Tuesday, February 28, 2006

New Day, New Committee

Not only am I on the "General Education Assessment Committee", but now I'm on the AQIP Assessment Committee... and I'm not exactly sure why..

In many ways I found the first meeting today not completely annoying, even though it was a 2ish hour-long meeting. We have another in a couple of weeks -- and I have nothing to contribute to the research that is supposed to be discussed. The Chair of the committee is a friend of mine, and he pretty much told me that I was on the committee because they liked me :)...

Other than that meeting, I had a pretty tranquil day -- I have the funny feeling that I'm not doing something that should be done. I've reviewed every class and project and there is nothing hanging around undone. I have a set of papers due tomorrow and Thursday, so I'll be back to normal (i.e. avoiding grading..).

Maybe it is because I'm used to teaching 5 philosophy courses AND coaching the team. This semster I'm down to 3 philosophy classes, a teaching circle and debate... for slightly more money. It is also probably odd right now because I've adjusted my classes to decrease the number of longer papers ANd I'm using the same book as last semester so the lectures are all done and the exams just need revision.

In other words, I've finally -- after 3 years here-- figured out how to teach smarter not harder. Now, if I could only adjust without having a small anxiety attack.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Teaching -- grade status reports

Today and tomorrow may be kind of scary for my students -- I'm giving them the wake-up call they need about their grades and the impacts of ignoring the short summary papers I've assigned. In some classes, only two or three are close to an A.

The Intro to Philosophy sections have papers due on Thursday, Logic has a quiz -- hopefully seeing their current grades will make them get their acts together and do the work.

In all honesty, this isn't really hard stuff or ideas --- if they would only do the reading and the assignments I give them, they'd get it and get good grades. I don't want to let them drift along like they have been. It is almost mid-term time and if they don't get their acts together now they'll be screwed by the time I get back from KQRS/NPJLKMNOPDA nationals.

I wonder if they think it is only busy work -- that I LIKE spending Sunday afternoons at Caribou Coffee grading their papers... in all honesty, they probably do think I like it. Logic probably thinks I like to assign them homework they aren't doing... although it is true that I kind of like solving logic problems.... but, don't tell them that :).

Happy Birthday Hubby -- updated

Today is Hubby's birthday. He's 38. I remember his 18th birthday.... talk about amazing.

I'm a lucky person to have married such a wonderful guy. He's smart, sexy, intelligent and passionate.

Hubby makes me a better person and challenges me to achieve things I never would have otherwise. I'm sure I wouldn't be teaching philosophy and coaching debate without him -- I'd never have even GONE to grad school, say nothing of started a dissertation without his encouragement.

Hubby is the kind of person that takes seriously the challenge that we ought not complain about something unless you propose a solution to the problem. This was the motivation behind his starting KQRS nationals.... he didn't like the way NPJKLMNDA nationals was run, so he talked to some people and started KQRS -- which is now shaping and adjusting the way debate is done across the country. Next month will be the 6th KQRS nationals, I never thought #1 would happen.... ever.

I hope hubby has a good day today -- He had cards and a present on the birthday tree last night (our Christmas tree is now naked, it was just waiting for decoration...). Tonight we have a different kind of debate meeting... I'm going to order pizza and will probably get a cake for hubby's birthday for the team to share. We'll spend the whole time talking about the topics, eating pizza and cake and plotting strategy necessary to rule the world... or at least to win some f-ing debate rounds.

Update -- the Birthday Surprise worked... he went downstairs to find his beloved Jeep Liberty washed and cleaned inside, and a gift bag full of DVDs on the front seat. It is fun to actually be able to surprise him after 15 years and 20 birthdays... not bad, eh??

Week befor Spring Break

Next week is Spring Break -- YEA! That means that I can leave about 1/3 of my job behind -- and only coach debate next week --- and, run a tournament this weekend.... Thank goodness we keep our tournament uncomplicated, no individual events -- and no elaborate awards ceremony.Hubby and I decided that we would even skip the formal welcome and thanks, putting them on a PowerPoint displayed at the front of the room. We HATE those things at other tournaments, so don't want to infest our tourament with that crap.

I think that missing Spring Break is the thing that I miss the most when coaching debate. I don't think I've had a full Spring Break since I've been coaching... 9 years is a long time to go without one. The problem is that March is nationals time, it is also when every school I've been at in the last 9 years schedules their Spring Break. Some years we are traveling to or from nationals during break, others we are preparing for nationals during break.... either way, I don't get one.

Last year was a particularly big challenge... we hosted KQRS nationals last year --- so the first weekend was spent in a flurry of activity, then we slept all day on Monday, did practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday and left for NPQRRSDA nationals on Thursday morning VERY early. Competition was Friday-Sunday and we flew home on Monday.

Compared to last year, I'll actually have some break time -- We'll host our tournament Fri-Sun, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we'll do some debate work and then Thursday - Sunday will be a NO DEBATE ZONE!...

The week after Spring Break we'll have a "normal" week, then leave for KQRS nationals on Friday really early. We won't come back until after NPQRSDA nationals -- I guess, in retrospect, I do get a few of my Spring Break days back in Oregon... as I'm missing classes to stay out there.

After we get back from NPQRSDA nationals, things get much nicer around here -- no debate travel and only 3 philosophy classes to teach. The Debaters will be working on their end of semester debate portfolios, but we won't have any more meetings --- so that clears up 2 nights for me. Imagine, I could leave campus no later than 5:15 EVERY NIGHT! Wow...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Teaching is a two-person arrangement

I wonder what would happen if I did the following...

Walked into the classroom, sat down at my desk in the front of the room, randomly drank my coffee, messed around with my stuff but didn't get ready for class.

When class time comes, I ask the class what we are supposed to talk about -- like I really didn't know.

If they look at me funny, I'll say that I was sick -- or I had to take the cat to the vet, or I was busy working over the weekend and didn't figure out what was going on.

I could let this go on for a while -- maybe 20 minutes or so... asking them what they have due soon, what they've had due in the past and when the next exam is -- all stuff that is on the syllabus. If they give me a topic, I'll start talking about it poorly -- without my usual set of PowerPoints and fully considered discussion prompts. I'll ask them questions about the topic and act kind of stupid. If they press me, I'll use the "philosophy gives me a headache, I can't do it" excuse I heard via another student last week. I'll then tell them that they shouldn't bother coming to class the week after break because I "have to go on vacation with my family"-- and that we need to end early today because I have a gyno appointment.

Finally, I'll ask them if they've had enough -- if they are sick of the airhead me and would like their normal dorky but prepared philosophy teacher back...

I'll then explain to them that learning anything, and especially learning philosophy, is a two-person enterprise. I come prepared to teach every day... no matter if I had "a lot going on" (when don't I...), or if I "don't feel well" or whatever. I really can't teach them unless they are ready to learn. That means doing the homework and being prepared to ask questions as necessary.

