Flying High in Forensics with St. Robert

Julia C., Daily Life

As the new year approaches, many different and exciting activities will take place. A new trimester has begun, more basketball games will be played, and most importantly forensics begins! Forensics is a competitive public speaking and acting program the students from grades 6 to 8 have the opportunity to participate in. 


St. Robert School has offered the forensics program for middle school students for 9 years. Forensics consists of 17 categories, or different types of acting or public speaking options. Within each category, students choose a particular piece and try to improve their performance of that piece over the course of the season. Students commit to a regular practice schedule and then participate in multiple forensics tournaments. Since the season is just getting underway, several students and the forensics teacher were happy to share their perspectives about the fast approaching forensics program.


Maribel is an 8th grader at St. Robert school. This is her 3rd year and final year of competing in middle level forensics. She enjoys speaking in front of people and meeting new kids her age at the tournaments, and she expressed that time spent in forensics has been really fun. Maribel is hoping to compete in group acting this year because she anticipates the category will be interesting. Finally, Maribel believes that the school will do great! 


Josie is another 8th grader at St. Robert, and she is also thrilled for the new season. Josie enjoys forensics because it helps connect her with people in her grade and forensics improves her speaking ability. She anticipates that the new season will go well although she thinks it will be a little different from her past seasons. When asked what she likes about forensics she responded, “I really like the opportunity it builds for you with your career and how you can meet people from other schools all across the state.” Furthermore, though Josie is excited, she is also nervous because this year she is doing forensics by herself rather than doing it with a partner like she did last year. She is looking forward to “being in my final year and winning some tournaments.” Josie also predicts that the school “will pull through and win some tournaments.”


St. Robert is fortunate enough to have a teacher who is passionate and knowledgeable about this skill-building activity. St. Robert English teacher, Ms. DeLapp, serves as the coach and organizer for the St. Robert forensics program. She plans to keep the same strategy as last year: “I work one-on-one with students for a 30 minute session, giving them tips and directions to better articulate their ideas and accurately showcase emotions.” Although she is the main coach of forensics, other adults and high school students will be helping her with coaching, so more students can sign up for one-on-one practices. Ms. DeLapp can never predict how the season will end, but she hopes “each member of the team is a bit more confident when speaking and has had a positive experience as a member of our squad” by the end of the season. Ms. DeLapp’s goal for the forensics team is to work their best, improve skills, and have fun. Since students have down time during tournaments outside of their own performances, Ms.DeLapp is a bit concerned that the middle school team might misbehave, so she is considering giving consequences to those who don’t act appropriately. Nonetheless, Ms. Delapp is looking forward to seeing the growth of each team member. 


It’s time to get started! The 56 students who are participating in forensics this year will start practicing after the holiday break, with the first tournament scheduled for the end of January. The St. Robert’s forensics team has experienced great success in recent years. Last year the team won the state tournament. Ms. DeLapp and students alike have high hopes of repeating that success. 

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