Team discusses importance of DDF

  • By Ciara Cordes
  • Thursday, November 12, 2015 9:37am
  • News

As they went to Anchorage to compete in a tournament at West Anchorage High School last weekend, each member of the Homer High School DDF team had three words on his or her mind: drama, debate, and forensics.

DDF is a statewide competitive activity that tests high school students’ ability to perform publicly in each of the three stated categories. The Homer High team, which has been around for 12 years, practices each week to prepare for competition.

Within each category at the tournament, there were 15 different events the team could participate in. 

In the drama section, team members participated in interpretations, miming, reader’s theater, and both duet and solo acting.

The second letter stands for debate. The team participated in two types of debate: a solo debate concerned with ethics and a partner debate in which students argued cases about public issues. 

Lastly, the forensic part of the acronym consisted of different types of “extemporaneous commentary” — the student was given a topic and then had to give a speech on it. 

When asked about the most important part of Drama, Debate, and Forensics, freshman DDFers and the team captains all gave answers filled with anecdotes of community and accomplishment. 

Team captain Nolan Bunting said of the team, “We are not individuals who compete. We are a family that works for the good of the whole and the little.” 

Carly McLean, also a team captain, shared Bunting’s sentiment, saying, “It’s a relatively individual activity, but we also function as a team.” 

While the team agreed on the importance of community, they all had very different ideas on what was key on an individual level. 

Freshman Galen Lyon says that to him DDF is important because it allows him to spend considerable amounts of time with people that he cares about. 

McLean emphasized that it’s important to take DDF seriously, and that while occasionally it’s hard to remember, it’s still an event that the team competes in at a professional level. 

Head Coach Amy Johnson said it’s important to her that she gets to watch her students flourish in all aspects of their lives.

The team could come up with countless skills that they had gained from participating, including public speaking and the ability to communicate better with others. 

 “Public speaking is probably one of the most important things that any person can have access to and understand how to do,” said Johnson. 

Both team captains agreed that they had learned how to defend what they believed in through their participation in the forensics and debate events. Other skills that the captains agreed upon having gained were leadership and picking which battles were worth fighting.

Though there are many skills to gain from participating, team members also opened up about some of the challenges. Lyon and Bunting echoed one another when they talked about the time that students must put into preparing and memorizing their pieces. 

“It takes a big chunk of your time out,” said Lyon. “You spend a lot of time sitting on your couch looking at a piece of paper.” 

But Bunting explained that the time was worth it, as long as you didn’t try to over-work yourself. 

While the team could name a few challenges, the team mostly recalled sizable amounts of rewarding times. 

When asked if she had one thing she wanted to say about DDF as a whole, Coach Johnson said, “I love my job, I love the kids that I get to work with, and I love getting to know them outside of a school context, and the relationships I get to build with awesome kids.”

Bunting called DDF an experience he would remember forever. 

When asked if there was anything he wanted Homer to know about DDF, Lyon said simply, “It’s fun. It seems like a stereotypical generic answer, but it’s true.”

DDF meets every Monday for debate, and Wednesday for all other events. Practice is from 3:30 to 5:30 at Homer High School. The season runs until the state tournament in February. 

Ciara Cordes is a student at Homer High School. She also is on Alaska’s international poetry team.


Results from DDF Tourney at West Anchorage High

2nd Place, Humorous Interpretation – Jimmy Gao

2nd Place, Dramatic Interpretation – Eryn Gillam

2nd Place, Pantomime – Landon Bunting

3rd Place, Expository Speaking – Nolan Bunting

3rd Place, Duo Interpretation – Galen Lyon and Chloe Pleznac

4th Place, Dramatic Interpretation – Carly McLean

5th Place, Pantomime – Ciara Jones, Rowyn Cunningham, John Vanek, Patrick Hannan, Jimmy Gao

5th Place, Readers’ Theatre –  Chloe Pleznac, Adrienne King, Landon Bunting, Jimmy Gao, Tara Hueper, John Vanek


More in News

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchor Point house fire leaves one dead, one in serious condition

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Snow and debris from an avalanche can be seen near Mile 45 on the Seward Highway on Monday, March 29, 2021. (Photo courtesy Goldie Shealy)
Center promotes avalanche awareness

The Chugach Avalanche Center in Girdwood will begin its daily forecasts Saturday.

Commercial fishing and other boats are moored in the Homer Harbor in this file photo. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Seawatch: Historic sockeye run predicted for Bristol Bay

ADF&G says 2022 run could break this year’s record

The entrance to the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in the Tongass National Forest was covered in snow on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, a day after federal authorities announced the next step in restoring the 2001 Roadless Rule on the forest. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Feds put freeze on Roadless Rule rollback

On the Roadless Rule again.

tease
Alaska man pleads not guilty to threatening 2 US senators

If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

Commercial fishing vessels are seen here on the Kenai River on July 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Fishing industry takes a hit during pandemic

Overall fish harvesting jobs in Alaska dropped by the widest margin since 2000 — 14.1% — in 2020.

FILE - The Olympic rings stand atop a sign at the entrance to the Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, Calif., on July 8, 2020. U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, declared "squaw" to be a derogatory term and said she is taking steps to remove the term from federal government use and to replace other derogatory place names. The popular California ski resort changed its name to Palisades Tahoe earlier this year. (AP Photo/Haven Daley, File)
Interior secretary seeks to rid U.S. of derogatory place names

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday formally declared… Continue reading

Most Read