I'd also tell them that they would be rightly outraged if any of their instructors acted as I did, and that their instructors have learned to live with the outrage and intentional disrespect displayed when they can't even manage to read a couple of short chapters before class.

Then, I'd probably get fired -- so maybe I need to wait until I'm tenured (off probation around here... as close to tenured as it gets..). The slakcers of BNCC should watch out, Fall 06 -- that is my time....

What goes around, comes around

I have to wonder if there really isn't a God out there --- or, maybe Karma is alive and well..

Last week I decided to lend a good friend some money. This money was for an excellent cause and will be well spent of this I am very sure. It is an investment in the future of this friend and I'm very comfortable with my decision.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that my second cousin will be married in New York this summer. He and I aren't particularly close, but I've never been to NYC and would love to go..

I'm not teaching this summer, so no fat extra summer paychecks for us --- so it seemed that the wedding trip to NYC would depend on some anticipated but not assured good financial news for us.. I knew this when lending the friend money, and was fine with that as well. The loan was a good priority --- and I couldn't not lend it just to go play in NYC.

It turns out that there is a way for us to pay for the trip afterall... and not one that I'd ever expected...

Domestic Updates..

The Christmas Tree is now naked -- and standing in the living room. If hubby doesn't take it down there could be birthday decorations on it by Monday... hmmmmm.

Plans for today include folding laundry and grading..

So THIS is what a weekend feels like.. I have one more of these betwen now and the end of KNPDARS nationals... that is also "Spring Break".

I'm watching Bob Villa's home show and just saw a self-watering window box. It has a resovoir and holds enough water to last for a week... gotta get me some of them...

Friday, February 24, 2006

BN State 2006, song

Group X, "IE IE OTH" -- (my version, at least).

'nuff said.

Ahhhh -- IKEA

So, this afternoon I pick up hubby after ditching the last part of the conference -- and were did we go??? IKEA...(moment of reverent silence).

We got a new $7.99 lamp, some new food storage bowls and several of the best timers EVER... as McWiggins needs a timer and we need a few extras around for our tournament.

Teaching... conference... whyyyyyy

This isn't exactly fair --- my schedule has me off on Fridays, as I have all my classes M-Th -- SO when they cancel classes for other things, I don't get an extra day off... BUT when they schedule this cluster-f on on of my FEW days off this semester, and I have to be here -- I call no f-ing fair.

I got here too late for the first session... I hope the keynote is worthwhile... it is a panel, so probably not.

I should be sleeping now, or watching a DVD -- or picking my nose in my PJs... but, nooooooooo...

I'm out of here after lunch-- I'm not spending one more of my few free days (weekends included) learning to teach when I seem to do ok with that as it is... besides, as Dog Mommy asked yesterday, "are the presenters actually qualified, or did they just say they'd do it??" Good question...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Debate -- travel details

Travel details are done... the good news is that the NW airlines strike won't hurt most of us... the bad news is that we leave at, what Pam used to call, "the butt-crack of dawn"...

Funny, I'm watching Survivor tonight, nobody is being tortured... sounds like BN state to our west was wrong... gameshows aren't equal to torture...

Academics & blogging BNCCers

A blog I read all the time, but whose anonymity I respect, seems to have paid me a compliment...

I've been in a quandry for a while about this -- I found their blog accidentally and since I have had some contact with the author in my time at BNCC, I recognized the details a while ago. I also realized that the author used the blog as a way to vent about school and get feedback, as well as that the author probably doesn't know me well enough to realize I'd never rat them out.

If you read me too -- and it isn't hard to figure out who I am -- thanks -- I hope the application process isn't traumatic for you... For the record, I worked with "King Maker" and they are an equal pain in the rear outside the department as inside.

Also, when if we end up talking about academic blogs in our last meeting, I'll guide them to some without sensitive blogrolls -- Since I've also joined facebook, maybe we'll talk about that instead :).

Debate -- details...

So... eligibility forms are filled out, just some faxing and paying left to do and we'll have two teams in ADPN nationals and one in KQRST nationals... YEA us.

The budget good nes/bad news was good news afterall... YEA us.

Tonight I book some airline tickets, the question now is whether or not hubby can stay in Oregon between ADPN naitonals and KQRST naitonals.. about a 10% chance of it working out, because it is a lot of school for him to miss -- but, it is worth asking and it would end up saving both nationals organizations money, as both are paying to fly him out and back within a week.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

President's day.. YEA

Monday was President's day... on the day intended to honor both Washington and Lincoln I ate Indian food (not the best in the world, but not bad) and got a pedicure.

A perfect afternoon... and nice shiny red toes.

Class evaluations

I finally got my class evaluations back from last semester...

Mostly, they are exactly what I expected --- mostly very positive, some people complaining that they didn't like philosophy or wanted more group activities and play time -- which is fine if you are in a made-up discipline, but philosophy IS hard, I have lots to do and constructing group projects that will bore 50% of the class so some of you "hands-on" learners can be amused isn't on my long to-do list.

The ones that pissed me off came from one particular class -- this class pissed me off from the start, as many of them had a habit of coming for half the class and then leaving. They'd make sure they took the quiz and signed-in, then just get up and leave in the middle of the lecture. Sometimes they'd be polite enough to tell me they "had an appointment" or something, other times they'd just get up and leave.

About mid-term I'd had enough. I told them that if their "appointment" was important enough to miss class for, it was important enough to make sure you are early to it -- i.e. don't be rude and interrupt class because you can't manage to schedule appointments around a class you registered for last spring. Perhaps I was a bit harsh on them -- but, they deserved it. This behavior was a sign of disrespect and significant rudeness to their classmates. When they leave, they can't do so quietly and they end up interrupting the lecture. When this happens several times in a 75 minute class meeting, the flow of the lecture was lost for everyone and my concentration was blown.

I did make exeptions for people who wanted to come in, take the quiz and leave while others were still taking the quiz -- because that did not interrupt the lecture. I remember one little bitch telling me that I was being unfair to her for letting someone else leave right after the quiz. Since she was the WORST offender (must have had some VERY important appointments at noon, so she had to leave my class at 11:45 several times) I might have been rude to her. Fact of the matter is that she is a spoiled brat who also lied to me about "having to go on vacation to Florida with her family Thanksgiving week" -- when, her SISTER was in class the week she was required to be absent. Hmmmm -- sister get kicked out of the family or something? I doubt it.. .my guess is that her high school friends were going down and she wanted to go with them for some sun and booze... oh well.

I used to read every one carefully, thinking about what may or may not be the motivations and causes for each comment. I realized last semester that instead I should look for trends, patterns and recurring comments before they actually mean anything. Using that method, I found that many students found me an amazing teacher who is helpful to her students and who can explain the material well.

