TOC 2015 Champion + 2nd speaker, NDCA 2014 + 2015 Champion, Harvard-Westlake 2015 Champion, Glenbrooks 2014 Champion + 1st speaker, Berkeley 2014 Champion
University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019
I began working with Paras during the summer of my freshman year, when I barely knew anything about debate. Despite how truly incompetent I was, Paras worked with me every week and took a personal investment in my success: week one we worked on organization, week two we talked about what the goal of every speech was and so on. No one was happier when I finally reached elimination rounds at a tournament than Paras was.
Throughout the two years I spent working with Paras, we focused on skills that were transferrable to every debate. We did a wide variety of drills, from word economy and speaking drills to more specific ones, such as how to respond to common arguments and strategies I encountered throughout my career. Even when I was entirely new to the activity and knew nothing about how debate worked, Paras was very effective at paraphrasing and explaining ideas and then creating an accompanying drill to reinforce the concepts I had just learned. Without all the time Paras and I spent on understanding the fundamentals of debate, I would never have had as much success in the activity. I still remembered his lectures about argument selection, time tradeoffs and debate as a game before the most important and final rounds of my career.