A Great Debater


Junior Donnie Smith recently participated in a debate tournament and got first place in humorous interpretation.

Humorous Interpretation, which is often shortened to “HI,” is a section in debate tournaments in which debaters have to memorize 10 minutes of a funny play provided to them. They must then create their own version of the characters from the play, giving them different voices, poses, etc. and making them feel real and perform to a panel of judges.

Donnie first became interested in debate after watching a movie about debate called “The Great Debaters.”

“It’s a great movie and it got me into the love for debate and all aspects,” Smith said.

Donnie has a big passion for learning new things. Not only is he apart of Morton Ranch’s debate team, he is also a proud member of the school’s Academic Decathlon team as well. His passion for knowledge only sparked his interest in debating even more.

“I was interested in the challenge that comes from constant practice, and the application of said practiced skills. That is what made debate interesting for me.” Donnie said.

Around the school, Donnie is known for his charismatic personality and witty ways. He enjoys meeting new people and making friends and has a lot of them. The chance to be apart of a team where he has the opportunity to make more friends was also a factor when it came down to his decision to join the team.

“I was drawn to the chance to meet wonderful people and make new friends by participating in this wonderful activity,” Smith said. “I like the knowledge you gain from debate and the contests. I also like the medals and trophies you can win.”

In this past tournament, it was Donnie’s second time ever competing in Humorous Interpretation.

“I really don’t get nervous anymore. After being in theatre, I have learned to conquer my stage fright and move on to prepare for events rather than getting nervous,” Donnie said.

After performing his skit to the judges, he had to wait some time before finding out what place he made in the overall category.

“It was a time of uneasiness. Everyone was at their tables waiting for their coach to bring them their place,”Donnie described the wait time to be long and nerve wrecking.

“I was very nervous, but all that changed when Mr. Lopez walked around the corner with the first place trophy and the number one symbol on his hand,” Smith said.

All of the nervousness changed to excitement and the rest of his team rushed to celebrate the big win. It was a huge accomplishment for not only him, but the whole team. Donnie is now the first student ever in the history of Morton Ranch High School debate to win a trophy for first place in a category.

“In short, it was a great feeling that I’ll never forget.”