Debate - Chickens Or Dogs?

November 29, 2016 by Ben Palpant


Welcome to Debate. 9th grade. Today’s resolution: Chickens are better pets than dogs.

A Gorgon’s knot that has befuddled humanity since the dawn of chickens. A topic that has toppled nations. A topic not for the faint of heart! Fifteen young women learning to stand and speak with confidence and grace and poise.

Here are some snapshots, from my angle at the back of the room:

Katie: “Honestly, chickens give me a sense of calm when I’m around them.”
Miss Woodroof (while timer rings): “Good! Very touching way to close your argument."

Grace: “When you say that a chicken’s sense of safety is like an emotion…”
Miss Woodroof: “Like an emotion?”

Student: “When you say that a chicken’s sense of safety is an emotion…"

Other Woodroof Moments: “Brilliant!” “You’ve got this!” “I’m delighted!” “Yes, exactly!” “Maybe I’m not asking this question very well…”

You can sense the safety and fun of this learning. You can almost hear the laughter, can’t you?

The affirmative conclusion? Chickens follow us because they are capable of emotion. They have a sense of safety and calm. In fact, they give a sense of calm.

The negative conclusion? Dogs lower stress and have greater compassion than chickens. Chickens act like they suffer from Stockholm syndrome (the feeling of trust sometimes felt by a victim toward a captor).

Yes, that is correct, Stockholm syndrome found its way into a 9th grade debate over chickens!

But bigger than that, I witnessed practices that will have a cumulative affect. These girls and their teacher took small opportunities to practice for what will surely be helpful when they step up for their junior and senior Thesis. And those practices promise to serve them well as they head off to college, or become servant leaders at work, or raise their children to the praise of His glorious grace. Nothing is wasted.

Welcome to The Oaks 9th grade!