Howdie Aisha Sheik!

By Sam McArthur, Staff Writer

Aisha Sheik is a Senior Debate 4 student this year. The Wrangler took an opportunity to sit down with her and learn more about Debate.

The Wrangler: So this year you’re the captain of the team, so you’ve definitely come a great way, but who got you into debate in the first place?

Sheik: So initially, my mom told me to do it because she thought it would be a fun extracullicular, but I was like, no that’s so dumb, but I actually really enjoyed it.  My freshman year I did really well but I was being taught by, what was essentially the speech side, which I also thought was really cool…debate is great.

The Wrangler: So you mention you were being taught by the speech side.  What was debate like back then and how has it changed.

Sheik: Originally the debate program was a hot mess, but as soon as my best friend, the love of my life, Erica Baker, came in and saved this program, I think that what she did was she constructed a program that could be recognized around by other schools in the nation, now everyone knows the name of George Ranch because she’s devised such a fine program with great leadership….and I’m the president.

The Wrangler: Do you feel that debate offers you a large social space to meet new people?

Sheik: I don’t have any problem meeting people, because I’m pretty social as it is, but debate opens up new horizons.  I get the ability to talk to other people from other schools, honestly around the country, so I have friends up in New York and California, that are also debaters who enjoy and share the passion of the activity that I do.

The Wrangler: What about debate keeps you coming back, or what about it really drives your passion do you think?

Sheik: I think that what about debate that keeps me coming back is just how fun it is. It may seem kind of nerdy to more original people, but continuously going round by round and going to tournaments and losing your weekends to tournaments, it’s just really really fun. Debate has just been a huge integral part of my life.

The Wrangler: So you mention you really enjoy the cycle of it, which asks the question, how many debate cases do you write on average for each tournament?

Sheik:  About 8 or 9.

The Wrangler: And how long does that take you.

Sheik: I have to make sure they’re perfect and I usually have 4 or 5 on both Affirmative and Negative prepped out so I can try and link into whatever my opponent tries to run or read so it takes around 4 to 5 weeks to get them perfect.

The Wrangler: And what side do you most enjoy writing for.

Sheik: I definitely prefer affirmative because it means I get to have the last closing argument to really get to say what I mean.

The Wrangler: Sounds like you have a pretty busy schedule. Are you in any other groups and do they conflict?

Sheik: I’m also a tennis player which is really huge because it takes up a lot of my time after school as well, but I’ve been playing varsity for about three years now. Because I’m just so good at everything, it makes scheduling really hard because every Friday I have to compete at several tournaments so its kind of difficult for me to balance it all out.

The Wrangler: What do you think debate offers this school?

Sheik: It really offers a lot of research skills and it brings a really good name to our school in terms of academics.  Debate has been such a great part of just making me a better student in the classroom and better public speaker in general so…yeah.