Some thoughts from this weekend:
1) The tournament really benefited from the great Midwestern schools that swelled the ranks. Some great debaters to watch, and got to hang a bit with Glenn Prince again.
2) The cultural gulf between L/D in the Midwest and L/D in California is fairly wide. Some evidence: One California judge reported to me that he was called out in a loud manner in front of students by a non-California judge who said, “How dare you tell us what ‘conversational’ means!” after the California judge voted on a speed position. What’s sad about this horrible argument is that not only is the judge a, you know, judge, so he’s kinda supposed to have an opinion on who won the arguments about the meanings of words, but the argument is of course self defeating. He was trying to argue that “conversational” can’t have an objective meaning, but that his interpretation was more correct. Critical thinking fail.
The good Midwestern debaters adapted, the poor ones didn’t adapt and got frustrated. My advice to several was to “at least have the ability” to read your case with more dynamic vocal patterns if you want to do well at Pt. Loma.
3) This is an oversimplification, but may be clarifying for some. Midwestern debate teams see L/D as an alternative to IEs, since it normally runs along side them at their tournaments. This means that L/D should not be like impromptu and extemp, and should include more speed and more arguments. California debate teams see L/D as an alternative to Parli and CEDA, and so as Parli (especially in Open) gets faster and more nonsensical in California, the L/D teams I see tend to get more persuasive and logical in their speed.
4) Tough weekend. One of my debaters and at least one other young lady I spoke to were 3-1 and didn’t break. The CBU affirmative went 9-1, which shows the earliness of the season. My guess is that affirmatives based on some sort of economic sanction will get less popular as the year goes on.
5) Friday will be epic, because most of the local schools got copies of each other’s affs and will be poking massive holes in them.
6) W. Kentucky was doing something so obvious, I can’t believe more debaters aren’t doing this. Instead of writing down cites furiously, they were taking pictures of evidence with smartphones. CA debaters were so thrown off by this, at least two claimed this was “cheating”, which of course it is not. Anything presented in a round is the intellectual property of your opponent, regardless of method. Great idea, wish I had thought of it.
7) Public congrats to Matt “DeathHawk” Phillips of CBU who won the tournament (Novice L/D at least) at his first ever forensics competition. Welcome to Junior, sir.