International School Events During Coronavirus- How Are They Keeping Up?

by Joseph Han

During times of coronavirus, there are many restrictions to the events that are held by different clubs in ASW. Most of them are competitions held and participated by many different international schools around the world. However, how are they managing to open these competitions? What do the competitions look like, when they are held without the participants physically being there? To answer these questions, I had interviewed James Kim for the AMIS tournament, and Mr. Taylor for the CEESA speech and debate tournament. 

James K., a 10th-grade student, participated in the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) festival, involving international school musicians from around the world. Students this year had to record their performance in a video, and send it to their teachers. “Practicing was the hardest part,” James says. ”Practicing until the song was hearable for other people was very hard. Spending my time and managing my time was a challenge indeed over winter break.” According to James, nearly 700 people around the world submitted recordings to the online AMIS festival.

The CEESA Speech & Debate tournament was another fun tournament that had to be held virtually. According to Speech and Debate coach Mr. Taylor, the topic for debate this year was: “This house believes that voting should be compulsory in democratic nations.” 

In addition to the debates, there were also 4 other events: Oral Interpretation, Original Oratory, and Impromptu Speaking. According to Mr. Taylor, the big drawback to this year’s event was the fact that instead of having 3 preliminary rounds for the speech events, students submitted a single video of their speech. “As a result,” he said, “If you wanted to make it into finals, you really had to have a great performance the first time.” 

However, having the tournament virtually not only had drawbacks, but some positive impacts, Mr. Taylor said. “My other thoughts are that it was kind of nice not to miss class to travel to a tournament, and I am all for anything that keeps us from flying: There is plenty of carbon in the air already, and we don’t need to contribute to the problem. I think once we get some of the logistical details smoothed out, this could be a great way for us to have more competition around the world with fewer costs and less missed class.”

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