Jamie Kim co-editor-in-chief
Junior William Lee, a member of the speech and debate team, is now ranked in the top 18 impromptu speakers in southern California.
This ranking comes after Lee’s semifinal finish at the 2018 state competition on April 20 to 22, for which he was the sole Norman to qualify.
“I figured out that I qualified for semifinals when I was ordering food at In-N-Out. So, I literally dropped my fries, and I picked it up later, but I was jumping up and down and stepped on one of the fries. Needless to say, I was really happy about it,” Lee said.
Lee states that even competing at the state tournament was an honor.
“It was very exhilarating to compete because typically at local tournaments, you have very few, maybe one or two people in your room who are actually good. But here at the state championships, everybody was amazing at what they did. To me, it seemed like it must have been very difficult for the judges to decide who deserves first place or second place,” Lee said. “I would have preferred to make it to finals, but I can’t say that I’m unhappy. More than making it to semifinals, the fact that I got to compete amongst so many talented individuals was the real joy for me.”
Teammate junior Seth Pizzurro was very proud of Lee’s ability to even qualify for semifinals.
“I mean, he was the only one to even make it to the state tournament, and the fact that he was able to advance to semifinals is huge. But I’m not surprised, because it’s Will,” Pizzurro said.
Lee’s stop at semifinals isn’t the end of his journey in public speaking. He plans on continuing impromptu for the rest of his high school career.
“Honestly, my favorite part about impromptu speaking is that I don’t have to do any outside work to prepare for it, so I get to be lazy,” Lee said while laughing. “But really, it’s very much thinking on your feet, and just making things up as you go along, and that’s a habit I enjoy.”