Archive for July, 2010

The Non-Trad Showdown

Posted in Battles, camp, College, Ks on the Aff, lectures, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2010 by Scott Odekirk

Featuring ISU OD (Odekirk and Dunn), two debate coaches who learned their style at Idaho State, on the affirmative. Also featuring Fullerton NW (Nielson and Ward), two current debate coaches who developed their style while debating together at Cal State Fullerton. What happens when two non traditional K teams face eachother? This is the question asked by this showdown which has become a regular aspect of the Gonzaga Debate Institute curriculum. This showdown was moderated (quite well) by Professor Sam Mauer who is the Director at Emporia State University. Enjoy! Thanks to all the participants (many of which are authors on this site) and a special thanks to the GDI for making it all possible.

Part 1 

Part 2

Friends and Debate

Posted in Know Your History, Manifestoes, tactics with tags , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by kevin kuswa

Toni is totally on target (in addition to being awesome)!

Friendships, people!  That’s a huge (and maybe the longest lasting) part of debate and cannot be overestimated.  Sure, everyone is getting ready for workshop tournaments, the college topic is now out, and the usual preseason excitement is in the air, but competition does not and cannot occur in a void.  Fight the drones of information accumulation and depersonalized indexing with some good belly laughs, a few stories, a break or two, and maybe just some mutual eye-contact of understanding that says: “yup, we’re in the bizarre experience together and we very well might be supporting each other and traversing this planet with each other for the long haul.”

In short, don’t get caught up in the stress and pressure, though, without stopping to thank your partner, your coaches, and all the friends that make debate a part of your life and the lives of others.


You all know this—that’s why you’re on this web site and working with others to improve—and you may have even caught “the bug.”  You are reading messages about “putting the K in Debate” because you love debate (or you like it a whole heck of lot).  Part of that energy and emotion is because of the friends you make and the people you reach and, once again, that cannot be overestimated.  It matters far more than the win/loss and can often be forgotten if not nurtured and cultivated.

Think about your friends in debate for a moment and give a little thanks to those nearby…if you do that every so often, things should go well.  Appreciation is contagious.

Community of Difference

Posted in Random with tags , on July 25, 2010 by Toni N.

The debate community is a special place because it is such a wide open environment drawing together a crazy amalgam of people. As long as I have been doing this, every year I meet someone new. Every year I am surprised to find a new person enter my life who I would never have believed would be part of my life. Often debate arguments are not what links me to these people, rather the community itself provides the initial link. Some of my close friends and I have a very difficult time discussing debate arguments because our opinions are so strong and divergent. This is something I can accept. I feel one way about debate practice(d) and they feel another. Friendship doesn’t mean the brainless acceptance of another’s opinion. It often seems my debate friendships mean accepting our radical difference. We have spaces of commonality and debate argument doesn’t have to be one of them. I don’t want to debate everyone about everything; sometimes I just like being with people.

“Its Okay to Want to be Evil,” a Kritik lecture by Scott Odekirk

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by Scott Odekirk

Critical Issues in Debate: a conversation with NDT Champion Eric Lanning

Posted in Critical Issues in Debate, Podcasts with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by Scott Odekirk

Scott Odekirk and Eric Lanning, the 2010 National Debate Tournament champion, discuss debate, politics, life, language, and disability. This is an interesting discussion revealing the multifaceted nature of Eric and his vibrant care for the community. Download the podcast below for mobile devices and other media players.

critical issues in debate eric lanning

thanks to eric for a great conversation

Let Them Eat Cake

Posted in Random with tags , , , on July 17, 2010 by Toni N.

When reflecting on concept of substantive debate, I could not help consider the way a personal politics changes the substance of the debate. If you will follow me on my analogy for but a moment, I think I can make myself clear(er). A human being is like this delicious cake. People see the icing of our cake first. Some cakes don’t have any icing, but most of them do. The icing is often what attracts us to the cake. We are also often attracted to a cake by the type of cake we think we will be getting. If the icing is all terrible looking, then rarely are people excited to try the cake. If the icing is delicious, but the cake is all terrible then we are also unlikely to return for the cake. When the cake is all holey and tore up, we can try to fill in the wholes with icing, but icing isn’t cake and it doesn’t seem to have the same effect as full delicious cake.

