Author Archives: Adriana Perkins

Speech: Coming Soon to NLA

After adding the Debate team last fall, North Lakes Academy is going to add a Speech team in February.  This diverse activity improves public speaking skills and looks great on college applications.

There is more to competitive speaking than giving an informational speech.  Competition has several different categories:

  • Dramatic Interpretation (“Dramatic Interp,” “Drama” or “DI”) is where five to seven performers each perform part of a published play, novel, or short story. Some are monologues, others require speakers to adopt the roles of many different characters by changing their tone, manner, and the position of their body to indicate a change in character.
  • Duo Interpretation (“Duo Interp” or “Duo”) involves a pair of performers acting out a short literary piece or program under certain restraints, such as not making eye contact or without props. This event can either be dramatic or humorous.
  • Humorous Interpretation (“Humorous Interp”, “HI”, “Humor”) consists of a piece from any published work, edited to fit within a 10-minute span with a 30-second grace period (it does not have a minimum and cannot be above 10:30). It is judged based upon how the person portrays his or her characters and whether the piece is humorous.
  • International Extemporaneous Speaking/Foreign International Extemporaneous Speaking (“International Extemp”, “Foreign Extemp”, “FX”, “FEX”, or “IX”) involves speaking about world affairs.
  • Original Oratory (“OO“) is where competitors deliver an original speech on a subject of their choosing, though the speech must be factual.
  • Extemporaneous Speaking (“Extemp”), is where speakers are offered three questions to answer based on current affairs. Topic areas generally include international and domestic policy, economic policy, and social or scientific issues.

NLA Debate Team to Host Mock Debate

The North Lakes Academy Debate team is hosting a Mock Debate today, January 22nd, in the room of English teacher and debate coach Tom Lutes.  The topic will be technology and whether it is good for our school.

When people think of debate, they think of an argument. This is not exactly wrong; debate is an argument with rules. The process is as follows:

  • Research.  Debate teams across the state are given the same topic.  This month’s topic was “Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms.” Teams must research the topic, which changes every month.

  • Compose Constructives.  Constructives are papers that give a debater’s affirmative (“Pro”) and negative (“Con”) arguments.  A “constructive” usually has two to three “contentions”, which are the argument’s main points.  There are also sub points for each contention. Claims made in the constructives are supported by research. 

  • Share. Debaters at NLA share their constructives in a shared folder on Google Drive®.

  • Feedback and Revision. Next they get comments from Lutes through Google Drive® and make changes as instructed.

  • Compete. The team car pools to tournaments on the weekends. A typical debate has the following steps: teams hear the topic and take positions (pro and con); teams discuss topics and come up with statements; teams deliver the statements and give main points; competitors discuss the opposing argument and formulate rebuttals and deliver them; closing statements are made.  Each section of the debate is timed.

For a clearer picture of how it works, come to the Mock Debate today after school.

The Debate Process.

The North Lakes Academy (NLA) debate team is off to a strong start.  It has gone to two tournaments so far in its inaugural season.

As of the November 16th meet at Robbinsdale, their speaker points are as follows: Logan Haller (10): 131 points; Adriana Perkins (11): 134 points; Braden Van Vleet (10): 132 points; Ashley Millerbernd (10): 131 points; Claire Radatz (9): 129 points; and Alex Wagner (10): 127 points.

The Debate Process goes like this:

  • First  you must research the Topic, for example this month’s topic was,  “Resolved: The benefits of domestic surveillance by the NSA outweigh the harms.” In layman’s terms, it means that we research both the benefits and harms of domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA).

  • Then you write two papers called the  “constructives”.  These are the Pro (arguing in the affirmative) and the Con (against) papers. And you use your research to back up your statements. A “constructive” usually has two to three “contentions”, which are the main points of your argument. Then there can be subpoints to refine a contestant’s contentions  there are three Sub points A, B, and C.

  • At NLA the Debaters all have a shared folder on  Google Drive®, Individually debaters research their “contentions” and they save it in the Google Drive® folder.

  • Next they get comments from their coach, Tom Lutes, on Google Drive® documents. After they change all the mistakes that their coach told them about they are ready for the tournament.

