Its debatable…Speak Up!

June 17, 2012

And, we’re baaaaaaaack!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 11:55 am

So, after some time away (two years to be exact) while I dealt with a two year old, a full time job, traveling for debate on a lot of weekends (with said two year old in tow often) and a traveling debate coach husband who took a job that required him to be out of town three days a week minimum most weeks, I am ready to return.

I have spent some time thinking about this thing we do as speech and debate coaches…the loss of personal time, time with family, time that could be spent on other things for our jobs such as grading, planning, etc., and weekends spent driving and working long hours, eating often unhealthy and sporadic meals and dealing with annoying students 24/7 instead of just the three hours a classroom lends us for that experience.  I have thought about finding a different job or changing the way our team experiences competition or figuring out a way to step aside and do less than I currently do (which arguably is much less than a lot of coaches do).  But, in the end I always come back to the fact that when this job goes right, its awesome!  I get to work with some fantastic students and colleagues.  I get to see students in a totally different light than that of a classroom.  And, I get to see them really grow through their experiences in forensics.  So, I come back to doing this job.

But, I would like to do this job better.  I would like to find ways to help others do this job better.  I feel like in other professions, there is so much support and training and sharing and opportunity for new things, but in ours, we are all so often burnt out and at our institutions our positions as coach are treated like an add-on to our positions as instructor or professor, that we often treat professional development specific to coaching as an add-on.  So, I am starting back to the blogging in the hopes that maybe it can be a place for me to work through ideas that may help support, train, share and build opportunity.  

So, I am going to spend this week cleaning up the sidebar making sure links are functioning, updating websites where they need to be updated, and figuring out where to go from here.  I may also be asking some friends/colleagues to do guest posts here to broaden the discussion from just one of debate to one that includes all of forensics.  And I will be mulling over where I want to go this next season of forensics – one that holds promise for me as a coach, a director and a teacher! 


September 7, 2009

Another Season, Another Set of Resources for Policy Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 2:10 pm

I am giving up on predicting that I will be more regular about posting to this blog.  I really have the best of intentions, but often get caught up in other things and neglect it for so long it is almost embarrassing to post again!  🙂  But, I’m going to post now and hopefully post again soon – no promises!

I wanted to update the previous list of resources that I provided on this blog with some additional resources that have appeared online since then.  Some of these are additional items on the National Debate Coaches Association’s website – which, in my humble opinion, is the best policy debate resource out there at this point.   Some are new wikis available to the debate community.  Some are simply spots in already existing webpages that have some great consolidation of items from around the web.  Hopefully, you will find it helpful.

The 3NR Blog

This blog is designed for high school policy debate, but I find that most of the information is just as applicable to college policy debate.  They have three or four high school coaches (most of whom had pretty successful college debating careers) who write for them and I have started forwarding some posts to my college debaters as discussion and educational items.  The comment section of a lot of the posts offer just as much educational information as the posts themselves.  This is another resource offered by the NDCA and its a great one!

Introduction to Policy Debate Textbook

Planet Debate has taken a number of great articles written over the years and put them into a single location organized in a usable format for educators.  I found it when looking for Dan Shalmon’s “Consult NATO” article from the Hitchiker’s Guide and I’m glad I did.  Articles like these are great educational resources for debaters who may not have access to a ton of experienced coaching, but are motivated to learn more about different debate arguments.  Its also a great resource for teachers who would like to organize their classes with reading material, etc.

Whitman’s Tech Support Page

With the surge in paperless debate this coming year, these resources are going to be important.  There are a number of pages available on paperless debate, but since Whitman was the first large squad to go completely paperless and is kind of leading the charge for other teams, I decided to link to their page in particular. If you want a broader perspective, you can check out the Paperless Debate Wiki.

From the Blog

This is yet another NDCA project.  Although it does not focus totally on debate education, it is a great resource for students and coaches alike.  It has quite a few educational resources (Maggie Berthiaume has posted some great stuff on institute attendance and electronic resources from summer institutes), some travel resources (for example a chart of airline fees for baggage, etc.), and some great “issues facing debate” posts.

I am going to have a separate post on topic specific resources for this year’s debate topic, but these are general resources that, in combination with the list I previously posted, should put people on pretty good ground as far as policy debate is concerned!  Enjoy!

June 15, 2009

National Intercollegiate Policy Debate Topic: 2009-2010 Possibilities

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 11:23 am

The three possibilities for the 2009-2010 season of intercollegiate cross-examination policy debate are:

The topic choices for the 2009-2010 school year, to be voted on in July 2009:

Resolution 1:

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially change its nuclear posture to be more consistent with its nuclear disarmament commitments.

