I thought the title was innovative, and being a curmudgeon (or so I’m told) this could be a new 3nr series that I might get too busy to continue but hey who knows.
Bill: I didn’t mean to be a (hill)TOPPER and post this during your tournament.
I promise you’re more likely to laugh below
I feel like I’ve talked about this growing epidemic in our community with some of you all; its rapid proliferation across the community makes swine flu outbreaks seem like a walk in the park. It is a silent killer of time at debate tournaments and if unchecked could cause who knows what. The issue I am writing to you about is the hand or (mis)-handling of evidence in between speeches.
Here’s how this crisis plays out in debates across the country (probably in a debate going on RIGHT NOW). Timer goes off speech of team “AB” ends. Y of team “XY” announces, “Before prep I need all the evidence that you read and I need all of my evidence back.” 2-3 mins of dead time elapses as these kids who appear to have just emerged from an F4 tornado look for the scattered sheets of white paper often finding flows, timers, and lost treasures prior to finding the horrible Uniqueness evidence on Health Care that the team actually wants . Nevermind that team XY had a total of 90 seconds of prep left for their 2nr, but this 2nr is content on looking at EVERY piece of evidence rather then use that time more constructively. In honor of National Pirate Day (yes that is for real and it is today) ARRRRGGGGGGGh.
This happens in every single debate seemingly after every speech. And maybe its because at debate camp I noticed this , it has become like that stain on a shirt that once you notice you can’t stop staring at but debate after debate this drives me crazy and is raising my blood pressure just thinking about it.
I feel like this wasn’t an issue when old timers like myself, scott and bill debated so this is obviously a more recent development. I’m not sure there are perfect solutions to the problem but here are some tips to saving easily 10 mins per debate.
1.) Take only the evidence you actually need- for some reason debaters now interpret “can you flip to the right” to mean we need to take every single piece of evidence that clown read for 8 mins and hold onto it. The flip and gathering evidence was designed to make it easier for you to get access to the cards you needed specifically, if you take every single card that they flip to you you’ve kind of defeated the purpose of gathering evidence. Also considering the amount of evidence comparison I see in most debates, I’m frankly confused what you’re doing with their evidence. Hoping if you have a nose bleed you can use their evidence and not yours? Take the cards that you need and leave the rest.
2.) After you are finished with a speech don’t sit back down, pick your nose and ask your partner “how awesome was that speech huhh.” Stay up there, gather the evidence from 1nc,2ac, 2nc, 1nr whatever, organize it, cross hatch it, separate it by issues. If you are a 1n, you should do this for your whole 1nr so if the 2nr goes for what you took you can have it cross hatched and ready for them to prep/ reference in the 2nr. It also helps solve the next issue…
3.) Manage your debate real estate (DRE) Your areas are beyond messy. I’ m not sure who taught this to you all but much like not flowing this is a fad that will hopefully be out of style soon. Your desk areas look horrible, you don’t know where your evidence or their evidence is, you have no semblance of organization. I frankly don’t care if you choose not to keep your stuff organized at all but when you tell me we need to use the judge prep or take an officials’ time out to find the evidence then that is where you’ve got it wrong bucko. Judges have served as enablers for this little addiction you have and much like crack, this is wack. Keep your area neat and you’ll know where your business is.
I am considering instituting various measures to solve this crisis because in reality it garners both / at least one side some unfair free prep time. So maybe timing the amount of dead time and then dividing that number by 2 and taking it off both teams prep time OR if one team seems to be at fault charging them with the whole amount of time OR maybe even having it effect speaker points, after all this is another way you all as debaters conduct yourselves. If you are intentionally stealing prep or too lazy to clean your area, give back evidence etc that reflects on you as a debater.