi came in fifth place in the state. Yang developed the resolution "Targeted killing is a morally permissible foreign policy tool," and succeeded with his argumentation, logical flow and presentation.
Some 112 current members of the team have accumulated points necessary to belong to the National Forensic League, an acclaimed national academic honor society.
Many competitors have qualified for the extremely prestigious Tournaments of Champions in Chicago and Lexington (Ky), and the National Championship tournaments in Baltimore and Indianapolis.
Stay tuned to MHS Musings on Patch throughout the month of March for more reports on the Forensics Team's progress throughout the novice state championship tournament the weekend of March 10, and the national championship qualifier tournament the weekend of March 23-24.