By Noah Grebe
DuPont Manual High School
Chuck Logsdon’s hands were drenched in sweat as he prepared to give a speech written for his first debate team competition. He looked around the classroom at the small crowd, which included several parents and members of the speech teams from both schools.
Having recently joined the team, he had newcomer jitters. “It’s pretty nerve wracking,” said Logsdon, now a 16-year-old rising junior at Henry Clay High School in Lexington.
The anxiety has eased since that first competition, but it never disappears.
“I’ve gotten really nervous before competitions because my partner and I have to debate with kids from other schools. Sometimes that’s a little bit intimidating.”
Logsdon puts in a lot of extra hours – on top of regular school work – to stay competitive in debate. Debating requires Logsdon to be an adept researcher, a sharp public speaker and a fast writer when responding to opposing viewpoints. He often has to think on his feet, leaving him exhausted after competitions.
In the end, Logsdon said, the extra work, nerves and extra perspiration are worth it. He has many memories of personal success that he’s achieved with the club.
“One of my favorite memories was from my first competition, because my partner and I had won,” Logsdon said. “It was awesome to see our hard work pay off and I felt so relieved from all the stress I had during the beginning of our competition.”
Logsdon’s speech and debate activities grew out of his interest in a possible career in law. He’s also thought about being a business owner or an entrepreneur.
“I think it’d be really cool to own a business in the future,” Logsdon said. “I think (law would) be cool to study since it’s a very risky and rewarding career.”
He’s also considered trying his hand at journalism. “I’m really interested in journalism, which is why I came to Xposure,” Logsdon said.
His list of possible college destinations includes Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Cincinnati – all of which offer journalism programs.
Regardless of the uncertainty, Logsdon isn’t worried about finding his niche.
“I’m relatively relaxed and I’m not abrasive at all,” Logsdon said. “I’m really easy to talk to and work with, so it’s easy for me to get along with others and become friends with them.”
No matter what Logsdon chooses to do in the future, he feels confident that he’s moving in the right direction to set himself up for success.