Resolution 2:

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reduce the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal, and/or substantially reduce and restrict the role and/or missions of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Resolution 3:

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially change its nuclear posture in one or more of the following ways:
* Ratification and implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
* Adoption of a nuclear declaratory policy substantially reducing and restricting the use of its nuclear weapons
* A substantial reduction in the size of its nuclear weapons arsenal
* Negotiation and implementation of a bilateral agreement with Russia that at least includes a substantial reduction in nuclear weapons
* A substantial decrease in the operational readiness of its nuclear weapons.

I am usually involved in the topic process, but due to health issues with my daughter, was unable to be involved this year.  I like the area of nuclear policy and the list in the third is pretty comprehensive without being too overwhelming, but I wish at times we could have some shorter resolutions!  🙂

I will try to provide some links to resources and discussions on these topic areas in the weeks and months to come!

January 14, 2009

True Flight Info.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 8:17 pm

Any of you who have been conned by the online flight tracking from your carrier that says “on time” when you log in two hours before your flight, only to find out when you arrive at the airport that the flight is actually hours behind schedule now have a choice.  This post summarizes the benefits of FlightAware – which has no interest in lying to you about the flight schedule.  In addition to tracking flights, there are a few other interesting things provided by the website that are quite useless, but could be entertaining.  These include many pictures of planes, squawks about the aviation in the news (which can actually be a little disturbing), and tracking the Space Shuttle on its trips.

Some interesting info/ideas from Edebate today!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 6:33 pm

I’m always excited to see valuable and interesting information coming across edebate instead of snide remarks to others or the ever-present cite request.  Today there was actually more than one piece of information that came across that I thought was worth sharing.  The first was more of an idea than information.  West Georgia is hosting a tournament this weekend and Sarah Holbrook sent out the following request to edebate:

We have 4 novice debaters attending this weekend and we’re trying to
make sure it’s an educational experience for them so we need some
Please email me if you or any of your judges are willing to be a
Novice Mentor – let them watch/flow a debate with you while you judge,
speak with them during and after to help them get the most out of it.
Thanks to the other folks who have already volunteered.

I thought this was an great idea for insuring that new novices (or high schoolers or administrators) visiting a debate tournament for the first time have a good and valuable experience.  I think, too often, we wait until the tournament has started to deal with these things and these people get lost in the chaos and often have poor, or at least uneducational, experiences.  I appreciate the fact that West Georgia thought of these individuals early in the process and are working to find people who are novice-friendly and willing to share their thoughts and ideas and answer questions after debates over the course of the weekend.  I am definitely going to utilize this approach (on a more local level) for our tournament we are hosting in February.  Thanks Sarah for thinking of this early and for working to insure that those new to the activity are getting something out of attending a tournament!

The second piece of information was more of a reminder as I remember seeing this come across edebate a while ago, but often these things get forgotten, so I’m going to try to put a link in the sidebar for those who come to this post later.  Matt Stannard has a forum board (debatecooperative) that he runs where he has been posting forensics jobs as he sees them come out on different lists, etc. and that others can post to when looking for coaches.  The link for the forum specifically for job listings can be found here.

There are the two things that I found worth sharing on edebate today…a good day for edebate I would say!

Hope things are going well in the new year for everyone!

November 4, 2008

Get Out and Vote!

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 11:35 am

Just a reminder to get out and vote today!

October 14, 2008

Back to work…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 5:32 pm

Well, I’ve said this before and I will probably say it again, but I am going to get back to blogging.  I was excited to see the number of views some of the posts on this blog have received and I’m hoping to find some additional valuable information to share.  There is a lot going on in the forensics community right now, and I’m excited to be able to share it with people.  There is some great resource sharing opportunities happening over at the NDCA website and CEDA is working on some exciting developments for the future.  In addition, I have some additional discussion items in the areas of Individual Events that may be interesting.  So, here I am.  I hope you’ll join me again for a more regular schedule of posts!

June 23, 2008

Revisiting Research: Ethics in Debate – Changes Since 1993?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 12:37 pm

This paper, “A ‘Fair Play’ Perspective of ethics for intercollegiate debate,” examined ethical concerns in debate in 1993.  It would be interesting to see an update of this paper.  What are the ethical concerns 15 years later?  Are the same?  Are there new concerns today?

November 23, 2007

Happy Black Friday…

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 10:46 am

I hope you are all enjoying a weekend that is both tournament and conference-free (for those who just returned from NCA).  I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving weekend and a good return to reality next week. 

October 28, 2007

Educational Outcomes and Debate

Filed under: Uncategorized — bk2nocal @ 10:45 pm

Found an interesting post over on the Global Debate Blog that those of you needing to justify programs might find useful.  It includes information about a project on educational outcomes – and the ones they find to be the most important are all at least a part of the competitive speech and debate activity.  You can find the article here.

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