Its debatable…Speak Up!

August 3, 2007

The season begins…

Filed under: Debate,Forensics - General — bk2nocal @ 9:14 pm

Sorry for the hiatus.  I have been in the process of packing and getting ready to move to my new job and decided I would wait until August to take up the official “first season” on the blog.  So, here it begins (a few days late). 

 I have been working at the Arizona Debate Institute for the past week.  If you are involved in policy debate on the college topic, I encourage you to visit the webpage and check out the “Lecture Notes 2007” link to see Dr. Dave Hingstman’s very thorough introduction to the topic and Gordon Stables’ (USC) lecture on being negative on the topic.  My topicality notes should soon be posted there and I’m sure other lectures will be posted as we get them into Jon Bruschke (CSU Fullerton) to post.  The information is really invaluable, especially the topic specific information.  In addition, if you choose “ADI Evidence” and scroll down to the fourth link on that page, labeled “Word document template” you can access a formatted evidence briefing template with macros set up to supply shortcuts for changing fonts for tags, cites and evidence as well as auto page numbering, etc.  Its a great resource for those starting out in electronic briefing. 

For the last four years, I have worked in a skills lab at ADI.  Often, the majority of the students I work with have either no or very limited debate experience.  This year is no different.  And, every year I am amazed at the enthusiasm and creativity that these students bring to debate.  The first brainstorming session with my lab was incredible.  They came up with a dozen or more affirmative case ideas and many, many negative argument ideas.  And they were excited about them!  The topic this year seems to be intriguing to the first year debaters – a dramatic change from last year’s topic.

I am working on an Afghanistan affirmative and the students in my group all have less than one year of experience and they are finding some amazing evidence and are very excited about the affirmative.  We are specifically working on a “Poppies for Peace” case with a little bit of a twist and the evidence seems very accessible for the students on both the aff and neg.  They are really excited, which makes me really excited. 

I am home for a couple of days meeting with movers to get estimates, but I’m cutting cards and reading the cards that the students are sending me.  We certainly won’t be able to exhaust the literature base for the affirmative this week and next, but we’ll get a pretty good start and the students will have a clear direction when they go home if they decide to read this affirmative.  That is really all you can ask for from a two week debate institute….to get the ball rolling!

The other affs that are being worked on are an Iran Grand Bargain aff, a Peace Process aff for the Palestine Authority, a Syria aff of some sort, another Afghanistan aff that will focus on economic reconstruction, probably with microloans, and a Lebanon aff probably dealing with humanitarian assistance.  So far, I find the topic fascinating.  Lots of good literature and varied perspectives on the issue allow for great literature for both the aff and the neg.  And the current events connection really make the debates meaningful.  Both Dr. Dave and Gordon talked about the fact that a version of our topic was posed as a question to the Democratic presidential candidates, Obama and Clinton, and some sparring has ensued between them that represents a simplistic version of the debates we will have this year at tournaments.  That, to me, is pretty cool.

I am going to try to have a schedule on the blog.  I will try to aim my posts to fit into a few different categories:  Instructional; Research on Forensics; DOF Planning/Info; Resource Review; Current Events Tie-in; General/Misc.  That is six categories, so I can take a day off every week and still get it all in!  I may decide to change these categories and if you have suggestions, please put them in the comments!  I’m looking forward to using this as a space to share information and frustrations and hopefully explore solutions! 

Tomorrow I will begin the weekly schedule with DOF Planning/Info! 

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