Its debatable…Speak Up!

January 13, 2009

Happy Belated New Year – Getting Ready for Spring Season…

How the heck are we already in 2009?  Time flies when you are having fun, I guess.  And, I have to admit, I am still having fun coaching speech and debate and teaching and living in Chico.  I really wish I was posting more regularly on this blog…and I’m really going to try to commit to it in the new year.

I just got back from the Southern California Swing debate tournaments at USC and Fullerton.  That is a brutal eight or nine days with travel, but such a valuable experience for debaters.  I remember how much I learned the first year at those two tournaments – it was like a crash course in a whole new level of debate and I feel like that same experience happened to my students this past Swings.  Sometimes it was a bit painful (after all, it is called “crash” course for a reason), but overall I think my students came out with a renewed commitment to debate and a new understanding of what it takes to be successful in debate at the Open level.

I wish that there was a similar tournament experience for IEers during the break, when all they have to think about is speech, but I’m hoping that our early tournaments at Southwestern and Pt Loma will prove fruitful for them.  The Spring semester is such a short one competitively speaking, so we really need to get out to a fast and well-prepared jump.

I’m interested to hear what some of you do to keep students active during the holiday break – especially those like us at Chico who have an extended break (five or six weeks).  Some students stay on top of it and communicate well, but others seem to fade out into their non-school/non-forensics lives and come back even less prepared than they left in December because they haven’t looked at a file/speech in five weeks and have not competed in almost three months.  I would also be interested in hearing how you get new novices up and running quickly in the Spring semester’s short season.  It seems like they have to get ready to compete in a VERY SHORT amount of time and then they have a VERY limited competitive experience before the season is over and they lose the competitive drive.

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