Debating 101: MADPP Inter-Class Debating Tournament 2016

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If a year ago I were told I was going to participate in a debating tournament, I would laugh at that possibility and brush it aside with firm certainty that I would never get myself into something as vocal as that. Alas, when my English Lecturer informed us of our activity for that week, I was full of dread and fear- I was never the type of person to speak up and express myself- at the prospect of debating. However, I am in debt to her for making us do it as I learn a great deal of things, not only in the sense of debating about also in handling stage fright and also, conquering my own fear.

First of all, my teammates deserve a whole lot of credit for their enthusiasm and cooperation. I am so lucky to have them as my fellow comrades, as we would never have made it as a team if it were not for our teamwork. The stuff that they say about teamwork is key to success is definitely true. Without a firm Prime Minister in setting the parameters of the debate, defining our scope and asserting our stance, our team would have a weak opening. Without a strong Deputy Prime Minister to rebut the Head of Opposition (HO) and explaining two substantives of the government team, our team would be fighting a half lost battle. Without a confident whip, our arguments would be weakened if we fail to rebut all the points given by the opposition team. Thus, without having me to delve deeper into the technicalities of debating, I am sure you get the importance of teamwork in debating.

Debating also taught me to be prepared for anything. If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Likewise, if the cunning government team sets an extremely narrow scope with zero loopholes in their mechanism, you just have to be prepared to catch that curve ball! Under these difficult circumstances, expect to fell a slight increase in heart rate due to adrenaline rush. Nevertheless, when you cannot find flaws in the opponents’ arguments, detect or rather devise your own loopholes against the opponents seemingly making their stance weaker by scrutinizing on the smallest details that they have failed to acknowledge. Trust me when I say this, no argument is 100% fool proof, every arguments have loopholes and it is our duty to point out these weaknesses in favor of our own motion.

Last but not least, it is expected of you to fight for and defend a position that you probably would be against to any other day of the week. In the event of such misfortunes, the first step in handling that confliction with our personal stand is to realize that fighting for a position that you would not normally agree to is actually a blessing in disguise. A smart man once said that there are two sides to a coin but a wise man realized that there are actually many more. Thus, if we were to be too fixated on one initial perception, our judgments would be clouded even before we started debating. Our mind would automatically block out any new perspective that can broaden our ideas and alas, more the shame as we fight for a motion that we do not truly have faith in. We cannot expect to convince members of the hall if we cannot even convince ourselves that what we are fighting for is what we truly believe in.

All in all, if I have a time machine, I would definitely go back in time and force myself into debating, even if it meant dragging myself kicking and screaming. Debating is a vital skill that I think everyone should develop. Like all skills, it can be polished and improved. Debating makes for a more courageous person, a more effective and persuasive speaker and ultimately a more open minded person, which I honestly think is one of the greatest perk of debating.

 

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When asking for P.O.I

As always, thank you so much for your time.

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When denying any P.O.I

Atonement (2007): A Film Review

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IMDB Rating: 7.8/ 10

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of this film, I have seen it a few years back and I loved it so much! It is extremely rare to find a movie that leaves you completely speechless and awe struck hours after the credits started rolling, and this is no exception from such rarities. Thus, I am eternally grateful to have the privilege of not only enjoying the film but also appreciating it for what it truly is: a well-directed film, a beautifully written script and an amazing cast of actors! Thus, I apologize in advance if I happen to rant about how much I love the film instead of reviewing it.

I do not even know where to start! The technical aspects of the film are brilliant, the plot is powerful and performances too are breathtaking. Now that is one movie that is hard to beat.

First of all, the technical aspects of the film are definitely noteworthy! The cinematography is just amazing! The way the camerawork moves around the house in the film certainly made it appear to be larger than life. The beautiful colors of the summer house was enhanced by beautiful camera angles. And don’t get me started on the beautiful score of the film. The chilling sound of a typewriter as a background music was undoubtedly a stroke of genius. Whoever thought of that idea deserves a round of applause. On top of that, the musical arrangement was just spot on! All the scenes were empowered by the accompanying instrumental score.

The plot too is extremely powerful. Things that you would expect happen did not, and things that you would never even imagine of did! If I were to talk about the whole plot of the film in great detail, I would be robbing you a great deal of suspense from the experience as a whole. Even the smallest tid bits that you learn before hand prior to seeing the film would lessen the impact of the plot twists. Thus, I would highly suggest that you restrain yourself from any forms of spoilers. And trust me when I say this, you are doing yourself a huge favor if you do so. This film is adapted from Ian McEwans novel of the same name. I learned that It is a great classic, definitely worth a try.

