In just two weeks, Juniors Meiyi Wang and Luke Gialanella will be heading to Louisville, Kentucky to compete in the National Speech and Debate Tournament! Luke and Meiyi qualified for the National Speech Debate Tournament at the qualifiers a few weeks ago and they have been placing 1st or 2nd in almost every tournament this year. The tournament will take place over the course of a week and the duo will compete against the strongest speech competitors in the country.
Meiyi has been working tirelessly to cut down the memoir Crying in H-Mart into a 10 minute performative speech. Michelle Zauner, also known as the indie rock artist “Japanese Breakfast” wrote Crying in H-Mart after losing her mother to cancer. Zauner finds connection to her culture and the mother she lost in H-Mart, the Korean supermarket chain, where she finds herself weeping over cuttlefish, scallions, and dumpling skins. In her speech, Meiyi zooms in on a particularly harrowing scene where Zauner argues with her mother about recording some of her music. In class, Meiyi brought even the most calloused debaters to tears with her performances, and we can’t wait to see how she does amongst the strongest speech competitors in the country.
Luke competes in a category called international extemporaneous speaking. In the international extemporaneous speech category, Luke will need to be ready to write a speech about anything related to foreign policy–be it how Germany best handle the invasion of Ukraine, China-Taiwan relations, roots of economic collapse in Tunisia, or how the treatment of women by the Taliban may affect their fight for international legitimacy. He will have 30 minutes to prepare a seven minute speech that he will memorize and perform–it is no easy task. Luke’s speeches are always nuanced and delivered with pomp and gusto. We know he will be on a stellar performance as he tackles the difficult issues they throw at him in Kentucky.
Great work, Wildcats! We're rooting for you!