Senior Rathna Ramesh, dancer, forensics club member and hard worker, amazes her teachers and peers as she is an inspiration to all.
Ramesh is in forensics, Patriot Ambassadors, Wellness Warriors, National Honors Society, and Spanish National Honors Society. Her main extracurricular activity is dance. She does a style of classical Indian dance called Bharatanatya, which she spends most of her time doing.
Forensics is a competitive speaking and acting team. They participate in MCFL (Montgomery County Forensics League) tournaments. During meetings, they perform pieces and offer each other feedback. They also do fun games designed to strengthen different aspects of speaking such as gestures and inflection.
She practices her pieces at meetings where the other members of the team and their coach, English teacher Catherine Boswell, offer feedback. “My favorite categories are the speech ones (persuasive and informative) so in the process of writing my speeches, I become familiar with the topics, so presenting is much easier. Also, one of the great things about forensics is that you don’t have to memorize your pieces (you should have a script with you) so that really minimizes the prep time,” Ramesh said.
Forensics has three qualifying tournaments a year. These are competitions that everyone can participate in and the top third in each category move onto quarterfinals. Finals weekend (which includes quarterfinals on Friday night, semifinals Saturday morning, and finals Saturday afternoon) was on Feb. 14 and 15. During quarterfinals, each category is narrowed down to 12 people who then move onto semifinals. Then the semifinals cut it down to six who move onto finals. “One of my favorite things about forensics is the supportive environment. Everyone claps for each other and I’ve met a lot of incredible students from other schools there,” Ramesh said.
Everyone who competed in finals comes to the award ceremony and the rankings are announced there. The first place winner in every category performs their piece “It’s really amazing to see the wide variety of selection,” Ramesh said.
In addition to the regular awards, there are also specialty awards such as the outstanding speaker award, which is the person with the most points overall this year. At the Forensics award on Feb. 27, Ramesh placed first in persuasive speaking and third overall in both prose and informative. She also received the outstanding speaker award.
Ramesh has mastered public speaking. “Imagine that you’re speaking to a friend and you’ll sound a lot more natural and conversational. Also talk slowly and enunciate even if you think you sound ridiculous because it makes it much easier for people to understand you,” Ramesh said.
Ramesh enjoys psychology and math and is admired by teachers. “I am very proud of Rathna. She did very well and worked very hard. She is very self sufficient and one of the best forensics members we have ever had,” Boswell said.
Ramesh will be attending Rice University in the fall.