First life raft debate puts five teachers’ fields of study to the test


Anthony Xu

Spanish teacher Diana Moss presents her opening argument in the life raft debate, held in Nichols Auditorium on Jan. 29. The debate, organized by juniors Grant Miner and Evan Cheng, asked five teachers from five different subjects to persuade audience members that their respective discipline is the most practical in a life-or-death situation.

by Kathy Fang, Managing Editor

In the first “life raft debate” hosted by juniors Grant Miner and Evan Cheng during lunch on Jan. 29, upper school teachers Christopher Hurshman, Anthony Silk, Diana Moss, Andrew Irvine and Julie Wheeler argued for the practicality of their respective disciplines in the situation that after a global catastrophe, only one of the teachers can claim a spot on a life raft to help students in the raft survive and start a new society.

Each teacher was given four minutes for their initial arguments, with time for rebuttals and questions from the audience afterwards. At the end of the debate, audience members were invited to vote online. Hurshman represented English, Silk argued for mathematics and engineering, Moss championed foreign languages, Irvine stood for science and Wheeler spoke on behalf of history.

Irvine, who based his arguments around the many real-world applications of science, won the debate in the end, with Silk in second place.

“One of the things that attracted me to science was that it’s a practical discipline that I can do stuff with,” Irvine said in his opening argument, eliciting chuckles from the audience. “I would argue that though it is important to think about the future beyond our life raft experience, there’s a lot of practical things we have to deal with first, like how we’re going to survive.”

This story has been backdated to reflect news relevance.