■English Speech Contest 2012
Every January, we have the Kansai International speech contest. I must admit that the contest favors the higher level English classes. We have 4 levels of English based on skill, the lowest class is level 1 and the highest is level 4.
Every year two level 4 people and one level 3 person win the top 3 prizes. The champion is always a level 4 person…but not this year!
Students are given 3 or 4 notecards, which they can use to help them during their speeches. Rimi, in level 3, did not need them…or even bring them to the front. She spoke clearly and confidently with gestures and humor. She was excellent and both students and teachers voted she be crowned Queen of the contest.
All participants worked hard and did well. It was a great contest. Rimi is graduating soon, so who knows who’ll win next year…
English & Science Teacher, Brian Burgess
When humans run into trouble, they unconsciously try to escape from the situation. Do you remember last year’s speech contest, I talked about three phenomena connected to how peoples minds change if they are in danger: the Stockholm syndrome, how to be liked or loved by a person you like, and how to encourage yourself. Today, Id like to give you some more interesting information on this topic.
First, have you ever heard of the”Stanford prison experiment”? This was actually done as a psychological test in 1971. There were 21 examinees. 11 of them were acting as prison guards, and 10 were acting as prisoners. Interestingly, as time passed, the prison guards started to punish the prisoners without being told by the researchers in charge of the experiment. Changes also appeared among the prisoners. They started to behave like real prisoners. If people are assigned strong roles and are placed in the same room with others who dont have power, they tend to behave just like the role requires, and lose control without realizing. This happens to everyone, regardless of their personality.
A different situation: When human are scared, they might betray even their family. When I was young, my sister broke a cup by accident. （中略）
Driving ourselves into a corner also helps our brain activate. For example, when people who don’t have physical reserves are urged to make a choice, they choose better. Haven’t you ever needed to go to the bathroom during class? We tend to think that this condition prevents us from thinking and judging, but actually it’s wrong. One group of Dutch psychologists published a paper proving that people who are in a stressful situation make better choices unconsciously. They said if your bladder pressures you, you might restrain from impulse buying. This is because our brain activates and sends a signal, which tries to limit our impulse actions at that moment. I think it is useful for irresolute people who have a hard time making up their minds. If you’d like to judge wisely, drink a lot of water before you decide on something important or before you buy something expensive. Remember though, this way may involve various risks. So you must prepare for the worst. I can’t take the responsibility for what will happen to you. Please take my warning to heart.
In conclusion, a crisis situation, such as fear, changes people easily, but it also brings out our abilities. The human mind is still cloaked in mystery. So, my interest for the human mind will never run out, unless all humans become extinct.
- George Bernard Shaw
- graduation ceremony
- Speech Contest