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NSA unites students to address stutter
Klingons, cheering compe-titions, and Nirvana were notaround in William Shakespeare’stime, but that’s what someonewould have seen i they were atthe Shakespeare Birthday Festi-val held on Tuesday.Sigma Tau Delta, an Englishhonor society, has put this eventon or the past six years in theShakespeare Garden in the cen-ter o George T. Madison Hall.The theme or the sixth an-nual event was Shakespearit andeatured ourteen perormances y various students and acultymembers. Missy Wallace, a sec-ond year English graduate stu-dent, said Shakespearit was anexpression o dierent spiritsound in Shakespeare’s writings.“The ghosts that appear inhis plays, enthusiasm or the bard and his work, and the al-coholic beverages are appropri-ate aspects when consideringShakespearit,” Wallace said.The estival eatured eventsinvolving renaissance music, arewriting o a popular Nirvanasong to involve Shakespearit,puppeteers and presentationsrelating Shakespeare’s writings.Dorothy Robbins, aculty ad-visor to Sigma Tau Delta, saidthe estival never has a dull mo-ment by having students andaculty members read Shake-speare’s sonnet sequence in the breaks between perormances.“We welcome audiencemembers to partake in thesonnet reading,” Robbins said.“There are times when we have200 people crunched into thegarden and other times wherewe only have a dozen.”She also said that no mat-ter how big or small the crowd,people enjoy the opportunity toparticipate in the estival.Matt Rich, vice-president o Sigma Tau Delta, said that his a-vorite part is the sonnet reading.“I enjoy listening to peopleread the sonnets, as well asreading them mysel,” Rich said.“It’s a way or academics to bemore accessible and it’s a moreconversational way o learningwithout lectures or a notebook.”Wallace said that her avoritepart was the aculty presenta-tions rom English proessors.“The music and sword ght-ing are crowd pleasers,” Wallacesaid. “However, I love hearingthe English proessors talk aboutaspects o Shakespeare I neverconsidered.”Kenneth Robbins, director o the school o perorming arts,was one o the speakers in Tues-day’s estival and gave a lecturetitled “Zombies & Other DeadThings”.“It was a un piece to work onand was most unusual,” K. Rob- bins said. “I had a lot o un andI hope the audience did too.”D. Robbins said the estivalwas started as a way to makeSigma Tau Delta more knownon campus.“We needed an identity oncampus,” D. Robbins said. “Sowe thought, what better waythan to honor an icon o Eng-lish.”Larkin Culpepper, a juniorspeech pathology major, saidher avorite event was the pup-pet show taken rom “A Mid-summer Night’s Dream”.“All o the English proes-sors did a great job o engagingthe audience and keeping themlaughing,” Culpepper said.She also read one o Shake-speare’s sonnets during the es-tival.“Reading a sonnet gave memore o perspective o howShakespeare elt when he wroteand read his work,” Culpeppersaid.D. Robbins said that the eventcould relate to anyone whostopped by or a perormance orsonnet reading.“There really is somethingthat everyone can take awayrom the poems, music, andtalks,” D. Robbins said.
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Though they were taking onthe added adversary in a stom-ach bug, the Tech Debate Teamstill managed to do well in com-petition.The International PublicDebate Association’s NationalTournament was held at SamHouston State University April12-15.Tech competed against 71niversities rom across theUnited States and our oreigncountries’ teams.Dr. Web Drake, the IPDAGoverning Board Chair, said thistournament is the largest tour-nament o the year, and thatthis tournament was the largesttournament in its history.Trey Avant, a senior politi-cal science and sociology ma- jor, placed the highest amongTech’s debaters. Avant won theth top speaker in the nation orteam debate, and placed in thetop our in team debate.“Being that I started on thedebate team at the beginning o the year, now that I am one o the best debaters in the nationmeans a lot,” he said.A wide range o topics werediscussed at the tournamentthis year, ranging rom issueslike hydraulic racturing meth-ods and US/Syrian relations totopics like sports and why themovie “Bridesmaids” shouldhave won more Oscars.David Hyde, a senior bio-medical engineering major, saysthere is a topic or everyone.“Many people think it’s a bunch o tough topics, but re-ally, the topics are broad enoughor any interest,” Hyde said.Hyde, who placed top six-teen in the nation, said debatingthe topic o whether herbivoresor carnivores were right was hisavorite topic during the tourna-ment.“Yelling at someone because you think herbivores are betterthan carnivores is pretty awe-some,” Hyde said.Members o Tech’s debateteam ranked highly among oth-er schools, beating out schoolssuch as Tulane, Texas A&M andRice.Kristin Farquharson, a seniorpolitical science and sociologymajor, won ourth best speakerin the nation at the tournament.She said the progress she hasmade since she joined the de- bate team makes her proud.“It’s really cool to see that ina couple months Shane couldmake me the ourth best speak-er in the nation,” Farquharsonsaid.Shane Puckett, director o debate, said he is proud o how ar Tech’s debate team hascome.“The team has accomplishedso much in the past ew years,”Puckett said. “The resources o Tech’s students, rom their criti-cal thinking skills to their inter-personal skills, makes them verywell-rounded as competitors.”Although the debate season just ended with the nationaltournament, Tech’s debateteam is already beginning prep-arations or next season.The debate team is open toany student willing to partici-pate, regardless o past partici-pation, knowledge or skill.“I was pretty bad when Istarted debate at the beginningo the year,” Avant said. “Andnow I’m the orth best in the na-tion, which is really cool.”