A few people in one class thought I was rude to some students -- and they may have been right... Since I've already addressed the leave early issue in my classes by adding it to the syllabus and discussing it early, it isn't a problem this semester. They see how it is seen by me -- and this semester they seem to respect me enough to either schedule appontments outside of class time or not come to class when they have an appointment. I'm a bit worried I did TOO good a job, as someone said the other day that they didn't come TO class late -- I told her that wasn't the problem, but I'm not going to discuss it with the group as it would sound like permission to be late.

Iraq's Golden Dome

Just saw Iraq's Golden Dome was bombed by terrorists... at least that is what the local news said today.

I really don't understand groups that take these kinds of actions. How can this be a good thing from their perspective? Do they think they'll be able to blame the US?

Women's hockey

Every time I see women's hockey I get just a little bit proud.

In many ways the University of Minnesota was a founding force for women's hockey. Back in 1987, I was at a men's hockey game with DB (dumb boyfriend, the debater DB would have been about 3 then)... I ran into some girls from my high school selling snacks to raise money for women's hockey at the U.

It was a club sport then... now it is in the Olympics and many of the players go to school in BN state.

YEA girls... I wonder what they are doing now?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Debate -- BN state laughs and thanks...

Me: "This is the most coordinated team I've ever coached" -- then McWiggins falls out of his chair.

D2 now appreciates southern buffer state -- as a barrier between BN state and good debate.

D1's freak out in the car on the way home... made it hard to drive and laugh -- priceless.

McWiggins made me snort water out of my nose.

The boys asking me about the birds and the bees.

D2 driving.. and taking the Russian and Herbie with him -- that was nice. I didn't say so, but he tends to read...

D1/D2 being good teammates when Rex/McWhiggins break and they don't. Thanks guys...

Overall, having a really nice team -- one I actually want to hang out with some. Could you find people just about as cool as you to replace yourselves?? please... I'm going to miss you next year.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Debate -- KQRS nerves

With less than 24 hours to go, and most tournaments in from the weekend, D1/D2 look like a decent shot for KQRS---

I refuse to think about it again until this time tomorrow -- when it will be decided...

yea, right, I wish I had that much self control..
Saw others do this..... here is mine.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Debate -- "the project"

At BN state tournament, the resolution was "This house would change its team culture."

It would have been the perfect opportunity for D1/D2 to make their point and educate the local circuit about why they don't win nationally.

In retrospect, after a conversation with Elle's daddy, IEs in BN state are also not particularly successful -- probably for similar reasons.

Below is an outline of the "case" I'd love to have seen run.. I'm sure D1/D2 or Rex/McWiggins could run it better, but the gist would probably be the same...

Important definitions: TH = "Upper Midwest Debate", "change its team cultre" = change the way debate is seen, viewed and done in the Upper Midwest.

Framework: This is an unusual debate framework, as we are debating about how debate is done. Our advocacy is that BN state should adjust the way it does debate in ways and for reasons that will be clear over the course of the round.

General --- BN state is a weak debate region. In the last 13 years, there have been a total of 5 participants in elimination rounds at the big national tournament. 3 teams have had a reasonable chance of qualifying for NPQRS in the past 6 years. BN state teams compete regularly at NPDA, but they do not have success.

cause: BN state has a variety of rules at most tournaments that are anti-competitive and serve to create an insular community. These rules create two different kinds of parliamentary debate, one that is BN state specific, the other that is like that practiced on the national circuit.

The result is that teams who want to be nationally competitive must leave the state to compete, thus depriving the teams who compete in-state of the additinal education provided by debating them. BNCC is a perfect example of this. Our travel schedule included exactly 2 in-state parli tournaments (St. Cloud and BNState tournament) BECAUSE of the rules we will discuss in a minute. We didn't drive Iowa 5 times last season for the free wireless internet at the rest areas...

Problem rules:
1) "No coaching or consultation in preparation time". The best possible motivation for this rule is to leave the competition to the competitors.

The problem is a combination of the following set of problems:
a) "The witch hunt / false accusation": teams that are "too good" are suspected of breaking the rule, whether or not they did. UST's team got that accusation multiple times last year at BN state tournament, even when they prepped in the room and without their coach.
b) teams get off track, freaked out or otherwise need guidance in prep. The result is a less educational and competitive debate than might have happened with a coach's help in prep time.
c) Teams write terrible cases. These cases are so terrible (space prisons, final round cases requiring the US Supreme Court to sign off on ALL wiretap requests etc..) that it is often difficult to oppose them because they are unclear and contradictory.
d) Prep time is a time at which teams are very motivated to learn.
e) Factual accuracy.... having the ability to discuss the factual aspects of the topic you are about to debate can save you from HUGE facutal errors.

2) No printed materials in prep time, other than a dictionary.

Again, a combination of problems are the result:
a) Without the ability to coah in prep, cases and facts are even worse -- and in many ways only speculation.
b) If you can't use your research to debate, why do it --- so, cases get dumber and dumber
c) "I think I remember syndrome" -- as in, "I think I remember reading in Nesweek ____________".
d) False accusations /witch hunts on information... this actually comes in two sub categories
i. Your case is too good, with too many specifics, you must have cheated and "canned" it. This comes from competitors and judges alike --
ii. Reluctance of debaters to bring their research to tournaments for time between rounds -- for fear that some judge might see them with the contraband expando or something.

3) No warm room, disclosure of decisions or discussion of the round with the judge afterwards

A warm room is usually a place results are posted. The intention is so that teams can know their record and perhaps talk with the judge to gain insight into the round.

The problems with this are also pretty clear
a) Not knowing your record is kind of like expecting someone to play a game, but the score is kept secret until after the game is over.
b) Discussing the round afterwards is the best way to LEARN how to win next time. Those who think that debate discourages intepersonal communication should encourage this kind of discussion--- it is interperaonal, afterall.

4) Prejudice against "policy" or "JKLM" style debate

There are a variety of ways debaters choose to debate. Some are more persuasive, funny, charming or cute while others are fast, factual and often agressive. Both styles have their advantages, and judges shouldn't reject the arguments of either kind of debate from some sort of preconceived notion that the other kind of debate is inferior.

The problems here are clear:
a) It gives students with high school policy debate experience a disincentive to participate. This decreases the intellectual competitiveness in the region and serves to discourage talented high school students from staying in the state for college.
b) It gives an automatic, unfair advantage, to students who have made one presentation choice over another. This is disresepctful both to the debaters and the coaches involved, who have worked hard to increase their knowlege of political science, critical theory and argumentation theory. To demen them by saying things like "dude, give up your high school policy presentation" is insulting and rude.

None of these proposed reforms are things that reluctant teams MUST participate in --- you can ignore the warm room, prep alone etc..

The benefits reach well beyond the schools who participate in these practices, because they make the debates more challenging, more educational and more attractive to more students who are looking for intellectual competition.