What does cake have to do with anything?

The substance of our personhood is like the cake. It’s what makes up most of the delicious treat. The substance (your cake) is what makes you a unique special snowflake (if there is such a thing). Most of us are constantly worried about our cake. Am I a good person? Do I know enough for this debate? Am I making the right decisions in life? What should I do with my life? Am I compassionate? Am I intelligent? Can I love and am I loved? These are cake questions. No one can make you given them your cake. That’s powerful. Cake is totally up to you to distribute to the world. We only trust people with our cake when we think they will treat our cake well.

The icing is what we show people. It’s very much our outside layer. We shape and attempt to manage the appearance/image of the cake without showing our cake by covering it in icing. Some people consider icing a show, a fabrication, but icing isn’t fake. Some people think the version we show people, if it’s difference from the substance, is false. Icing comes from the same place that cake does – it’s a collection of social interactions, disciplines of our community, language, etc. Icing might be our outer most layer, but it’s not insignificant. The icing is us; it’s just the us we are willing to share with the public.

Hopefully, you are now on the same analogy page with me. Back to personal politics, when a debater offers up part of their personhood in a debate they are offering their cake. Everybody in debate shows their icing. Every time we talk, we offer the world some icing. Icing is a normal debate. The substance of a debate changes when you give out your cake. You may not really know anyone in the round so handing someone you don’t really know access to your cake is a profoundly dangerous exercise. They may not be kind to your cake and well in the end there’s nothing more core to us than our cake. Debaters have a hard time reacting to being offered cake in round because it is so rare. Judges in a round about personal politics might like your cake and might hate your cake. To be a successful debater, we must attend to both our icing and our cake. We cannot make up for a lack of substance in our person with more appearance of substance. The only way to fix a hole in your cake is to work on it. Don’t freak out though – EVERYONE HAS HOLES IN THEIR CAKE.

In this particular debate junkies opinion, attend to your cake and be careful with the cake of others. Once you harm someone’s cake, they won’t be likely to offer it again. It is a risky and dangerous move to offer others your cake so when someone does it’s not an attack on you, but rather a hope that you will appreciate the slice.

Critical Issues In Debate: 2010 College Topic Roundup!

Posted in College, Critical Issues in Debate, Podcasts, topic with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by Scott Odekirk

Host, Scott Odekirk calls 6 prominent coaches around the country about the upcoming college topic vote.

download for mobile devices here: critical issues in debate topic roundup 2010

Here is the list of topic on the ballot:

1. Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas for one or more of the following: employment-based immigrant visas, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas, family-based visas, human trafficking-based visas.

2. Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas in one or more of the following classes: H-1, H-2, employment-based immigrant E.

3. Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially increase its legal protection of unauthorized migrants in the United States in one or more of the following areas: immigration detention, removal, non-asylum legal status, eligibility for federal public benefits.

4. Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its statutory restrictions on asylum claims in the United States.

5. Resolved: the United States Federal Government should substantially reduce its restrictions in one or more of the following areas:  non-asylum lawful permanent resident status or Medicaid for unauthorized migrants in the United States, statutory eligibility for gender-based asylum claims, the number of and/or beneficiary eligibility for H-1 or H-2 visas.

Guests include:

Andrea Reed, Director of the University of Kentucky Debate Team

Gabe Murillo, Debate Coach at the University of Oklahoma

Sarah Spring, Debate Coach at the University of Iowa

Dr. Eric Morris, Director of the Missouri State Debate Team

Chris Crowe, Debate Coach at the University of Texas San Antonio

Dr. Michael Hester, Director of the University of West Georgia Debate Team