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“I thought it would be a good wayto bond with everyone and plus itsounded un,” she said.Hughes said she had a great time, but she wanted to play more gamesater her team was eliminated romthe bracket. She also said she par-ticipated because it was or a goodcause.“I think it showed that no matterour dierences, we all care abouthelping others, and that’s all that trulymatters,” Hughes said.Lori McAee, a senior businessmanagement major, was part o thewinning team, “Sets on the beach.”She said she decided to participatein swamp ball because o her successwith the tournament last year.“It always eels great to win,”McAee said, “It eels even better towin Swamp Ball back to back.”It was a great cause and there wasa great turnout, she said. It was a re-ally good idea, and she was happyshe was able to help raise money orphilanthropy, she said.“I’m glad it was earlier this yearso we didn’t have to play in the dark,”McAee said, “It was windy and coldin the morning, but other than that weenjoyed it.”
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Sigma Tau Delta presents sixth annual Shakespearit
Debate team picks up individual wins
“The resources o Tech’s students, romtheir critical thinkingskills to their inter-personal skills, makesthem very well-round-ed as competitors.”
professor of speech
For a stutterer, speaking is like amuscle. I they fex that muscle andspeak more oten, their speech will bestrengthened.In late March, a graduate studentestablished a Tech chapter or the Na-tional Stuttering Association to unitethose aected on common ground.Adam Grzybowski, a speech pa-thology graduate student, said his ex-periences in another support groupor stutterers prompted him to open achapter at Tech.“As a stutterer, I have insight thatother stutterers may respond to a littleit more,” Grzybowski said. “I knowwhat it’s like to know what I want tosay and not being able to say it. It’s re-ally rustrating.”He said the NSA group meetingsare not a therapy session, but a com-ortable setting or stutterers to shareexperiences, explore coping strategiesand improve sel-esteem.“By coming to a group with like-minded people, some social pressureis taken o,” said Christy Madix, theaculty adviser or the NSA.She said stuttering is no morenique than someone wearing glassesor a hearing aid.More than 3 million Americansstutter, according to stutteringhelp.org, which means more than 3 millionindividuals struggle with several dailyactivities.“Stutterers struggle with things likepublic speaking, talking on the phoneand ordering ood,” Grzybowski said.“[Stutterers] also struggle meetingpeople o the opposite sex, which isintimidating enough even i you don’tstutter.”He said stutterers oten eel like aninvisible hand is grasping their esopha-gus.“A guy back in Ohio took like eightminutes to tell us his name,” he said.Bill Willoughby, associate dean o liberal arts, said he becomes rustratedwhen he has clear ideas ormulated inhis head, but when he speaks he can’tget the ideas in his head out o hismouth.“Sometimes I will get stuck duringa lecture, but students have told me,‘your stuttering helps us listen to you,’”Willoughby said. “It’s a broken pattern,and that pattern helps.”Unlike some, he said his stutter doesnot hold him back; it is not a disability.Madix said she hopes a communitysupport group at Tech will encourageindividuals with a disfuency, an um- brella term under which stuttering iscategorized, to abolish personal limita-tions stemmed rom ear.Stutters are extremely situational,Madix said. It can be caused in resulto a traumatic event, neurological cri-ses like a stroke and most commonlythrough genetic links.However, she said everyone is dis-fuent to a certain degree, but individu-als with a stuttering problem cope withit 365 days a year.Whether a stutterer has a mild,moderate or severe case, every dayis exhausting because o talking andthinking about speaking the entire day,Grzybowski said.“I have trouble with R’s, W’s andS’s,” he said, “and I avoid the wordlemon.”Ordering lemonade rom a restau-rant is such a standard action, he said, but it may take him several extra sec-onds to put his request into words.Willoughby said, in his lectures orwhen talking to a small group, his stut-ter is trivial, but when he is caught o-guard and asked to introduce himsel,he has diculties.“One time, I was at a conerenceintroducing mysel, and I could notget my name out,” he said. “The manlooked at me like I had a disease; it washorribly rustrating.”Some loopholes do exist as a recessor stutterers. Oddly enough, there isno disfuency in singing, Madix said.Additionally, Grzybowski said hecan speak or hours on end with a or-eign accent without any stuttering.“Honestly, or a kid who stutters, you would think I wouldn’t talk somuch,” he said.Willoughby said he oten connectsa stutterer’s speech to someone speak-ing in English with an accent.Grzybowski said his central goal isto inspire at least one person to raisetheir hand in the classroom or ap-proach a stranger. He said, i that hap-pens, the group will be a success.“Fear should not outweigh a per-son’s decision to make their lie better,”Grzybowski said, “and this group it tohelp build condence, one word at atime.”The NSA Tech chapter will hold itsthird meeting May 3 in Robinson HallRoom 311.
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Photo by Shradha Sharma
Union Board plays Landon’s Arms on Tech’s lower intramural felds.
from pg. 1