Live Debate!

So public speaking. We have never been best of friends. Generally, I prefer when my skin stays within its natural shades (beet red is not included in the spectrum). And I usually like not to shake as if locked in an ice box. Not really my ideal situation.

This is why the computer has become a good ally of mine. Debating behind a screen, I can mainly retain control of my physical being. This, in part, is what made the idea of CitizenJaneBlog so appealing to me.

HOWEVER, what's life without challenging oneself, right? And so last Thursday I decided to put myself out there and engage in a debate in a live format with a wonderful group called "The Motion" (check them out: They also operate with the intention of using debate to promote civil dialogue across the spectrum of ideas and opinions.

They kindly agreed to let me participate in a formal debate that uses a similar format to the style I offer under "Devil's Advocate", in that each debater presented an opening statement; then a rebuttal session followed; and we ended with a concluding statement. One distinction though is that they take a ballot prior to and after the debate concludes to determine the winner (the group with the greatest percentage change in favor, wins)

The motion for this debate was "It is not possible for the United States to successfully integrate or assimilate Islamist culture". I, along with my partner, argued against the motion.

This was truly an enlightening and thrilling experience, one I hope to certainly engage in again in the future (even though my side lost). Fortunately, videos of the opening statements were taken, and I am including them below. Please check them out and feel free to critique me--points made and/or speaking ability. The topic was truly fascinating and I learned a great deal.