For many DKWien debaters, going to Paris Open is a set date, every year. For Gwen Eberhard though, it was the very first time that she went on an international tournament with DKWien. The first international tournament can seem daunting to many freshers – but Gwen managed both, to have great results for her ever first competition and to also have a whole lot of fun. Read on to find out more about her experiences at Paris Open 2014.
My first tournament plus a visit to Paris for the weekend was a great combination. This amazing (and also exhausting) experience started on Friday 25th of April. I arrived with the train and was welcomed to a rainy Paris full of grumpy looking people. Having arriving early and with enough time before the official tournament start, Stefan, Anne- Claire and myself made our way into the city center to explore Paris for a while. Almost on time, the first round started with an interesting motion about the immorality of donating to animal charities if there are still charities aiming at alleviating human suffering. I was so excited that my hands were shaking a little. Nevertheless I spoke seven minutes straight and was the happiest person for the whole weekend. However, we lost the first round, and then the second as well.
Fortunately a bottle of red wine was served per room and round and helped us get through this disappointing outcome. The social started very late, the rounds seemed like a never ending story. ParisTec is located at the 13th arrondissement, an old working class district with charming street art on the walls of paved alleys. We all met at a nice bar, had a few drinks (some more, some less) and had good conversations with fellow debaters. However I went home quite early, as I was pretty tired and had to survive another three rounds the next day.
The next morning rounds started early at 8 am, and everyone was short of sleep. Luckily the place we stayed was just a few blocks away. Breakfast helped a little, and then everyone was motivated to start the rounds. This time we were prepared a lot better. I have to apologize to Jakob here, because I didn’t believe him when he told me about the massive improvement of debating skills during the course of a tournament. I felt much more confident; I structured my speech more efficiently and concentrated on the important aspects of the debates. We got second, then another second and lastly a third place.
After a super fancy dinner with finger foods (almost too beautiful to eat) and a thrilling final at 12pm (!!), the last social started. Everybody was in a good mood, dancing to weird techno music, drinking and having a terrific time with new and old friends. I was having mixed feelings about my time in Paris. I was relieved that I could just go home and sleep for three days straight, but sad that it was all over too. My score must seem like a poor result for lots of people but I was just so proud and happy, happy that I managed everything, especially speaking for 7 minutes, each and every time. I am happy to have met very nice and interesting people from all over Europe. People are so hooked on debating, even more than I am. A lot of them were really experienced and answered hundreds of my questions patiently.
Debating was extremely exhausting, one round after the other, but I could already see the work paying off. Going to tournaments is mostly fun and I had plenty of it. I am very grateful I could go to Paris and have so much fun with Katja, Stefan, Regina, Yasmin, Anne Claire, Miri, Eli, Ingo and Madlen. It’s amazing how much time and effort everyone at DKWien puts in organizing tournaments in Vienna and going to tournaments elsewhere. It’s great to be part of DKWien and I honestly think the world were a better place if everybody would debate. Thanks for everything – and especially to Katja, we were a great team!
The author, Gwendolin Eberhard, joined DKWien in late 2013. Paris Open was her first tournament.
- R1: THBT it is immoral to donate to animal welfare charities while there are charities which aim to alleviate human suffering still in need
- R2: THW guarantee military veterans jobs for life (through civilian state sector employment or/and state subsidy of private sector employment)
- R3: INFO SLIDE: The Diamond Club is a dating website which aims to pair male millionaires with physically attractive females. Male members pay upwards of £100,000 to join the site, while female members are ranked out of 100 for their physical attractiveness and do not pay a fee to join. No other qualities, such as skills or interests, are taken into account when ranking female members. The site is for linking of dates, and not for prostitution.
- THBT feminists should not oppose dating sites which seek to romantically link rich men and physically attractive women
- R4: THBT western nations should require companies seeking to sell products within their borders to abide by national worker’s rights legislation, regardless of where the goods were manufactured and at all stages of the production process.
- R5: THW determine income tax based on the relative privilege of an individuals’ upbringing.
(With info slide defining ‘privilege’ as private education, parental wealth, childhood home)
- Open Semi: THW, as NATO, send troops to protect the Ukrainian border (not including the Crimea)
- ESL Final: THW offer citizenship to illegal immigrants in exchange for meaningful information on their traffickers and illegal employers
- Open Final: THS the unlimited use of war-time propaganda which aims to dehumanise the enemy
Gwendolin Eberhard /msi