March Senior Spotlight: Emily Gibson

Abby Hoffman, Columnist

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This month’s Senior Spotlight features Emily Gibson, one of the captains of the Forensics team. Let’s hear what Emily has to say about her last Forensics season and her time at West!

Abby: Can you explain Forensics to people who aren’t familiar with it?

Emily: Contrary to popular belief, Forensics is neither crime scene investigation nor debate team. Forensics is our school’s speech team that competes every Saturday, November through February. There are 14 different events- some funny, some dramatic, some traditional public speaking- in which competitors give performances, and receive ranks and critiques from judges.

Abby: What events do you participate in?

Emily: Throughout my four years, I have participated in all the public address events: Oratory, Informative, Oratorical Declamation, and Special Occasion Speaking. My events this year were Oratory and Info, and my favorite is Original Oratory!

Abby: Congratulations on a successful Forensics season and an exciting end to your last season. I understand that the team placed 6th overall at State. What were your personal accomplishments at State?

Emily: I placed third in Informative Speaking with my speech on geolocation, and was the champion of Original Oratory with my speech on respectability politics. Being that I also won Oratory last year, I was excited because my win this year made me the second person in IHSA history to win back-to-back championships in Oratory, the last person having done so over sixty years ago in 1955 and 1956!

Abby: Have you done Forensics all four years at West and what made you decide to get involved?

Emily: Yes, I’ve been involved all four years! Coming into Glenbard West, I had never before heard of Forensics, and didn’t really know that there was such a thing as speech team. I owe my involvement in this club to Grace Larrabee, who convinced me to go to the first meeting of the year with little knowledge as to what I was getting myself into.

Abby: What are the benefits of participating in Forensics?

Emily: Forensics has helped me to grow in my public speaking abilities, helped me become more confident in front of crowds, and furthered my love of writing. Beyond this, though, the relationships I have formed through forensics are incomparable to any other relationships in my life. There is an unbelievable community on this team, and I have formed friendships that will last a lifetime with my coaches and teammates, as well as competitors and judges from other schools.

Abby: What advice would you give to people who are thinking about becoming involved in Forensics, or people who are too intimidated to try it?

Emily: Many people come into the club with absolutely zero experience with public speaking or acting, and leave with a newfound ability to confidently speak in front of an audience. So, I guess my advice would be to just join! You’ll find that everyone on the team is extremely welcoming and loving, and the ranks you receive at tournaments are in no way indicative of true success in Forensics.

Abby: What other activities have you been involved in at West?

Emily: I am a four-year member of student council, and the last two years I have been the student liaison on the executive board. I have also been involved in MAWI, Senior Mentors Club, Spanish Honors Society, National Honors Society, and I had a brief appearance in soccer my freshman year!

Abby: College is right around the corner! Have you made a decision yet?

Emily: I haven’t! I’m still waiting to hear back from a few schools, but wherever I go, I hope to study journalism or communications, and minor in Spanish. Although I’ve never been one for decision making, so that could totally change!

Abby: Favorite teacher?

Emily: I’ve had so many inspiring and awesome teachers that I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite! Instead, I’ll say that my favorite department is the English department.

Abby: Favorite football theme?

Emily: Probably the USA theme or the pink-out.

Abby: Favorite memory at West?

Emily: I don’t know if this is a favorite memory per say, but something I’ll always hold onto from my time at West are all the people that I’ve met here. I’ve gotten to know so many people with so many unique stories, and I’m a different person for knowing each and every one of them.

Congratulations once again to Emily and the whole Forensics team on a great season. We wish you the best in all your future endeavors!

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