a year of confidence
In Retrospect |
Debate brought me to Wake Forest. I attended the Wake sum-
mer debate institute for high school students in both 1970 and 1971,
and it was largely based on that experience that I entered Wake
Forest in the fall of 1972. What was it like to debate for Wake For-
est during this period? Over the course of a season stretching from
October to April, Wake debaters would each attend approximately
a dozen tournaments. I remember vividly the long van rides (and
an occasional plane flight) as we travelled to tournaments ranging
from UCLA to Dartmouth and from Northwestern to Emory.
Debating also involved long hours of preparation. The debate
squad room, then on the sixth level of the library, was the site of
many all night work sessions. (I soon discovered the incompatibil-
ity of debate work with regular attendance at early morning classes.)
The Pizza Gardens restaurant (later known as Samplers), located at
the corner of Coliseum Drive and University Parkway, was a par-
ticular favorite of Wake debaters and coaches. Numerous good de-
bate strategies were plotted there, fueled by their subs, salads, and
excellent (if sometime greasy) New York style pizza (as well as
more than a few pitchers of Schlitz beer).
Debate was an intensely absorbing activity (too absorbing in
the view of at least one of my professors). I learned a great deal in
Wake Forest’s classrooms, but as much as I learned from Dr. Brée
about the existentialists, Dr. Steintrager about political philosophy,
Dr. Wilson about the romantic poets, Dr. Fosso about Shakespeare,
or Dr. Barefield about Freud, I know that I learned as much in
Wake’s debate squad room, at Pizza Garden, in the van, in hotel
rooms, and in the classrooms across the country where we debated.
The 1976 National Debate Tournament, held in an unseasonably
sweltering Boston, is the debate tournament that I most vividly
in retrospect
An Intensely Absorbing Activity
By Roger Solt (B.A., 1976)
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