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Last but not least, the casting of this film is just amazing. I cannot imagine it being any better with a different set of actors. Keira Knightley is quite an odd actress, her performance in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise was somewhat a bit wooden but she surely made amends in Pride and Prejudice (even though the film adaptation did not do justice towards Miss Austen’s original work), but in Atonement, it was as if she was made for the role. Not only that, I have always been a fan of Saiorse Ronan from films like The Lovely Bones, The Host and of course, Brooklyn, but in Atonement, she was a child actor with acting skills surpassing what you would expect from actors of her age. Her Oscar nomination in this film was definitely well deserved!

All in all, I do realize that this film review is a bit vague and is solely based on my personal opinions rather than thorough analysis towards the plot itself. However, words are inadequate in describing how truly awesome this film is. I would never take the risk of jeopardizing the experience by giving out spoilers, thus I urge you to be the judge for yourself.

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As always, thank you so much for your time!

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Juno (2007): A Film Review

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IMDB Rating: 7.5/ 10

One of the best thing from movie screenings from my English Lecturer is seeing movies I would not typically go for. I have heard a great deal about Juno but I never really came around and seen it for myself and once I sat down for that 2 hours in the theatre hall, I knew I was hooked!

This film mainly features the life of a pregnant teenager named Juno. However, what made it different from most teen flicks is how simplistic and how honest the film was. What I admired most about the title character is her perseverance. Unlike most pregnant teenagers, she did not make herself the victim of her own circumstance. Surely, her pregnancy resulted from a one-time sexual engagement that knocked her up. On top of all that, her ‘first time’ being the one that made her pregnant was certainly a story that you do not get to hear every day! Alas, there was not one time in the film that she complained or self-pitied herself, which I thick is really admirable.

Another valuable lesson that I have learned from Juno is that abortion is not always the best thing to do. If I was ever in a situation to make such a big decision, I do not think that I am strong enough for it. I used to think that abortion is better than bringing up a child on your own when you yourself is still a child. However, I came to the realization that denying an unborn child his right to have a chance at life is sadder than bringing him to this world in spite of our own hardships raising him up as teen parents. Because in the end, life is still life.

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Do not settle for an abortion, opt for giving your baby up for adoption instead

 

Another thing that I value from this film is it acknowledges the fact that love dies out and marriages end. I know that marriage does not stand the test of time without tolerance and hard work and acts of love alone would never suffice in making a marriage a ‘happy ever after’, if you may. Jennifer Garner’s character (check out the film for yourself if you want to know what happened to her character, I am restraining myself from giving out too much spoilers) beautifully portrayed the ugly truth: people fall out of love from each other. I am not sure if this film made me a more realistic person or a more bitter one for that matter. Nevertheless, I am glad that this movie helped me escape form the illusion that marriage is as beautiful as They made me once believe.

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Geez, thanks Mr. MacGuff

 

All in all, Juno is a great watch! A light film with heavy messages. Common themes with an uncommon way of storytelling but still, a worthy film for a go. Thus my verdict is: stream it!

Here is a quote that I found to be really funny, forgive the sneak peak:

Vanessa Loring: Your parents are probably wondering where you are.                               

Juno MacGuff: Nah … I mean, I’m already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?

As always, thank you for your time.

Vocab Log #3 (Big Bang Theory S03E04)

 

  1. Traipse (Verb)
    • To walk or go aimlessly or idly without reaching ones goal
      • Arya traipsed all over town for hours in search of an old edition of a book she needed for a class.

 2.Incandescent (Adjective)

  • Brilliant, masterly or extraordinarily lucid
    • The portrait on display at The National Museum of Arts this month is an incandescent masterpiece.

 3. Lackey (Noun)

  • A footman or liveried manservant
    • The door opened, and the lackey motioned to the two gentlemen to enter.

 4. Posse (Noun)

  • A body or force armed with legal authority
    • There is a reason that we have police departments and not posse’s roaming around bringing ‘justice’ to the people.
  • A group of friends or associates (slang)
    • I was hanging out with my posse at Jim’s Burger Shack when Aunt Mirren called for me to come back home.

