Monday, October 02, 2006

Debate Practice

Tonight we did 6 rounds... seriously... well, each speech was only 1 minute long and the rebuttals were 30 seconds with 5 minute prep... but, we did them.

Sometimes it is hard for me to help debaters develop because I didn't have a traditional debate education myself... so I don't know how others do things. The coaches I worked with generally only did practice rounds to prepare. The problem with that is that it isn't always the most efficient way to do things.

After talking with Brain, I came up with the idea of doing 'stop and go' (i.e. I stop them when they mess up...) rounds with mini-rounds instead of full rounds. This gets each student experience doing the thinking on their feet part a lot more often than normal. The shortened time shows them that they can do it...

Most of the team did very well with this, although Sunshine had some troubles. I really love her, she's a very nice person who tries really hard. The trouble with her is that she can't decide what she wants in a partner. When she was with swear jar she wanted more input and more help from him -- that he didn't realy want to give --- now she doesn't want the responsibility of being in the responsive positions, but she doesn't think she has the opportunity to frame arguments... yep, that's right. She also wants to be with a more experienced partner -- but, Swear Jar is all there is for more experienced people, and she really didn't get along with him.

I'm really having a hard time with her helplessness. She wants to be an independent thinker, but she also wants me to tell her what to say. I can't do that -- she has to do the hard work of learning how to formulate the arguments --- because I can't tell her all the things she needs to know in every round. I can come close and guess at the topics, but I'm not at all perfect in that regard.

It was also pretty funny tonight when I asked Swear Jar where he thought our case structure came from. He gives so much credibility to stuff he learned at camp, he doesn't realize that hubby and I developed a lot of the stuff he uses... he thinks we got it from someplace else.

No comments: