Friday, October 14, 2005

8th Annual Life Raft Debate

Last night was the University of Montevallo's 8th Annual Life Raft Debate. They started these my second year as an undergrad, but I was never able to go to one. This year, I went with my husband, and can't believe I've been missing out for so long. The premise is pretty simple: There has been a catastrophic event that has eradicated almost all human life on Earth. The only people left are the audience and the panel of professors. The audience is in the raft already; they are getting ready to create a new civilization wherever they land - but there is one spot left. The professors have to make arguments as to why their discipline is the one that should be allowed to survive, why they deserve the final place in the raft. The resulting debate was hilarious. This year History, Education, Political Science, Communications, Foreign Languages and Culinary Arts were represented (the Culinary Arts had the chef from the cafeteria as their player - he was the first non-faculty member to participate). History was defending last year's win (the winner gets an oar with their name added to the previous winners), so they got to go first. Everyone made 5 minute opening statements, followed by making a 3 minute rebuttal; then the students got to answer questions while everyone voted. The Chef went last. I knew he had won, when at the end of his opening statement he said: "I can make beer. And I know which herbs are the good herbs." After all of the arguments had been made and answered, the Philosophy Professor who sponsors the event came out. He said that none of them were worthy to be given a spot on our raft, and proceeded to destroy each of their arguments, leaving the audience in tears of laughter. It's one of those things that you have to be there for to understand the hilarity. But the Philosophy Professor brought down the house when he ended with a parting swipe at the Cook: "And hey, Iron Chef: My secret ingredient is SAND" Seems the audience was pretty confident that Chefy could either make something with the sand or make them forget with the beer and herbs, cause he won by the biggest margin in the history of the debate.

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