Let’s Talk club hopes to help students recognize importance of skillful conversation

Selin+Oh%2C+Let%E2%80%99s+Talk+founder%2C+president+and+senior+participates+in+the+discussion.+According+to+Oh%2C++it+is+important+to+bring+personal+experience+as+well+as+facts+into+a+discussion

Emily Dexter

Selin Oh, Let’s Talk founder, president and senior participates in the discussion. According to Oh, it is important to bring personal experience as well as facts into a discussion

Rhea Acharya

This year, students will be given an outlet to learn the art of conversing with one another through a new club: Let’s Talk. During Late Starts from 7:30 to 8:15, a.m., Let’s Talk members and all other students who wish to participate will be able to meet in the media center to discuss the month’s chosen topic.  After almost two years of planning, this is the first year that the club has opened the discussions up to all students.

According to Selin Oh, the founder, president of Let’s Talk and senior, the focus of the conversations is not what the members are discussing, but how they are discussing it. Through this, she said she hopes to encourage civil discourse – the ability to respectfully disagree on issues.

Oh said, “Just like a musician needs to practice their music and an athlete needs to practice their sport, conversation is also a skill that needs to be practiced.”

Theresa Ramos, Let’s Talk sponsor and department chairperson of media and communications, said the work the club is doing will complement the work students do in school, as students should use their knowledge to justify their opinions. 

Ramos said, “One of the major things we should always be aware of is what role we play in society as citizens, and I think that being a good communicator is part of that as you have a responsibility to be able to express yourself to others in a reasonable way.”

Pranav Jothirajah
Let’s Talk Club gather in the media center for their discussion. According to Oh, it is important to bring personal experience as well as facts into a discussion

Oh said, “Something that is very important to a conversation is making sure that it is based in fact, and I think that this idea of fact is interesting because very often, there isn’t a simple truth. So, we want to include people’s anecdotes and people’s experiences because those are still very important. If we base our discussion too much on that, then that can be a problem, but it’s always about finding a balance.” 

According to Oh, the topics discussed will tend to be complex so people can express different viewpoints on them. To help ensure the conversation will be grounded in facts, Oh said she plans to utilize a shoebox filled with research and other resources pertaining to the month’s topic, so members will be able to familiarize themselves with the topic without having to do extensive research beforehand. 

Isabella “Izzy”  Yallapragada, member of Let’s Talk’s team leadership  team and senior, said Let’s Talk has reached out to other clubs to gain their insight on what should be discussed at the biweekly meetings. 

“We also spoke to different teachers to get advice and to administrators because some of the subjects that we will be discussing might be a little sensitive,” Yallapragada said. “We wanted to make sure that this wasn’t just another club; it was something that the school was actually actively supporting.”

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