It’s almost ready… The Lasting Impact! Devotional

Every year before I head out on a summer whirlwind of camps and workshops, I dig into The Word to see what God is going to give me to say to these students, parents, club leaders, and coaches. Sure, I know how to pick an Interp or how to make learning about Platform or Limited Prep Speeches fun. But what is it that God really wants to say through me? That’s what really matters!! I’ll admit it, after a long competition season, I feel like I am going to the well parched and ready. In Speech and Debate, we spend so much time focusing our lives around the competition, club meetings, Debate briefs, research, practicing, tournaments, etc. I feel like the summer is for rejuvenation. Psalm 81:10, “For it was I, the Lord your God who rescued you from the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it with good things.” How better to get rejuvenated… through Him!! Yet, why did I wait until summer!?

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Debate – Moot Court Breakdown by: Eric Meinerding

New challenges ought to be seized with vigor. Moot Court’s rise over the past four years in homeschool forensics has cemented it as an opportunity not to passed up. If you would like to learn more about this activity, want to learn some new and advanced strategies to prepare for the season, or are interested in the legal world at all, Lasting Impact!’s, Eric Meinerding will be offering two opportunities to explore Moot – Online Moot Court Club and an Online Workshop this Wednesday covering the ins and outs of Moot Court …

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Last Call… Online Classes/Clubs Start This Week and Next

Ah yes! The start of a new Speech and Debate Season is upon us. The coaches at Lasting Impact! have been gearing up for this, we have been praying, and we cordially invite you along for the ride! Whether you have participated in Speech and Debate before or brand new, these classes/clubs are here to provide you with the tools for your tool box that you might need…

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Thank You for an AWESOME Summer!

This is my first full week at home in a long time! Lasting Impact! covered a lot of ground this summer! We reached well over 500 students and parents, traveled from coast to coast, went from way down south to the frozen tundra. And all in all – God was there… where ever we went! These were some of our take aways…

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Wednesday Workshops THIS Week – Humor, TP, and LD

​This week we have a full line up waiting for you! Why workshops? I am always telling students in order to walk down a path the more you explore and understand what you are getting into the better! This is the same with Speech and Debate! You have the opportunity to get your feet wet before jumping in!! Each of the workshops provides a skilled coach prepared to equip you with the tools for your tool box. As always, workshops are only $5 for members. We use an online tool called Zoom to connect our students from across the country. Some workshops will turn into Recorded Workshops, but unless you purchase the workshop, there is no guarantee! Sign up NOW

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Why and How to Study Current Events? Extemporaneous!

Thomas Jefferson once said, “If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” How can we make that happen? For our students, I believe the answer is through Speech and Debate. More specifically, more students need to study current events (through a Biblical Worldview). And the way they can practice and apply what they are learning is through the speech event – Extemporaneous. It is through this event where so much value takes place…

  1. Expanding knowledge.
  2. Analysis of the news.
  3. The ability to make informed decisions.
  4. Purposeful discussions.
  5. Critical thinking skills.
  6. Understanding cultural literacy.
  7. Responsible citizenship.

I think we can all agree that learning and studying current events can be quite beneficial, but where do we start or how do we begin this journey? The answer is simple – We need to start and to have practice! And there is no better place to start – join an online group! Lasting Impact! has TWO Extemp opportunities coming up…

Hope Rawlson, the reigning Extemp Champ and Lasting Impact! team member, says, “The most common thing said about extemp is that it’s boringgg. And it’s true!! Extemp can be insanely, extremely boring to listen to, sometimes I’m even bored. But my goal is to bring life into this event through the gathering of students, ideas, and learning together! We need break down the stigmas that Extemp is only for the ultra smart or boring competitors. I will teach you that Extemp is fascinating and we will make it entertaining and interesting. Our goals will include to go from giving good speeches to great speeches. And just being more interesting automatically boosts your ranking up!! This Wednesday I’m going to go over how being interesting is way easier than you think and more ways to go from good to great in Extemp!!”

