Debate is fun when people share stories and perspectives. We know this in our heart of hearts. People like to be cynical and make fun of the person who cares too much, tells stories about round 3 at Wake from two years ago, and just can't stop talking about debate.
I am not one of those cynics. I live for the war story. If everyone came up to me at Gonzaga and told me about their round 2 I would EAT. IT. UP.
I think two things hinder the circulation of stories and perspectives. One, is hurt feelings via saying something potentially negative out loud in public about a team. Two, the belief that being candid and more transparent may hurt a team's chance of winning in the future. Everything has to stay in the squad and close to the chest.
To the first point. . .I am talking about arguments and evidence, not people or individuals. Take it as a point to improve upon, not an overiding indictment. None of my comments are mean spirited, just things that I feel should be said out loud so people maybe stop doing them. Just one person's opinion, feel free to take it with a grain of salt.
To the second point. . .this makes debate suck. Secrecy is so annoying. Feel free to try to read the tea leaves to glean what strategies I am producing. I have been fairly transparent when people talk to me over the last year or two and my teams have not suffered. Now I am just doing it louder and in a public setting. Feel free to jump in! Public conversations about debate make it fun.
Here is what I loved and/or hated vis-à-vis St. Marks
1. Refugee AFFs---Love It
I liked what I saw from the refugee AFF. Harker and Carrollton docs were looking good. The terrorism debate in particular looked good for the AFF. I don't think we are quite there on slaying the parole CP. I feel like emphasizing modeling elements of refugee leadership would help on that front.
2. Naming Offcase After Authors---Hate It
Why does this happen? I am looking at you T-Tassoff. What is the judge suppose to glean from this name? Who the hell is Tassoff? Do they define a word in the resolution? Oh they do? But unlike every other T violation in history, saying Tassoff makes your argument more apparent? What happens when both sides have like 2 Tassoff cards like this weekend? Stop it. K's are the next biggest offender, although it didn't cross my path this weekend.
3. Saying Soft Left AFF---Hate It
I have always hated calling these arguments this. It is far too derisive for a reasonable AFF approach. Is it like soft power? They aren't whacking the judge over the head with impacts like hard power? I guess that would make sense since some AFFs are called big stick. But that doesn't make the dichotomy redeemable and a new naming convention is needed.
4. Numbering Stuff---Love It
Nobody does it and it sucks. It makes you SO MUCH easier to flow. It gives your speech such structure. It helps you recognize when you are repeating yourself compared to when you are spewing in a stream of consciousness. It is SO GOOD.
Shout out to the 2A from New Trier AK. The only debater to number that I watched. It was the doubles but I would have given him a 29.6 EASY.
5. High School Wiki---Hate It
The way people post information is terrible. It is a wasteland. A higher circulation of docs and high schoolers actually being able to comb through them would raise the discourse substantially. Do better people. More on this subject at a later date.
6. Framing Pages---Hate It, for now
This deserves an entire post, but the way teams are doing this now is no good. Way too many cards in the 1AC with no clear purpose. No clear insight on how to execute after the 1AC so it devolves to laundry listing. No real thought on how to resolve the inevitable competing claims that come from the NEG. And it isn't like the AFF is picking super comparative cards at the moment that do the work for debaters. That makes these portions of debates fairly pointless. There is a better way.
7. Woodward vs. Ghill Semi's Docs---Love It
These docs were NICE. I posted them below for your viewing pleasure. This looked like a great debate. Congragulations to both teams on a great run!
That's all for the opening edition of Love It or Hate It. Next time will be about college and Gonzaga.
I am Lincoln, retired debate coach . This site's purpose is to post my ramblings about policy debate.