Hello dear old and new debaters of JDS (and anyone else also reading. NSA?)! First of all, happy new year! With the new semester and the first debate approaching (13.01. Wednesday at 17:00), it is high time to make a write up of the previous autumn. So first things first, let’s see what sorts of special events there have been.
Turku Open 2015
Finland currently organizes two large international tournaments yearly. One of them is the annual Turku Open, which we once again participated in. I, Juha Kaltiainen, and Hajime Nomura set out in a small car to represent Joensuu and above all learn new skills and have some fun. The tournament was a great success, well done Turku as always! Unfortunately they did miss a professional photographer so not much that we can show from there. Just trust us when we say that, as always, it was an awesome thing to participate!
Dinner and Christmas party
One of the non-debate social highpoints for our society is always the annual ethnic dinner party. We are blessed with talented chefs from all over the world and therefore get to taste all sorts of awesome food! In 2015 our theme was Japanese food. It was really awesome to see so many people gather around one table. Another new social event that we organized in 2015 was the Christmas party. Surely one has to always organize ‘little Christmas’! It’s a Finnish tradition. Board games, Karelian pies, ‘star pies’, glögi, cookies, etc. What’s not to like? Good times.
One new feature of 2015 was the unison of all of the Finnish debate societies. This had made it possible to organize more small events. One of these was the Helsinki one-day workshop event. While it lasted only one day, there was plenty of debating action. Great judges and good feedback (and I’m not saying that just because I was one of the main judges!) It is indeed a great time upon us in Finland, as it is very important to have many events where to practice! The Brits have nearby tournaments every weekend, no wonder they are so ahead of us for now. For now!
Autumn 2015 overall
The autumn semester of 2015 was a really pleasant time. Many new people tried debating, many new friendships were made. This was definitely the most diverse semester for us, as well as we had the most visitors coming than ever before with a grand total of 28 people during the second debate! The last month of debates was much quieter though and we were back to a more ‘intimate’ number of people, our usual eight-ish. The search for new debating enthusiasts never ends!
This autumn we tried to organise a secondary weekly event with Juha. An educational seminar-type of an event for deeper debate skill education. While there were not that many people, I feel that we succeeded in teaching the most enthusiastic people deeper debate skills. Anything that can give you an edge is always a great thing, right?
All in all, I am thankful for all the wonderful moments and sad to see all of our exchange students go back home. Have a great spring to those who have returned back home. And may we have a great debating semester 2016.