Ms. Tippings Interview

Nicholas Kim, Contributor

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Parks Junior High School is fortunate enough to have a meritorious and a dedicated speech coach named Ms. Tippings. Ms. Tippings plays a crucial role not only at Parks, but also several of other schools here in the Fullerton School District. Her occupation requires her to coordinate Speech and Debate programs, from script acquisition to performance coaching. Since speech will undoubtedly become a necessity in the future, Ms. Tippings performs a serious profession.

Speech and Debate is arguably one of the most essential forms of learning, and to master Speech and Debate, one must build the skills of communication, performance, and cooperation. Ms. Tippings, perfectly obtaining all of the skills, greatly benefits helping others want to participate and thrive in the speech field. Ms. Tippings is a certified teacher with a credential in Secondary English Education. Although this is true, she does not work in a classroom, but she actually visits four schools in the Fullerton District to coach.

Ms. Tippings first began performing speech during her high school sophomore year and immediately adored it.  She then began coaching professionally during her freshman year of college. Being dedicated and ambitious, she kept her passion for fourteen years! Eventually, it became her full-time occupation. Also, Ms. Tippings frequently mentions that she absolutely loves Original Oratory, the form of presenting factual information through humorous or relatable concepts. A reason why she loves Oratory is due to the fact that she loves to hear students’ passionate ideas to construct a better world.

Ms. Tippings’ speech journey can be compared as a rollercoaster ride, traveling through many ups and downs. One memorable moment she recalls was from her first national finals performance. Being nervous and anxious, she kept doubting herself and thought that she would forget her speech. Fortunately, she reminded herself that if she could remember the first line, then she would do just fine, and it was true! Overall, she placed fourth in Original Oratory. Ms. Tippings also stated that enjoying speech also means enjoying the community. She remembers when she was in her college team, her teammates became toxic, thus hurting the structure and foundation of the team. Fortunately, they got back together, rebuilt, and placed top 15 in the nation as a team.

Speech can be an exciting, yet serious academic sport. For those willing to give a try now or in the future, Ms. Tippings reminds that the message that one is presenting is in their own words. If one is unable to connect to it or understand it, chances are that the one person is not communicating. One should also be able to self reflect and be ready for criticism. Remember: Speech is a two-way street. Although criticism is prevalent in Speech and Debate, Ms. Tippings highly encourages those willing to try out. She states that speech, unlike any other activity, forces one to think about the world differently. Therefore, it shapes the future for the better.

Parts of speech, besides from presenting and performing, also include witnessing and listening to amazing speeches performed by others. Ms. Tippings’s favorite speech of all time is William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. His speech discusses on how he writes not for fame nor money, but because he enjoys the practice and because he has a burning passion. William Faulkner was known as a famous, impact-leaving author who wrote an abundant amount of stories for novels, short stories, screenplays, essays and a play. His speech, which captivated many of the audience’s hearts, also captured Ms. Tippings’s heart.

The Speech and Debate programs are a fundamental source of basic human development needed for the future. Therefore, coaches and volunteers related to the programs create long-lasting impacts on the students’ futures. Even if it only means altering one child’s perspective of the world, Ms. Tippings has an important job which she tremendously fulfilled. Thanks to her, many kids who would not have even thought about entering Speech and Debate tournaments now get to do so.