  • The week before the tournament the team has to make arrangements for car pools because we don’t have a bus. Lutes isn’t aloud to arrange them.

  • On the day of the tournament (which is saturdays) the team meets at a table in the cafeteria.
  • After a while the  ballots are posted. At that time you get told if your pro or con, who you’re against, and what room you’re in.
  • The next step is to find the room that the partners are in.
  • Pro’s first speaker goes first  and reads their constructive. Then it’s Con’s first speaker’s turn. After Con’s first speaker reads their constructive, there is the Cross Fire, where both first speakers ask questions about the other’s case to try and diminish it.
  • A tournament usually is five rounds, ending with awards.

After all the work that you do you get to go to practice and work for the next tournment.

Pleading The Fish

Travis Fish (10) would like to go on the record to make it clear that he did not break the new chair in the Upper Commons. Here is the real story:

Last month, Fish was sitting in one of the black fabric chairs in the upstairs common area.  Evan Svenkeson (12) came up and lifted both Fish and the chair. As Svenkeson was putting Fish and the chair down, one of the legs bent.  They fixed it – or so they thought.

Later that week, Sam Cook (11) sat on the same chair and the leg bent parallel to the ground.  Fish tried to fix the leg by bending it back and then it snapped off. Fish then went around yelling “I didn’t do it.”

This distracted Chelsie Thielen’s journalism class, which broke out in hysterics.

Editor-in-Chief’s note: To save space and prevent the need for another expose, it is necessary to mention that the journalism class is naturally predisposed to hysteria; Fish can’t be blamed for that, either.

A walk in someone else’s (high-heeled) shoes

Haller in heels

Logan Haller (10) spent a day walking in someone else’s (high-heeled) shoes.

“Oh my God,” said Joe Wright (12).

That was Wright’s  initial reaction to seeing Logan Haller (10) stroll by in high heeled shoes on November 19th. Haller had a very specific reason for walking in someone else’s shoes.

“I want to be well rounded,” he stated.

The definition of well-rounded that best fits this situation is someone who is very versatile or capable of many things or feats.

Haller ended up in heels because of a discussion at the debate tournament between Haller and Adriana Perkins (11) 3 days before.  Perkins loaned Haller the shoes under the condition that he would wear them to school.

Some students seemed to consider the stunt as less “well-rounded” and more, well, odd.

“What is wrong with him?” Skye Hampton (9) asked.

In true NLA fashion, most of the student body seemed to embrace the situation.

” You totally made my day,” said Julia Schmidt (10). “I can’t believe that you made him do that.”

Sammeh McNeely (11) only observed that he “walked like a woman.”

For the record, there was no bet.  There was no dare.  Haller just opened his mouth.

Halloween Candy Bananaza

Every 31st day of October there is a very special “holiday” that a few high school students still celebrate: Halloween. Children and even some teens go knocking on strangers’ doors and get free candy. A person can get nearly a full pillow sack, and in that mix, everyone has their favorite kind.

The Husky Press did a poll and found that the most loved candy was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, followed by Kit Kats. Butterfingers were third in line.

Most students reported saving their favorites for last. A couple students chose both (eating a piece or two of one’s favorite candy now and then eating all of the other candy and then the rest of your favorite candy).

This is, of course, among the students who still go out trick or treating – only a handful still do.

We Win!

On the night in September 2013,the North Lakes Academy Girls’ Varsity Soccer Team beat Hope Academy 3-1.
NLA scored two goals in the first half of the first half, but Hope Academy came back, scoring one. At the beginning of the second half, NLA scored again.
When the team does well, they pass and they communicate, according to coach Ben Saunders.
Saunders is looking forward to the team’s first “mud Game.”

NLA to add athletics facility

The new gymnasium addition to the Upper School is going to be the next big thing at North Lakes Academy. The 8,800 square foot addition will have lots of room to run and play sports. There will also be amenities for spectators: bleachers and room for a portable stage.

Students know what they want in the new athletics facility.

“I want to have a ceremonies in there like graduation,” said Abbey Millerbernd (12).

Alex Munkelwitz (11) can’t wait for the gym to be done.

“It needs to be built NOW!” she said.

Munkelwitz and others will have to wait, however.  The earliest that NLA’s athletics facility will be finished is January of next year.