Anyone who frequents Pasadena City College has definitely walked by the Center for the Arts building located right in the middle of campus. But past the rose garden and down the hall, in a small, dark hallway at the end of the top floor of the building, lies a small office that can be near impossible to find, if not for the one dozen arrows that point in the room’s direction.
As Speech and Debate director Cindy Phu and head coaches Allan Axibal-Cordero and Jay Arntson were breaking down the syllabus, explaining events, and outlining upcoming tournaments on the first day of class, student Laura Davila listened nervously while already deciding when to drop. Her plan of escape was interrupted once introductory icebreakers started and she was required to introduce herself.
PCC’s award-winning Speech and Debate (Forensics) members’ second home is the basement level of the C building. The hallway holds a collage of old and new successful forensics members and a case crowded with trophies, and behind the doors are forensics members either laughing, crying, or advocating for social change.
On the subterranean level of the C building, beneath the halls where sound of students reverb, in a small, quiet room between an overlooked trophy case and a wall-turned-photo collage sits Shannon Yong, biology major.
She took the stage and had the audience laughing for the next seven minutes. It wasn’t stand-up comedy, but Alexis Arredondo of the PCC Speech and Debate Team.
Alexis Arredondo has a lot on her mind: six classes, daily speech and debate practices, an upcoming One-Acts play, a string of competitions this semester, and lines on top of lines that she recites in her head when she wakes up, showers, puts on her makeup, and even when she’s on break. But unlike most energy drink-fueled college students, Arredondo looks as though she’s had a full eight hours of sleep. If there’s one thing a performing arts academy has taught her in the past, …
PCCâ€™s speech and debate team, ranked sixth in the nation and second in state, won eight first places in competition on Nov. 10 at CSU Northridge