Professor Cassello’s dog Francis on the streets in northern Mexico.
It’s time for Speech Day 2017, and CCSJ students will try to answer questions around the theme of this year’s Humanities Festival: LOVE.
“CCSJ students are usually in love or out of love, so I solicited some questions from some CCSJ students,” says Assistant Professor of English Mark Cassello.
Professor Cassello will help lead the discussion on three questions surround love during Humanities Fest at CCSJ. The discussion will take place Thursday, April 6, 2017 at noon. Professor Cassello says the event will feature some of the best public speaking students at CCSJ pulling questions from a hat and then speaking extemporaneously.
The students were provided the questions in advance to prepare. However, they don’t know which questions will be pulled, and they are not allowed to use notes.
The three questions are…
“They really probe three dimensions of love and relationships. It will be interesting to get a student’s perspective,” Professor Cassello said.
Getting students to participate in a debate sure as this can be challenging. That’s why Professor Cassello is offering prizes to the winning speech. The first place prize is a $50 prepaid Visa gift card. They hope to have at least a dozens students take part.
“The students will be judged based on audience applause. Whoever gets the loudest cheer will win it,” Cassello said. “Everyone who participates will get some CCSJ swag: pencils, pens, something. Some professors are also giving a small amount of extra credit for students who participate.”
When talking about love, students may or may not be talking about romantic love, but perhaps familial or platonic love.
As the speech facilitator, Professor Cassello will not have to give a speech although he did try to answer the question, “How has love changed you?”
Professor Cassello says the love he has for his dog Francis, who he found as a stray in Mexico, has prompted him to become a vegetarian.
“Francis has made me a more empathetic person toward other beings. I stopped eating meat and I think it’s mainly due to Francis,” Cassello said. “I see this creature who is so alive, so smart, so enthusiastic for life, how is he any different from any animal that we kill for food? My love for Francis has changed what I eat now.”
Professor Cassello encourages any CCSJ student to participate in the debate since it is not only open to speech students.
“The contest is open to anyone. If you know someone who is good public speaker or just has a penchant for talking, inviting over there,” Professor Cassello said.
On the theme of love, other Humanities Fest discussion including a discussion about whether people should have sex before or after marriage, along with a talk on spirituality and sexuality by Bishop Donald J. Hying of the Catholic Diocese of Gary.
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