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Sarina Chawla

My Debate Passion

Everyone has many passions, something that they are good and hopefully that they enjoy. One of my passions is policy debate. I participate in policy debate at the high school level. For those of you who don’t know anything about policy debate, it is an extracurricular activity in which each year the board of debate comes up with a general resolution, and each team comes up with a plan to achieve the resolution.  When participating in the policy debate, you have a partner and both of you have to debate both the pros and the cons of each team’s plan. It sounds confusing, but it really isn’t that bad. I spend a generous portion of my time doing debate. The general resolution this year is “The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its military and/or police presence in one or more of the following areas : South Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey.”

                 I love doing debate because it allows me to see the world in a different manner, and it allows me stay updated on current event topics. My partner, Michael Moorhead, and I decided that our affirmative plan this year would be to remove private military contractors from Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of you reading this are probably like who are they? Believe you are not alone when I started I had no idea that the government employed private companies to fight for our security. I have learned so much from debate, learning from my own research, and learning from the other teams when they debate against us. I would encourage anyone who is in high school to get involved in debate if they have the chance. I started doing debate my sophomore year in high school, and I wish I had started it earlier. Even if you don’t plan on pursuing a career in law, I would still advise you to join!

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I try everything. I know that sounds very general, but I always strive to do things for myself and for the people around me. I do that in school too. I always try to inspire people around me.

My story is:

I’m a senior at Appleton East High School, and Tesla Engineering Charter School.

Looking ahead:

I’m really excited about college because I’m really looking forward to meeting new people, and going to classes that I’m really interested in. Right now, I’m in robotics and debate clubs. I really want to combine both of my interests. So I  want to be a patent lawyer because it will allow me to make use of my engineering background as well as my law background. I’ll do them both all the time already, just for fun. But I’ll miss high school.

I’m really passionate about:

Talking to people. I love hearing their life stories and learning what their passions are. I’m also very hard working. I stick with something, even if it’s a lot of trouble. I’ve worked really hard to be ranked in debate. Getting to top three in the state (WI) is my goal for the year. I think I get a lot of people get inspired around me. My partner has gotten very involved in debate this year, for example. This is the first year we’re going to nationals, in Illinois this November. I’m also involved in a robotics team at my school. I love the environment  – it’s student led and not teacher led – and that it makes me think differently about things.

If you could design a robot to replace any one daily activity, what would it be and what would you name that robot?

That’s a very thought-provoking question! I know a big thing for me is planning and getting organized. So I’d like a robot that organized my life – my schedule, but also everything else in general. But then it’d have to be something that would be around you all the time, so that could get annoying.

I can’t wait:

To meet the PopTech speakers. I’m really impressed how people communicate with each other. I was particularly excited about Loop.pH, this group building the sculptures out of fiberglass and wires. It was really amazing.