 5. Incubator (Noun)

  • An apparatus in which eggs are hatched artificially
    • We were counting the eggs in the incubator when of the eggs hatched, and out came a cute orange chick!
  • An enclosed apparatus in which prematurely born infants are kept in controlled conditions, as of temperature, for protection and care
    • I looked at the small and red infant in the incubator with a swell of pride in my heart, not quite believing that I am already a father to this precious angel.
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Wednesday!

 

As always, thank you.

Vocab Log #2 (Big Bang Theory S303)

  1. Conundrum (noun)
  • A problem that is difficult to deal with
    • Arranging childcare during the school holidays can be a real conundrum for working parents.
  • A question that is a trick, often involving a humorous use of words that have two meanings
    • Sally never misses out solving the puzzles in the daily paper as she enjoys solving riddles and conundrums.

2. Tautology (noun)

  • The unnecessary and usually unintentional use of two words to explain one meaning
    • When the English professor told us to prepay for the trip in advance, I wondered if she realized the tautology in her statement.

3. Patronize (verb)

  • To give money or support to someone or something
    • The Corleone family patronizes the arts by donating huge sums of money to The National Museum of Contemporary arts every month.

4. Mediate (verb)

  • To intervene between people at dispute in order to achieve agreement or reconciliation
    • Johns effort to mediate between the arguing couple seems to be in vain as their rage towards each other was unmistakably too big.

5. Dispute (verb)

  • To disagree, argue, or debate
    • The territorial dispute between Casablanca and Genova has affected the economy of both countries as international trade is currently at a standstill.

 

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Have a great Tuesday!

 

As always, thank you!

Vocabulary Log

  1. Portend (Verb)
    • Be a sign of warning that something (especially something momentous or calamitous) is about to happen
      • The Prime Minsters reluctance to discuss the current economical state portended a major crisis that will likely affect all major businesses in the country.

2. Austere (Adjective)

  • Severe or strict in manner or attitude
    • Mrs Stark is a particularly austere character: her strict rules when managing the household is undoubtedly commendable.
  • Having a plain and unadorned appearance
    • Although the new phone released by Sony has an austere design, its simplicity and plainness is what makes it a customer favorite.

3. Contentious (Adjective)

  • Causing or likely to cause an argument.
    • Her management team is at times contentious especially during discussion meetings to decide upon an agreed arrangement for a project.

4. Contradict (Verb)

  • Deny the truth (of a statement) by asserting the opposite.
    • The statement released by the media regarding Julia Roberts is certainly questionable as the claims made contradicts with her personal stand as an actor.

5. Ostentatious (Adjective)

  • Characterized by pretentious or showy display; designed to impress.
    • He was loathed by his colleagues as he was known to be an extremely ostentatious man who not only strives to look down on other people but also condescends them by hinting his wealth at every opportunity.

Have a happy Monday!

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As always, thank you for your time.

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016): A Film Review

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IMDB Rating: 7.4/ 10

I remember seeing this film with my siblings without any set of expectations for the film . I sat down with an open mind and hoping for an ‘okay’ movie at the very least. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the film!

I think what made me like the film so much is the simplicity of it all. Surely, the plot is uncomplicated, however, it did not fail to include prominent character developments along with its plot build up.

If you are looking for a tear jerker, this is certainly not it. The film did not force sadness upon the audience, such said movies desperately includes tragic plot twists to grant the said films more depth than it rightfully deserves. However, The Fundamentals of Caring did not fail to make its audience laugh in delight but also included subtle heart warming scenes that were certainly touching.

To give a general idea of the whole film, it basically follows the journey of a caregiver and a teenage boy on a road trip to see the deepest pit on earth! Along the way, they met a few other characters that join them on the journey. If you enjoy good ‘road trip’ movies, this may be the film for you.

Here is a quote from the film that I found interesting. A glimpse of what you can expect from this film:

Dot: I told you I only date assholes.

Trevor: Yes, and I’m not an asshole. And since you want an asshole, my not being an asshole makes me more of an asshole than the assholes that you normally date, because they’re giving you exactly what you want, whereas I, by not being an asshole, am not. Which makes me an asshole.

Dot: I can’t believe I actually understood that.

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On an end note, I would recommend this film to anyone who wishes to see a funny and heartwarming film about friendship. To anyone who is curious to know what exactly are the Fundamentals of Caring, here it is:

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As always, thank you so much for your time. And remember… ALOHA!