The result will be a circuit that will not only serve to give students a chance to compete locally, but also a chance to compete on the national level. Much is made of "adaptation" -- BUT -- that seems to mean, "change to be like I want you to be" -- and does not currently require debaters who only debate in the state to "adapt" to the practices of the national circuit. If you really value debaters who are able to compete in a variety of styles, you should encourage these reforms and take them to heart.

We are not asking that you accept these practices as standard on your own squads, rather we ask that you adopt a policy of toleration and consideration for those who have decided to compete on the national circuit. The impacts of this will be many, including a greater number of national championship elimination round apearances -- a cure for AIDS and prevention of nuclear war...

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Final round... judged

I'm sorry guys, I should have left you in the student lounge...

This is about the dumbest plan: all wiretaps need to be aproved by the US Supreme Court.. yikes.

y'all could have done so well with this, run it straight off of team culture thing... call the Team Culture Minnesota debate and advocate coaching in prep good, use of files good, warm-room good etc...

I'm literally sick about this f-ing round.

Debate - BN state, results...

Rex/McWiggins lost in quarters...

It seems that at least one membe of the panel doesn't vote for plans... ummmm... WTF.. so, gov = loss... ick.

Now we are sitting around waigting for finals... only a while to go --

I said earlier, "this is the most coordinated debate team I've coached"... then McWiggins fell out of the chair tryring to catch a ball.

Debate --Packing & predictions

When I packed my suitcase this morning I realized that I won't have to pack it again for almost a month. WOW.

I also realized that I'll have two whole weekends off between now and KQRS nationals... yippeeeeeeeeee

I'll also be thanking my own blanket for a while -- even when we host our own tournament in a couple of weeks.

1) Rex/McWhiggins will win at least one elimination round here. Their trophy will be pathetic.

2) The extemp round I've been asked to judge will SUCK.

3) The parli rounds I judge WILL suck.... that one is easy since I haven't seen a good round in this state outside of practice since we hosted KQRS nationals last year.

Let's see how I do....

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Debate - BN state tournament, breaks...

Just as I predicted on Friday... Rex/McWiggins broke, D1/D2 didn't.

I'm pretty sad about the D1/D2 thing, and happy for Rex/McWiggins. I know that D1/D2 ARE the best team in the state. They have the KQRS points to prove it, and will do well at both nationals. They just aren't geared for this f-ing judge pool... and they didn't get lucky a couple of times in terms of judges.

I think there is a judge from MMMU that hates judging debate, sadly -- she's seen our kids, who ACTUALLY debate. She sees them every year, and I'm frankly getting sick of it. I don't know what bug crawled up her nose, but if she had an ounce of intelligence or integrity, she'd have voted for our guys... I doubt she did. Of course, there is no results wall or anything -- so I don't know for sure.

I do know Rex/McWiggins ran over a team, won the ballot on a dropped DA and got low speaks for being "rude" -- I'm still not sure what was done to offend her -- and I kind of doubt her JKL debate credibility... but, who really cares?

Our tournament will be a whole other ball of wax -- I wish some of these teams would actually come to it to see how it is REALLY done elsewhere. Of course, that would shatter their little images of themselves and make them see that they aren't all that.

I had an interesting conversation with an assistant to evil host guy. She told me she is very glad to see me here, and pretty much asked for my side of the story on why we don't come down to their tournaments. I told her that the problem was with the coaching in prep and materials in prep rules. If they weren't in place, we'd come down more often. She said she's working on it -- I pretty much told her that she should let me know when it changes, and we'll come back. I told her that I couldn't go to tournaments that were actively against what we hold to be valuable parts of debate.

Still no news as to who will host next year ---- I'm kind of tempted to say that I don't want to do it afterall. Maybe we'll bid next year-- or not. The whole banquet / judge lounge / BS just doesn't sound like my style...

Debate BN state champs, round 4

Prep time:
So -- the boys seem to be pretty confident that they won rounds... not so confident that they got the ballot.

The only good news is that we haven't had a bye... (a bye in the power-matched rounds goes to the team with the worst record).

Rex/McWhiggins pissed off a judge, accidentally -- I'm not so sure that the judge is a good NGk judge, as she couldn't tab the tournament a couple of weeks ago--- but, she gave them the low-point win --which is hard to argue with.

Herbie/The Russian seem to be having a better day, which is kind of expected. I know via back-tabbing that as of the third round they more than likely won one of the first.

D1/D2 say they are doing massive judge adaptation, but aren't so sure they're winning. Of course, there is nothing like a warm room here -- that would be too much like "ADEEC" debate, which is, I'm to assume, evil -- or something.

The resolution is "The United States should re-regulate the airline industry" -- wonder what they'll do to regulate... Miss my Mommy U (MMMU) is gov against small-private school (SPS) on the opp.

If D1 is last speaker, I'll give him a homemade award --

I decided that my project for Oregon is to learn how to spin a pen...

it seems that re-regulation = increase the list of banned items

LO -- so, if I can't fly with my scissiors, I'm going to drive to Oregon?? hmmm

MG -- mocks the DA link... people will just check the offending nail clipper, not stop driving... now turned the DA, YEA.

MO: "my argument will be a bit jumbled" -- i.e. I can't flow. now -- you are saying that gov plan = removal of ALL risk on airlines... Wow--- folks, why no T... US = Airline industry... hmmm gee -- how about being responsive to answers and turns on the DA... the suspense is whether or not the PMR catch them...

LOR -- she both mocked and turned your DA... answer the turn, then try to revive it.

PMR: pulled the turn on the DA, and mocked the DA... you win. yea -- can we go to dinner?

Debate BN state champs, round 3

I had round 2 off... coaches meeting...

The vote on our hosting was tied, resolution to come...

The resoution, round 3 THW change its policy toward the United Nations.

I have two pretty good teams in this round... a good team from Snoopy-coach's school, and another that has been kind of slimey in the past...

Case: close GITMO (difference = listen to UN on what they want re GITMO) --

LO: if you want to take out solvency, fine --- BUT, also run a DA.. .just one... and, no T?

MG: Thanks for the analysis that wins you the round... seeing that they don't have a DA, and some advantages will outweigh on a net-benefits paradigm.

MO: some responsiveness would be nice... just repeating LO arguments isn't a set of answers to MG... dork

blah blah blah blah blah blah -- I could cut and past the LO--- and save the time.... and thought... aargh...

Opp: if you want to run a masking DA, freaking RUN it.. oh, I forgot, where do you debate... hmmm BN state... I get it. Sorry, I'm a "niner" --

LOR Why do they keep saying, "I'd like to extend a blanket thank you" -- WHY are they thanking the blanket... I want my blanket... now... damm....

I think the judges here demand lots of "Thanks" because the debaters are so bad --- I have a radical idea, teach them to debate an you won't have to listen to all these thanks...

note to self: keep comments blogged separate from comments written on ballot... VERY important...

