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Up for Debate This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Allie I., Kingsville, Canada By Vanaheim, Kingsville, Canada

I went to my first debate competition hoping I could refrain from losing tears, my lunch, or consciousness. My jitters were worse than anything I'd ever felt, but the payoff was equally intense.

After that first debate, the relief of having not fallen on my face, literally or metaphorically, was overpowering. Having always been one to learn quickly, I'd already gotten into the swing of things, and was more than ready for my second debate of the day.

It was during that second debate that I found love. Playing this mental sport, prowling ever closer to that metaphoric checkmate, was thrilling. Watching the looks of discomfort and, once, even horror on the faces of my opponents – and noticing the smiles of the Speaker and Timer – a hope rose inside me.

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