I was clad in my baju kurung school uniform that day, with ever messy short hair. We had just won a round of debate, and I was named the ‘Best Speaker’ despite perpetually saying ‘people under them’ instead of subordinates or employees throughout my speech in that round. Our debate-guru (in bold), Puan Kalai, shook her head after session and said, ‘Jo, what is ‘people under them?’. It was the 8th National English Debate Competition, we were supposed to compete in 4 four preliminary rounds.
In the next round, we were competing against a Chinese private school from Sabah. Being the young and dumb bunch that we were, we thought that the round should be easy, siding us. The motion for the round was something to do with ‘Imposing Environmental Labels on Consumer Products’. We were to oppose the motion. As the debate heated, we realized that ‘Government’ team had pretty good speakers. They pretty much were kicking our dumb bottoms.
One of them were saying how environmental labelling is important to educate people to recycle. I raised my hand confidently to rebut. ‘You see, this bottle here *whilst lifting the plastic bottle up for more effect* has no environmental labelling. But we still know that it needs to go in the Plastic recycling bin. What’s the use for labels?’. The other speaker also lifted up the bottle, and said, ‘Madam, would you turn the bottle upside down? Do you see the recycling symbol stamped at the bottom? That’s environmental labelling’. I said, ‘Oh, okay!’ and sat down.
Others in the room laughed. I wanted to hide under the table. Team from the girls’-school with a street name lost that round. Much to my embarrassment, this incident has since replayed like a thousand times in staff room, classrooms and our Literary & Debating Society meetings.
This probably wasn’t a significant, life-changing event in my life, but somehow, the memory of the day carried on with me over the years. Just days ago, our super-awesome debate guru proved how memorable my ultimate rebuttal failure was.
Note : This blog post is part of my 30 Days Microblog Challenge which I began in September 2018. To read more from this series, you can select ‘Microblog’ under Category. Or, search for #therainbowhatmicroblogs on Instagram. 🙂 Topics for this series are a mix of my own brainchild and prompts from my Insta-friends.