PMR: good girl, "there have been no DAs and no CP' -- you win... you did thank the blanket, and used the term "the current status quo" -- but you win anyway.

BN State tournament --- round 1

There are 4 whole rounds of debate here. Normal places do 6, big VJKR nationals does 8.

The first round res is. "TH would gamble for BNstate's future".

All BNCC's teams are gov, so they have to support gamboling -- thank goodness D1 is a former blackjack dealer, Rex is pretty good at the gamboling thing and Herbie is up on state politics. I think they'll do ok.

IF they run, "Knock down IKEA and put up a casino" -- I'll be going home alone tomorrow--- I'm kidding... kind of...

I'm watching two snotty private schools.... one of which would like to BE the other --- neither of which are good.

Before they prepped, I told them that they could prep however they wanted, speak however they want and ask as many questions as they want... that will teach this state tournament to give me ballots -- as I told them that it WAS NOT in the rules... ha

This should be fun --- or, maybe not.... we'll see. The fun thing is that I have wireless access in this building, so when the going gets rough, I can give the blow-by-blow here.

Ummmm... so far not fun...
bad plan -- disorganized -- wannabe school needed a coach in prep -- I wrote that on the ballot, which should be fun if their "coach" reads it--- as s/he is very anti-coaching in prep.

Dumb argument #1 --- "Minority students ALWAYS score lower on standardized tests" -- wow

"IDIDOTH --- punch to your face" in my head... Hashmere... where are you.....

We've been thanked enough -- trust me, I feel loved, blessed and overall appreciated... fuck you. All the time wasted on "thank yous" today could have been nap time for me... heck, I could have spent a few more minutes with B-kitty and hubby in bed...

1:30, still in thanks and previews... eek

Cripes, these kids are pretty f-ing stupid. Increase the school year by 4 weeks -- but not increase teacher salaries... and expect teachers to do prep while they students are doing the "acclimation" that is the purpose of the 4 weeks... WTF, who is doing this "acclimation" if not the teachers?

I suppose that these pointless thank-yous do give me blog time... not so bad, I suppose.

I kind of hope this team goes to BKLJ nationals (no qual for KQRS nat's..) -- and we get to hit them in pre-sets... we'd demolish them with decent judging.

oh goodie, a dumb question from the MG.

I'm amazed at how much smarter my team is than ANY of these kids... they are in selective / competitive private schools, but they can't seem to actually advocate for either side... These are schools that have rejected students at BNCC... they can't REALLY BE dumb, maybe it is their stupid coaches.

The MG dropped a budget DA --- thank God, I have someplace easy to vote...

Friday, February 17, 2006

I love my colleagues

Again... on the theme that I'll be bitching a lot sooner rather than later...

I really like the people in my department and division...

"Dog Mommy" is brilliant, funny and beginning to be a really good friend. She's also on a one-year contract and has a tenure-track job back east next year. YEA Dog mommy..

"cross the hall" is the new person in the department. He is contributing and nice. His students like him and he seems to like them as well. He has a good sense of humor and is a moderating influence on Ms. Senior colleague and I.

"Senior Colleague"came to me today to say she is kind of envious of me, as students haven't changed much since i started teaching a few years ago. She's been doing it for 20 years or so and has figured out this semester that she needs to do something different. I love her dearly -- and am glad she's started to see that she needs to change some things.

"Ms. Asian" is a bit more new than me and very smart. She brings a nice, cheerful attitude and quite an addition to the faculty.

"Dog Dad" -- not married to dog mommy.... great sense of humor, very caring and proactive. I'd love to see him get the full-time position in our department.

"Dr. I don't like debate coaches" -- is coming around, and -- funny enough -- submitted the DRK proposal with two debate coaches as the members... hmmmm.... maybe he really DOES like debate coaches.

"Other debate coach -- who doesn't coach JXRK style debate" -- fight the good fight, revolution and all that stuff... yea rebels.

My teaching circle is a great new group, enthusiastic and funny -- and brings good snacks to the meeting. Just the tonic for late Friday afternoon.

I'm worried about "hippie chick" -- she's been out on a vague "leave" -- her daughter had something serious happen, but she came back to work for a few days and then left again, possibly for the semester.

In Admiration of Pigeons

This week the goon-maintenence guy knocked over the pigeon's nest on our porch and broke their eggs, which made me sad. He threw away the nest etc... We thought it would be the end of our pigeons...

Except, they are building again.

It is -10, at least--- outside, and windy -- VERY cold... and they are starting over.

Talk about optimism.

Details... people... details

I thought the business office was supposed to be full of detailed people...

More on this later, suffice it to say that if you are told to do something by big guy, you should DO it and the PO number isn't what you should PAY.

I'm sure this will all work itself out --


So -- it isn't that bad -- only -6, high of +1 today.

Yep, my state is northern...

It is pretty impressive that it is -27 (real temp, no fake wind-chill low...) and only one school is closed up north... When it gets this cold, they sometimes close because of broken water pipes...

I'm kind of sad JKRX nationals isn't in San Diego.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Debate -- happy moments

In the end, for all the complaining I've done and am about to do ( KQRS nationals in about a month... yikes) -- I thought I should post some happy debate moments...

In no particular order

--- Rex's first 3-3 tournament -- and his first 5-1 and break... Rex has been screwed over by debate more often that I like to remember. His having moderate success makes me very happy.

--- D1/D2 in finals, twice.. the first was such a nice surprise....

--- Being close to an HGKL qualification.

---- Beating fancy private schools... many of them... even D2/Rex beat one. YEA!

--- Super Aunt meeting the boys. Pretty nice all around.

--- D1/D2 in the Pacific Ocean, both for the first time.

--- Having McWhiggins / Rex doing well enough to have another school want to tape them, thinking they are D1/D2.... booya...

---- "You F-in intervened on me", not being from one of MY debaters.

---- Hashmere.

---- Having a former KLMN champion give me compliments on our team... nice to get from someone I highly respect.

---- A practice round with the resolution, "THW spank the monkey"... laughed until I cried.

--- (deleted reference that was negative.... in that X person wasn't around).

--- D1/D2 Beating ADD/ADHD former debater's current team.

Me and RKJ

So ---

I teach philosophy and I'm now on TWO panel proposals for a huge conference outside of my discipline. To avoid getting found by the google-monster, I'll call it a variety of letters... RKJ, XYZ or whatever.


I'm not sure I want them to happen... I honestly don't think I'll do too much else at that conference besides my own panels and the debate business meeting... which, by the way, is evil because they make decisions there and 80% of the community can't attend.

The nice thing is that one of them isn't at my school -- and I can put being on both proposals on my tenure review form for this year... yippeeee -- I think.

The really odd thing is that hubby and I literally could write a debate book -- and neither of us have even ONE comm-studies graduate credit. We've just been doing it so long that we've seen it develop...

