Eighth grade student Miles Sabeeh, a current eighth grader at Phoenix Country Day School, recently brought home the first place trophy from a national Speech and Debate tournament in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. In the Varsity Humorous Interpretation category, Miles proved to be a fierce competitor as he rivaled against high school students. We caught up with Miles to ask him a few questions about his experience at the tournament and to find out more about his interests and talents.
Q. What is a humorous interpretation speech?
A. You have to act out a 10-minute interpretation from a play or short story and perform all of the parts.
Q. What did you perform?
A. My strategy was to choose a topic unexpected from someone my age, something edgy, so I performed a ten-minute interpretation of “Oedipus for Kids.”
Q. What was it like being the youngest contender at the tournament?
A. I was super nervous at the beginning but realized everyone was nervous, too. High school students are no different, they are doing the same thing as you. I used the early morning rounds to see how everyone else was doing then turned my nerves into excitement to perform better.
Q. Your talents reach beyond the world of Speech and Debate. Can you share with us what your other interests are and how they impact your studies?
A. I play the trumpet and piano. I have been dancing for six years and am a member of a Hip-Hop dance team that competes nationwide. I also play basketball. My interests in music and dance give me the discipline to be successful in the classroom. I have to do well in school to be able to participate in other activities. Academics come first, which sets the stage for my ability to do the things I love.
Q. How do you have time for these activities and still remain a stellar student?
A. PCDS is structured so that I’m not overloaded with homework, and the school community supports my interests. I play trumpet in the morning before school and practice piano and dance after school, once I get my homework completed. This lets me be myself, which builds my character and self-discipline to be what I want to be and who I am.