by Ashley Brandon
When you think of the word “forensics,” the first thing that pops into your head is CSI. In high schools, forensics is actually a speech and debate class. When some students don’t look at the course definition, they are often disappointed to find out that they won’t be solving crimes! Going into forensics, I knew that it had nothing to do with catching serial killers and saving the world. Having an overwhelming fear of public speaking, let alone one-on-one speaking, I knew it would be a struggle. I decided that I need to try and get over my speaking anxiety before it prevented me from doing things that I love. In deciding that, I chose forensics as one of my electives for sophomore year.
So far, I have competed in two tournaments; my first one was when I gave a persuasive speech on the benefits of veganism, on which I got fourth place. My second tournament was when I recited an original poem I had written, entitled “A Life Lesson From Somebody Who Hasn’t Lived the Slightest Bit.” The poem contained personal feelings and emotions which are very hard for me to talk about. After giving this poem and opening up a little bit, I feel myself becoming more and more open.
As a normal human being, I have a fear of being judged, but once you just ignore that fear, you see that people actually are very supportive and they do care about you. My teacher, Mrs. Gates, has helped me become more comfortable with speaking to others and she has made me more confident that what I have to say is important.
Through this thing that is seen as just another class, another hassle, I have been able to become more confident in myself. I have always been very reserved and I get anxiety just from checking out in a store or ordering something in a restaurant, so this is a huge step for me. I have not reached the full extent of my feelings of adequacy, but after two more years of forensics, I know I will be able to achieve a confidence that will help me in all areas of my life. I could not be happier with my decision to take forensics and I would recommend this class to anyone and everyone.