Debate -- pre-State tensions

It is pretty crappy going into state KNOWING you have the best team in the state and also being pretty sure they won't win. Of course they could, and should win -- but their mistake was not enrolling at snooty private school down south... not actual debate failures.

I also think we could have a couple of teams break -- which would make the naitonals decision a bit harder... I think later I'll be more than happy that Rex/McWhiggins did well at ND.

This time next week I'll be making nationals airline ticket purchases. After that, the stress decreases and the preparation increases. I'll also be finidng a place to stay on the Oregon coast-- I wish hubby could stay out with us... but his supervisor will be out of town, so he needs to hold class the day before nationals #2, boo.

I'm sure I'll write plenty of blow-by-blow commentary as I "flow" on my laptop.... stay tuned :)

Life other than debate...

I think I need to write a quick post about the non-debate parts of my life -- to remind myself that there IS another part of my life..

So -- a few good / happy things... not related to debate...

1) Got an e-mail from the up-and-coming just war author... the upshot is that in April he'll send me an electonic copy of his newest piece, including a but-load of sources etc... Just in time for me to read them over the summer. YEA!

2) Got a new dishwasher, after years of complianing to the apartment management. This one may actually clean the dishes.

3) Ms. Senior colleague got custom M & Ms for valentine's day that say "______ (name of colleague) is loved".

4) Mr. Junior colleague's family is out of town this week -- he brought his black lab to work with him... so sweet!

5) Signed up to do some extra work on committee stuff this summer... it could be fun, if not a way to get to know a couple of other faculty members.... and, there is pay involved.

6) Hiring -- has goods and bads--- at least there is a pretty good chance that Mr. Junior colleague could stay around. He adds a lot to the group, and would be a good support for me (yea, selfish -- but, that is ok).

Less than happy ---

1) Office is a disaster area and lots of teaching circle work to do before tomrrow.

2) Kind of high level of stress.... result is little sleep.

3) The pigeons on the deck lost their nest thanks to clumsey maintenence guy... He knocked it over and broke their eggs. That makes me sad ---

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Philosophy Factory -- hiring season

Well, the awkward season has begun... the season where next year is decided by those who have for those who don't.

I'm on the committee tasked with hiring a full-timer for our department. Currently, we have two females and one male as full-time people. As far as I know, we'll be converting a one-year position to a full-time unlimited (essentially tenure track) job. A good friend has the one-year right now, and seems to be doing a good job.

As a friend, I'd like to be able to help him as much as possible -- and, in many ways I did advocate for him last year. I managed to get him into the alternate interview spot -- which ended up working out for him, as his interview was good. This year he won't need as much help from me, as he's got CC teaching experience, is active on campus and has started a student club -- not bad for the first year -- and, sounds pretty familiar.

On the other hand, I'm also wondering if the mystery "perfect candidate" comes up, what do I do?

I had lunch today with someone that a pal calls "the king maker" -- who told me that he regrets that he doesn't have time to serve on our hiring committee. Ms. Senior Philosophy Factory worker said she doesn't think she recommened him--- and I know I didn't... hmmmm.

I also have friends who are applying for full-time positions here in other disciplines. I can safely cheer them on and wish them well -- as I don't have to pretend to be impartial. Another friend has just accepted the dream job back east -- and I wish her well. She's smart, hip and motivated. They'll love her. We were lucky to get her this year.

I kind of doubt my absentee-faculty neighbor will be back from his sabbatical full-time. The rumor mill has him back long enough not to get in trouble with the school for the sabbatical, and I'd guess he'd be out after that. I'm also worried about my hippie-pal. She's out long enough to need a substitute for her courses -- eek.

Applications are due in about a month, I'll read them before I go to nationals and I suspect the interviews will start as soon as I am back.... yikes.

Valentine's day

As of yesterday, I've known hubby for 20 years. We were 17 when we met -- and have been in one another's orbit since then. This year is V.D. #20.

Valentine's day #1:, I was at a band competition -- I wanted to send him a rose via the HS network (terrible social thing where people could pay to have the student senate deliver roses to their friends... eek) -- the problem was that I didn't know him before February 13th, and by then it was too late. I know he would have loved to get one... I wish to this day I could have sent him one --- maybe I should have been daring and send him one just because I thought he was a cutie -- which he was and is.

Valentine's day # 2-4 :we were separated -- I was dating the dumb boyfriend and he was in the service in Japan.

Valentine's day #5: we were recently back together. I remember visiting him in Denver-- and the rest isn't exactly PG :).

Valentine's day #6: we were married ---- We went to Benigan's and got a keychain with our picture in it --

Valentine's days #7-18: are kind of a blur --- they generally have involved flowers and some chocolate for me, various gifts and other things for him. One involved a trip to the hospital and I'm pretty sure that some of them have involved debate trips.

Valentine's day #19: Hubby's mom slipped and broke her leg. She stayed with us for about a week, as her house has stairs between the kitchen and the bedroom.

Valentine's day #20: not 100% PG, but by the time the Chinese takeout got here, there was nothing going on that would embarass his mom or my debaters. I got some amazing desserts take-out, and we are hanging out and watching the Olympics. When I got home today, hubby had cleaned -- and as I type, he's cleaning the kitchen as they are coming tomorrow to pull out the dishwasher, as first step in replacing the POS that is in there now. Overall, not a bad way to spend a Hallmark holiday.

General thought -- I'm a lucky woman --- I don't have to wait for Valentine's day to hear "I love you" from hubby... we say it often, and mean it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Debate --- another out of state tournament...

General thoughts....
We stayed with my fantastic Aunt in WI – it wasn’t long enough (arrived late and left by 8:00 am. She really liked meeting the guys, and it seems like she figured out the appeal of coaching for me -- her background as a CC English prof also lets her understand what is going on. If I have other nice kids next year, we’ll stay with her on the way down. I’ll make sure we leave earlier… and probably if hubby is around we’ll have a camping pad in our luggage ☺.

Not a bad tournament – it would have been nice if a swanky, conservative, religious private school had made it on time… my guess is that their conservative nature didn’t allow them to read the map correctly and see that host school is in the Eastern time zone…

Of course, we got lucky that I’m pretty anal about stuff and the lost hour was simply the difference between having lunch at the first gas-station subway we found, vs. a nice place to eat.

Rex and McWiggins got some KQRS points.. YEA! Rex uses different letters for the elite national tournament every time he talks about it, so I'll do the same...

And now I wait ---

D1 and D2 are in finals – they are opp and are planning to run strong Marxism… this should be fun. They are against a team I’ve judged and that did not impress me one bit… I know they CAN win this round, but WILL they? I’ll know in about 30 minutes.

If they win, I get a tattoo --- if not, it still looks good for the administration and they’ll have more KQRSTJP points (or, whatever Hashmere says…). I don’t suppose I can put the tattoo on the school credit card.

