Senior can’t imagine life without debate

By Chelsea Khakshouri

With her large stack of hotel room keys as proof of her constant travels, debate team captain Michelle Choi ’12 has placed in numerous national and international debate competitions. Choi began debating in fifth grade when a teacher recruited her for the team. She continued debating throughout middle school and now competes on the high school team.

“My responsibilities on the team include writing a lot of the material that the team reads and a lot of research that we use during rounds,” Choi said.

As one of the seniors, Choi helps her teammates to research and understand debate strategies.

Choi also participates in World Schools Parliamentary debate outside of school. This summer, she participated in the World Schools Debate Championship as one of five members representing the United States in Scotland.

Choi has traveled to many states for national competitions, including Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, New York, Texas and Washington. At the USC tournament last year, Choi won first speaker and was awarded an iPad, which she said was “a pretty cool prize.” She also attended the Tournament of Champions last year.

She spends a majority of her time doing research and practicing speech. She has to miss a lot of school but says it is worth it.

“I get used to flying,” she said. “I decided to stay on East Coast time zone because it’s easier.”

“Michelle has a large degree of natural talent, but what makes her so successful is she works harder than anyone I know,” teammate and co-captain Adam Bennett ’12 said.

Choi sees herself debating in college but not as actively as she does now. She can’t imagine her life without it, she said.