Johns Hopkins Magazine
A P R I L 1 9 9 7 I S S U E
Doug Barber, photographer, http://members.aol.com/ barberfoto/.
In the eight years Chuck Salter spent as a feature writer for
The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, he
reported a healthy share of sports stories-- everything from
Michael Jordan's foray into the minor leagues, to ACC basketball,
to the National Whistlers' Convention. The experience stood him
in good stead, he says, to tackle this issue's feature on the
university's legendary Debate Council, "The Hopkins Hegemon".|
"Like any other sports team that I've covered, these debaters are really intense performers," says Salter. "They're so competitive, and they're lost in their own world. Anytime I have access to a world like that, I just get sucked in."
Salter's time with the debate squad included a weekend tournament at George Washington University, where the Hopkins duo of Rebecca Justice and Ben Greenberg took first place out of 51 teams. In hanging out with the Hopkins team members, Salter discovered, he says, that "the debate never ends. You go out to eat with them afterward, and you hear the debate played over and over again all around the table--just the way athletes will replay a game, with endless discussions about where a round turned in one direction, where the momentum shifted."
Salter, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, moved to Baltimore last summer and is now freelancing full time. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Southern Living, and The Sun.
He says he won't be surprised to see Justice, Greenberg, or one of the other 38 members of the Hopkins debate squad holding forth on the floor of the House of Representatives one day. "They combine so many different talents; they're funny, theatrical, they can think on their feet so quickly--they're really intimidating." --SD
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