I’m pretty impressed with these boys -- They broke 4-2 and made it to finals, taking out the #1 seed 3-0. It is pretty much the case that they didn’t legitimately lose a round, they went down on some pretty iffy decisions…

That big trophy could look great on the big guy’s desk on Monday. YEA!

I’ll have to remember to e-mail my wonderful Aunt to tell her how her foster-debaters did this weekend… and, as Rex said, “When I wake up in Aunt’s bed – I mean, that wasn’t what I meant guys….”.

Later –
Well – they lost on a 2-1 decision. I didn’t see the round, but the RFD was kind of weak for those who were voting against D1 and D2. 1 ballot away from a tattoo…

Next week is BN State tournament. If D1/D2 win, it will be such a major act of adaptation that I’ll get the tattoo.

On the way home D1 said he was so bored that he was intentionally letting his foot fall asleep, just because the pins-and-needles feeling was amusing…

In- Round comments….. i.e what I'm thinking when they are debating.....
Resolution, something about value of privacy over national security….
I’m currently watching a novice team ---- I’m glad I didn’t put Rex/McWiggns (formerly the Rev) in novice, they’d have died in a round like this.

I kind of feel sorry for this team, they are not really ready ---- at all. The opp gave a counter-proposal in support of the Patriot Act, and their only response was “this isn’t relevant, we proposed a fact case, more true than false” == ummmm, that is their side, that the patriot act is good and it violates privacy.

Hmmmm, a T in the MO – that is a new twist (or, an old one ------).
The MO is wandering around some more on the flow – I can’t follow it, or don’t want to. It is great to have the laptop, as I can pretend to flow while playing with the computer.

Yea, rebuttals – 9 more minutes total…
Wow, the LO is pretty much flying the flag and telling me the patriot act is the reason --- an argument in favor of the US is huge…

Thought for the round….
I think that they hate our freedom, juuuuuuuuddddddddddge (inside joke… get over it).

Another round..
Wow – no wonder some policy people think Parli is stupid --- and, no wonder we have 2 3-0 teams after yesterday.

New round…
Both teams are 4-1, it is round 6 now… yea ----

How long should someone spend impacting nuke war? Hmmmmm – use is bad, millions die etc… I just heard 2 minutes on the ecological problems, wow…

Now.. the LO is trying to tell me that Iran isn’t going to develop nuclear weapons… now she is saying they should be allowed to do so – so, which is it?

If the LO is this bad, what is the MO going to look like?

Am I unlucky, or are they sexist in Tab – I’ve seen CRAP teams. I wonder if all the other teams are simply bad… although, I’m pretty much clean for the swanky private school,– who seems to be the team to beat, and I've seen a couple of teams from swanky non-conservative school --- of course, we beat one of the two last round… yea.

Now, the MG does something I hate, “Judge, you can’t vote here – JUUUUDDDDGEEEE).

Also, don’t call me “Madame adjudicator” – it is snarky.

I want a nap, now --- I’m actually typing to make sure I don’t fall asleep.

Dammm.. in elims Rex/McWiggins lost to a mean WI team – on some kinds of dubious 3JR…

I hear from a host school judge that XJRC nationals will be “less policy-like”… hmmmm, like they would know? They’ve been to two – I think…. And – like who would know more, Mr. and Mrs. CVRQ – or two judges from ND…. Turns out those judges had a pretty sad LKMN record, so maybe for them the tournament wasn’t policy-like….

Sad --- during this round I’ve had to check the ballot to see if it is novice, or not…

OH SHIT – one of these craptastic teams is going to be in semi-finals…

Beggin' for a make-up exam...

An open letter to my students....

Y'all are getting on my last nerve. I schedule exams, they are on the syllabus -- you know this and the dates are clear.

If you are sick, you have until the next class meeting to get it made-up. I'm contractually committeed to be in my office hours. There are office hours between your exam period and your next class -- if you can't make them, that isn't my fault.

I have plenty to do -- meetings, my own work and debate stuff. My schedule is very complicated and the fact that you came down with a philosophy exam the day you wre SUPPOSED to take it does not ential my rearranging my schedule to fit yours. It especially does not entail my coming in to campus EARLY tomorrow morning so you can take the exam. My days are long enough and my Monday night class ends at 9:00 PM -- if I have to be on campus by 8:00 AM the next morning so I can get something finished by my first class at 9:30, it is going to be my own fault and not because you couldn't get organized enough to make the exam time.

The following things are not my fault:
1) your "illness" -- whatever it may be ... if you were sick enough to miss an exam, you should have been in the hospital. Get someone there to verify that you were in the hospital on your exam day and we'll talk about a make-up essay exam.
2) Your first-aid certification... you CAN take the exam later, they give it every Monday at 5:00. The fact that THIS Monday you have an exam that isn't given every Monday should be a clue that one should have preference over the other. Had you asked earlier, you could have taken it with my Tuesday/Thursday class... but, you missed it. oops.
3) Whatever craptastic excuse you may have had. I don't buy them and won't... get over it.

The fact of the matter is that you won't achieve your academic goals (or, shouldn't if the system is a good one) with these kinds of work habits. They haven't taught them to you in high school, so I suppose I'm going to have to teach them to you now. God knows I don't want you to do this later, you'll give BNCC a bad name.

Go ahead, write bad stuff about me on "Rate your professors.com". We read them and find them funny... also -- I have a bunch of students who ARE my fans and will argue with you... look back at the history, there are comments refuting the comments.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Debate: Two Steps forward...

So --- I got the OK to book student flights on credit card. I have to pay for and be reimbursed for MY ticket, but theirs can go on the school card. OK compromise to keep the nit-pickers happy.

I also had a pretty calm meeting with the Student Life money people about my budget increase. I expected a lot more hassle, but it turns out that it just wasn't going to happen.

Also --- most of my team is nice and ready for the next tournament.... one has some problems, but I think it will be ok -- even if it means they have to move in with me and hubby between now and nationals. They are very welcome, we have wireless and the bed is comfortable. They can even go back and forth to school with me....

And-- I spent the monring looking at places we can rent on the Oregon coast between nationals. REALLY neat, and in our budget. Yea down season.... now I'm looking for one with the perfect combination.... wireless internet, beach view, 3-4 bedrooms, kitchen, laundry and less than $150.00/night. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Two more reasons I love D1

1) D1 turned in some extra credit today... a reflection paper on the student success day procrastination seminar. The paper wasn't fully due until the end of the semester.

2) Moral support during the demonstration debate --- it is always helpful to have someone to pass notes to.

Here's hoping Notre Dame goes well.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Debate -- records

D1 and D2 stayed home from BN in-state tourny...

Rex and the Reverend were 3-1 (probably, although there could have been a tab error..).
Computer-boy and a Bethel guy were 2-2 and the Russian and Herbie were 1-3.

