Monday, March 19, 2007

a small bit of debate justice...

Every year the big national tournament has a novice speaker award.

The award is nice, because it recognizes people who are in their first year EVER of debate -- by their definition of "novice" they ask if the person did ANY high school debate... or maybe it was more than one semester or something.. but, by "novice" they don't mean 'had lots of high school debate experience, won awards and other stuff and then did their first year of college'.

D1's partner last year, D2, was a real novice. So novice that he was actually IN high school last year (oh no, we can't tease him about that anymore... he graduated...darn :) ). Late the last day of competition, Dr. Snoopy-Dance (a good friend who needs a nickname) came to me to ask about D2's high school speech or debate experience. I told him D2 had none, and he was happy to hear it.

Dr. Snoopy-Dance is in charge of the novice speaker awards. Dr. Snoopy-Dance is also very precise and fair -- he asks the same question in the same way of everybody. It turns out that several coaches were either intentionally ignorant or just plain liars -- because last summer someone figured out that a bunch of the "novices" that year had high school experience.... including the one who beat out D2 for a big, fat (ugly) trophy.

Of course, I went to Dr. Snoopy-Dance immediately, he started an investigation -- along with Herr Tall (another pal who needed a name). They gathered evidence and submitted it to the board, and then I heard nothing.

I found out yesterday that they are going to correct the error -- and that D2 will get a new award... as will all the others who got the wrong ones. I was happy. I really wanted that to work out in D2's favor... because he worked really hard to keep up with D1, and he'd earned the award.

So, yea for Herr Tall and Dr. Snoopy-Dance.

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