Hope is passionate about current events and Extemp! We hope you jump in and explore this with her.

Coming Soon! NCFCA Lincoln Douglas Guidebook

Whether you’re a first-year debater or a 6-year debater wanting to dig deeper, this brand new sourcebook from Lasting Impact! is about to be your best friend!

We are putting together an NCFCA LD Guidebook–It’s like a typical sourcebook, yet with LD coaching tips and arguments all in one. This is not a curriculum. Hope Rawlson, 2019 NCFCA LD Champion is part of the project, “I am so excited to be involved in this! I LOVE LD, but felt typical source books, just didn’t offer enough. I’m thrilled Lasting Impact! will be offering more to help competitors, parents, and coaches and making a resource that will be really helpful for understanding the resolution and debating rounds.”

The guide will be split into sections, it is organized by the different elements of an LD case:

  • Definitions
  • Resolution Analysis
  • Applications

Plus, inside each section there will be an explanation on how to use it in LD. You will have a plethora of resources at your fingertips– including definition briefs, application briefs, in-depth arguments, and more! In addition, the sourcebook will include analysis of different arguments, how to debate this resolution, and how to successfully debate LD in general, all written by nationally ranked debaters with years of proven experience! Lasting Impact! is beyond excited to offer this incredible resource to share with all of you. Available by ebook only. Release date September 2019.

If you are as excited as we are… be sure to sign up for Hope’s Online LD Workshop – Aug. 28. Perhaps, you will get a sneak peek into the guide!

Apologetics Prepares You to Offer Jesus (Not Yourself) by: Kaitlyn Butts

Kaitlyn Butts is one of Lasting Impact’s Apologetics’s Coaches. She is passionate about the speech category. But not just as a speech category, for life! Lasting Impact! continues to reach students all across the nation to help them gain skills that they will use for life. Speech and Debate is not just about the competition! Here is what the Lord put on Kaitlyn’s heart on WHY students should learn Apologetics…

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Wednesday Workshops are Tackling Apologetics and College with Kaitlyn Butts

Two more opportunities this week to learn from a seasoned pro! Kaitlyn Butts is excited to talk about getting the most out of Speech and Debate by competing in Apologetics, as well as how to use the skills you are learning to advance your college career and beyond. These online workshops will be recorded through our online forum called Zoom, however there is no guarantee they will make it into our Recorded Workshops. So, be sure to sign up! Recordings will be sent to the email registered and remember- Workshops are only $5-$10 for members! Sign up NOW! Or keep reading to see what Kaitlyn has to say…

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Senioritis; Speech and Debate Reflection by: Joshua Anumolu

If you were to ask my parents, they would have diagnosed me with a strong case of senioritis this year. For those of you blessed to not know the meaning of this term, senioritis refers to when students nearing graduation experience a precipitous drop in motivation towards their academic studies. Symptoms may include: dropping 2 AP exams, a decline in grade performance, and a sudden desire to embark on world travel. At least, that’s what I assume it’s like for other seniors?!

But being a senior this past year has caused me to reflect on Speech and Debate and what it has meant to me over these past 6 years. I’ve come to a richer realization that the real value of Speech and Debate is what happens outside this journey, not what happens in it (for those of you taking notes, this is my thesis). I believe that Speech and Debate is one of many things in life we won’t fully appreciate until later.

  1. For example, faith in Christ is a living hope that won’t be fully realized until we are in heaven.
  2. Our education is comprised of years of tests and toil for character and knowledge we reap as adults.
  3. And I won’t fully appreciate my parents’ cooking until I’m at college, subsisting on eggs and cereal. Though to be fair: I can cook some beautiful scrambled eggs.

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate Speech and Debate a lot. But I think I will appreciate it even MORE when we use the skills we have gained in the “real world.” For example, the forensic clap. I was recently at another event, and a lady was announcing the results, with long applause for each team. I was thinking “What an inefficient use of time” and desperately wanted to instruct them in the way of the forensic clap. That’s definitely a skill we should transfer.

I still remember my first debate round. I was a cocky novice with too much confidence for my own good. My family had already been in Speech and Debate for a couple of years, I was a master timer, and my partner and I did well in our club’s practice tournament. Then came our first tournament, the very first round we went affirmative against one of the best teams in the league. They argued every single stock issue and several disadvantages; and oh, a counterplan to top if off. It was a good reality check, and one of many failures that taught me more than success ever did. I look back at that tournament fondly because our club had fun “mock” debates in the lounges about installing “Biometric Presidential cake warmers”…..It was hilarious and dumb…. Still with a better rhetoric than some of my speeches.

At another tournament my novice year, we were against a good team with an even better case, and we had no good arguments. I always ran a DA, but since we didn’t have any good ones, I became desperate and said that their plan is a: “violation of federal law”. With the resolution of “reforming federal election law”, that’s exactly what the affirmative team should be doing. I felt ridiculously silly, and the ballot reflected that.

Needless to say, I did not live up to my self-projected image as a novice. Yet failures like these are exactly what makes the Speech and Debate experience NOT a failure, but a success. If we truly believed the real value of Speech and Debate consists only in what happens inside of Speech and Debate, then any mistake could be grounds for despair because it’s all a waste of time. But as a senior who’s now looking forward, I’ve realized the real value of Speech and Debate lies in what happens next, after we graduate, when we put these skills and character development into use.

Last summer, I was in Amman, Jordan on a study-abroad program. And it was a wonderful experience. It was fun to play soccer with Muhammad, a neighborhood boy, in the middle of the street, defying angry taxi drivers. It was fun to visit Petra and Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. It was fun to roam the streets of Amman and eat Kanafeh, a sweet, syrupy, cheesy dessert, from angels disguised as street vendors. Truly a taste of heaven.

But the experience was also…..interesting, for lack of a better word, not only because it was a completely new country and culture, but also because it was the first time I spent such a long period of time away from home surrounded by people who are not Christians. And I’m not just referring to the people of Amman, but also the American students who I spent most of the day with. Being surrounded by people who didn’t share my values as a Christian was sometimes very depressing and isolating.

For example, one day, when we were all on the bus, one American student was talking about how he competed in public school debate, and was openly bragging about how he fabricated evidence. The fact that a public school debater fabricates evidence wasn’t surprising, the fact that he openly bragged about it surprised me – so I asked him “isn’t that unethical?” He looked at me with spite, and responded, “Haven’t you read Friedrich Nietzsche? God doesn’t exist.” The way he said was matter-of-factly, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, was so infuriating. I happened to study Nietzsche the past school year, and believe me, I very much wanted to give him a piece of my mind on why Nietzsche is one of the crappiest philosophers ever. But alas, he wasn’t open to discussion. This was a good wakeup call to what life is like outside the Speech and Debate and homeschool world.

I mean, Speech and Debate truly is unique. A few years ago, I was at a tournament, when the unthinkable happened, a tragedy to make Shakespeare jealous: I lost my tie clip. As a joke, I replaced it with a clothespin. I wore it in an impromptu speech. Some of my friends that it was bold and edgy, and I felt like a bad boy. You know you’re a debater when you think that wearing a clothespin instead of a tie clip counts as edgy.

There’s a Japanese word called Mono No Aware. Mono No Aware — forgive my less-than-sublime pronunciation — refers to a bittersweet sadness that comes from sensitivity to transience, an awareness of the fleeting nature of things… such as certain experiences like tournaments, periods of life like growing up or parenting, the taste of delicious food like chicken tikka. To quote one Speech and Debate alum, now a successful entrepreneur, reminiscing about his homeschooling journey: “The freedom to design my own schedule was priceless. The freedom to do homework in my pajamas was, as I quickly found out, overrated.” Savor your Speech and Debate journey, whether this year is your first, last, or both, and savor your years of homeschooling, with the confidence that God is working in you to work for His glory.