I'd love to see Rex and the Rev do well at Notre Dame this weekend -- I think they have the talent to do well, and they are both motivated. I'm really happy that it looks like Rex has a decent partner for once, and one he can debate with at 4 tournaments before nationals.

Nationals should be fun -- nobody on the squad has been before. Rex and D1 were around last year when we hosted. Rex worked his ass off -- and earned a ton of respect for me, which even his consistent lateness lately has yet to really tarnish. Nobody has competed before -- and all but D1 and Rex are complete novices this year. If the Russian was a bit freaked out this weekend, wait until he's at nationals... wow....

Debate quotes-- updated

"I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard you say something dorky like that" -- turned into just "I wish I had a nickel" -- in response to whatever bizarre thing came out of the Russian's mouth.

Herbie has, what his grandmother would call a good Mongolian nose -- it seems that he has the nose of the people who are trustworthy in Mongolia... hmmmm

Computer-boy is really pretty sweet... and very nice, if a bit akward. He also has a great sense of direction.

Tonight at debate practice D2 came up with the "Black-market luge" DA...

Poor Rex, i was the only one getting a bunch of his jokes this last weekend --- the Stray Cat "look"... the K-State IE girl stuff and a bunch more just went right on by the others. Of course, I got it -- but, that often isn't enough for Rex.

Reading... for fun

I just finished James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" -- this is the book Oprah pitched such a fit about last week... it seems that Frey wasn't exactly accurate with his memories of drug rehab. It als seems as if he glossed over the time after he was in jail and called the three months he needed to get his life together after treatment, "jail".

One way or the other, it is a pretty amazing narration of the recovery of a severely addicted person. It is a story about friendship, challenges and love. Not bad -- of course, I bought the book after I found out there were "concerns" abou the truth of the book.

I'm also reading Jodi Piccoult's "Vanishing Acts". The story is about a woman whose father kidnapped her as a child. The father gets arrested for kidnapping and she goes back to meet her mother, who she thought was dead. Of course, it is more complex than this -- but in typical Piccoult fashion, i'm waiting for the other shoe to fall. Not nearly as good as "My Sister's Keeper", but few books are.

I pretty much need to read some fiction before I go to sleep. I don't absorb/remember the details of a book long-term because I read them pretty fast. It is my way to relax and end the day.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Debate --- why we leave the state to compete

on a small tournament in BN state... it isn't the state champs, but has most of the same issues -- so, we'll repeat this in a couple of weeks... aaargh....

I’m not sure I’ve seen a tournament more screwed up by tab than this one… and they don’t even know THAT they are doing it, nor why what they are doing is a problem… This isn't intentional, unless their ignorance is intentional.

1) Resolutions = terrible, round 4 was “TH values academic freedom over freedom of speech” – since when is academic freedom NOT also freedom of speech. By valuing one you MUST value the other—can we say less than no gov ground… fucking ridiculous.

Semi-s, "TH would ban game shows"… WTF

2) Judges – many rounds there are several good judges sitting in the judge lounge – you know the types – the ones who know what a topicality argument is, what the basic burdens of debate are and a few other basics. Instead, they substitute the husband of a good judge for the one GOOD judge we got – when they guy was there.

They were also worried about husband of good judge being “qualified” to judge impromptu or inform – when all you have to do is sit there and watch the speeches… not decide who did the better debating. Fuck, I really don’t like this.

3) Schedule… here is how it looks:
10:00 registration
11:00 parli 1
12:15: parli II
1:30 – 6:30 IEs…
6:45 (or, whenever) parli III (finish about 8:30)
9:00 bowling party [except for debaters who need food and sleep.. because, wait for it…

8:00 Parli IV
9:30 – 12:15 IEs
12:15: parli semi-finals..

When you read this schedule as a debater the message is clear, “debate is an EXTRA thing. If you debate, it is an event that must be done when it won’t inconvenience the IEers. As a result, my debaters sat around for many hours at a time -- so that they could debate for four hours...

4) Tab: wow… wow… it started as an 18 team tournament (only breaking to quarters when someone asked them to do it…) 5 teams didn’t show for round 1… thus 5 forfeits…

I wonder how the forfeit was tabbed…

And… the whole tournament was supposed to be pre-set (a bad thing and NOT A norm... at all...)– but then 5 teams didn’t show. The chick in charge didn’t want to re-do the round schematics… was going to allow 5 byes PER ROUND… fuck. You’d pretty much need to be 6-0 in a 4 round tournament to break… aargh… at least they re-paired the rounds.

Then – the way the tournament was paired (by hand, mind you) – in their power-match went like this… paired high/low within brackets, random bye (not, lowest team = bye… like it should). One of the two best teams in the tournament got a bye in the 4th round. They should have been debating someone who was 3-0 or 2-1…

I’m pretty pissed about this, we actually put ourselves into a 3 weekend back-to-back schedule and spent about $500.00 to come up here and do this farce.

I’m going to have to talk to BN in-state tourney director about this, and offer to tab the tournament next year… Hubby or Snoopy could have done it with their eyes closed AND could have judged… Cripes, D1/D2/Rex could tab this. It is a 4 round, 13 team tournament, not NPTE. When you have someone in the state that has tabbed nationals – actually, two of them (snoopy and hubby) – why would you do it yourself? Aargh..

As a result, I get this craptastic round to suffer, decreasing my education and confirming my view of debate in BN state. Thank GOD we are going to a realish tournament next weekend.

I have to give them some credit -- I was home at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon... and, my new debaters got their feet wet..

Debate -- update and general comments...

Written during BN state, in-state scary tournament… while I probably should have been flowing...

What I want to say, but can’t ----

Ummm – dude, you don’t have a right to the Status Quo as opp ground – stop whining about the fact that gov ran a case against using people in space…

What about a counter-plan… disband NASA… or a good old militiarism of space DA…

HMMM – asserting plan will work, interesting strategy

Here I am at the special olymics of debate – no standards or impacts on a T.

Wanky turns, but they are turns… I didn’t know that these kids could use those sorts of terms without their heads imploding.. gasp – they have “policy” vocabulary…

On TV there is “what not to wear” -- Here there is “how not to run a debate tournament”..

During an elim round
Oh my goodness... “game shows” = “torture” – K land… even for me who isn’t exactly a K fan..

Right now the LO is finished with her T argument, I don’t have to flow much.
MG, can’t answer the T.. so she tells stories of Saddam dipping kids in acid, saying that somehow that answers the connection between game show and torture.

Gov’s T response pretty much comes down to “if we are a little bit topical, we are topical” huh… either you ARE or you ARE NOT. It is a yes-no question. A little bit pregnant -- you know, it is like that..

So sad, here I am looking at my widget that is iphoto, looking at pictures of GOOD debaters. If I need to do that, something is wrong with the round I am watching.