Brainerd High School sophomore Chelsea Holub joined the debate team her freshman year because she likes to argue and she never gives up.
Now in her second year, Holub's arguing is paying off. At a recent Brainerd Rural Debate League Tournament, Holub and her partner, Tom Freeman, went undefeated with a 4-0 record and earned a perfect score of 30.
"(Earning a perfect score) is something that is rarely seen on the debate circuit," the Brainerd debate coaches said.
Thanks to the feat and Holub's debate skills - leadership, speaking and analysis of the topic - the sophomore was nominated as Fine Arts Student of the Week.
Brainerd High School sophomore Chelsea Holub posed for a picture Monday while discussing debate. Holub was named Fine Arts Student of the Week for her work in debate.
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Brainerd Dispatch/Jennifer Stockinger
Following is a question-and-answer session with Holub.
How did it feel to earn a perfect score at the rural debate tournament?
"Earning a 30 is the highest score you can get. It's like getting an A-plus. It was cool. I felt good about it. It gives you reassurance and builds up your confidence."
How have you and Freeman been doing overall in debate?
"We've had about five tournaments and we've done pretty well. We usually beat people our age but lose when we go against seniors. The debate teams in the Twin Cities are really hard to beat."
What do you enjoy about debate?
"I enjoy going to the tournaments. We (debate team members) have a lot of fun together. Once I get into a round at a tournament, you're thinking fast on your feet within seconds. I wonder to myself, 'How did I ever come up with that?' I don't get nervous when I compete, but after a round, I'll look back at what I did and I'm surprised that I didn't get nervous."
You don't get nervous debating in front of people?
Art focus: Brainerd High School debate.
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Getting fifth place at the Junior Varsity Novice State Tournament with Stephanie Northway last year.
Favorite TV program: "The Office."
Favorite movie: "Casablanca."
Favorite book: "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte.
Favorite song: "Breathe (2 AM)" by Anna Nalick.
Favorite food: Peaches.
Favorite thing to do: Read and write.
Parents: Mark and Anne Holub of Baxter.
"If I had to debate in front of a group of friends or a large group I'd get nervous, but not in front of the judge, my partner or the other team."
Which debate category are you in?
"I'm in public forum this year. I started last year in public forum and then did Lincoln-Douglas at the end of the year because they needed someone in that category to compete. I like debating the philosophical topics in Lincoln-Douglas better, but I don't like the format.
"I like public forum and having a partner to bounce ideas off of. My partner is really good at asking questions. I am, too, but he is more in your face."
Do you and Freeman make good partners?
"We make good partners when we're doing the debate. When we're preparing the case, I want to get it done right away and he'll want to wait."
What is your strength in debate?
"I am the second speaker. I do the summary. I sum things up and attack our opponents' points. I'm good at being organized and answering questions."
"I'm not as good at asking questions. You need to ask questions in a sly way like you're attacking them. I'm also bad at evidence."
What is your debate topic and do you like it?
"The topic is should we balance the budget or increase domestic spending. I'm not crazy about it because I really don't like economics. It's a little over my head."
How has debate helped you grow as a person?
"It has helped me a lot as a student, I've become a much better writer and public speaker. It has helped me think on my feet and helped me see both sides of an issue. Before, I was pretty opinionated, and now I'm like there are so many things to look at."
What would you like people to know about debate?
"I wish the community and the students really knew what debate was about. It's a lot more than just arguing in a room. People don't know what's involved in it. If you tell a student you're in debate, then you're a nerd, and if someone from the community asks if you're in a sport or something and I tell them I'm in debate, they're like, 'Oh.'"
Abby Larson, senior, orchestra: Larson plays principal viola in the chamber orchestra. Larson also is a teacher in the Learn to Play in the Orchestra program and is a class leader.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5851.
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