Anu Lamsal


Anu stands at the foot of a buddhist temple in Thailand.

Lucas Bleyle, Print Manager

The moment had come. The late nights researching the topic were finally paying off. The  debate began. Anu Lamsal’s heart raced and adrenaline coursed through her veins, but her brain kicked into high gear and all the stress building up to this moment now became fuel. Then pouring from her mouth at the speed of sound came her verbal barrage, rendering her opponents utterly outmatched.

“It was also so surreal because I felt on top of the world, as if I had quite literally conquered all the tallest peaks in the world,” said Anu of her latest debate competition in Ankeny.

Anu joined debate team as a freshman and described how debate has made her more confident.

“Before, I would not have spoken my opinion so quickly or brashly,” said Anu. “Debate made me into someone who can actually hold their own ground, and I think that’s so important in today’s world.”

Aside from discovering a talent for debating, Anu also discovered a talent for making mistakes.

“Well, it all started when I made a typo of the word typo and instead spelt it as RYPSI,” said Anu. Her debate friends, capitalizing on her spelling blunders, went on to create a list now spanning four pages dubbed “Anu’s rypsianary” that include all her most memorable typos to date.

“My favorite one is when I wrote definition as fefinetoon.”

Despite her obvious shortcomings when it comes to spelling, Anu makes up for it with her words. “I like to write these poems because to me, there’s no better way to feel better than to write,” explained Anu. In stark contrast to the hard facts of the debate world, her writing takes on a very symbolic nature.

“Like I don’t like to see life in the one set form it is, I like to see it as abstract and like to think that all life forms can take different shapes or be like different things,” said Anu.

Failing to out debate her enemies with words alone, she might turn to her other skills to top them by quickly disposing of them with her black belt moves.

“Screw ballet, taekwondo’s cooler and who else is supposed to protect this family,” was Anu’s rationale when she originally joined.

Screw ballet, taekwondo’s cooler and who else is supposed to protect this family.

— Anu Lamsal

“In taekwondo, there’s these five tenets: perseverance, courtesy, self-control, indomitable spirit, and integrity. Even though I’ve stopped going to taekwondo, those tenants have shaped me into who I am today.”

She may have had an opposition to ballet, but she didn’t give up dance entirely, taking up Nepali dance.

“It makes me feel more connected to my culture. I’ve been dancing in the Asian heritage festival in Des Moines every since I was ten,” said Anu.

She also wanted to make sure everyone understood that she is in Feminist Club and model UN.