What is your worst fear? Mine used to be public speaking until I decided to join Speech team. When first getting into it, I had no clue what Speech really is. Now I learned it is competitive public speaking with several different categories. Choosing one or two events this past year was an attempt to improve my public speaking skills in an enjoyable environment. There, I met Gabriel Blumenfeld, an old friend of mine who now goes to high school with me. As children, I remember when we’d play video games and our families would go on vacation together. Although we drifted apart when we were younger, this was another chance to spend time with him. Since these Saturday competitions started at five thirty AM, our team had plenty of chances to spend time together. We socialized together on the bus ride to the schools where we were competing and in between rounds.


Gabriel competed with me in Impromptu, a special Speech event where you speak off the top of your head using one of three prompts. The purpose of this event is to articulate a story with a lesson in a coherent and structured way. I didn’t get far in my rounds, but Gabriel did, even making it to fourth place at our Sectionals competition. Since only the top three competitors advanced, Gabriel was just an inch away from State. Unfortunately, these events also matter in the judges’ opinions, and not everyone agrees with the same criteria. 


Now, after doing a whole year of Speech, I finally got the chance to enjoy one of Gabriel’s at our Speech Banquet, and it was an amazing experience. Gabriel was one of three speakers that evening, chosen specifically for showing off our team’s best skills. He was able to guide the audience in a captivating six-minute speech (the designated time for an impromptu) immediately after only having two minutes to prepare in a noisy cafeteria. After giving this amazing speech, Gabriel was named one of our team captains for next year.



Watching Gabriel speak showed me just how much I have to learn, and I am so proud of him for coming so far from the childhood friend I knew when we were children. Gabriel, thanks for an amazing year in Speech, and congratulations on improving so much over these years. I’m looking forward to our season next year!


Alexandra Lehene


I love to be around Romanians, I love inspire and connect