Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Not Using All Of Your Prep Time

In my entire history of debate (about 5 months), I have only once not used all of the prep time. Maybe it has something the do with the fact that I've only been debating for about 5 months and really, really need all of that prep time and more. Regardless, I have always been extremely impressed by people who can stand up from the prep table for the 2AR with more than 0 seconds left on the clock.

Now, what kind of a person would not use all available prep time, you might say? I'm glad you asked. There are several kinds of people who would do such a thing. Whether leaving prep time on the clock is bravery or stupidity, well, that is yet to be decided. But anyway:

First off, you've got the one who's probably a hero for it. I'm not sure how, but he at least seems to think he is. Picture this: a fine, young debater is preparing for the last speech of the round, sitting at the prep table/group of awkward desks, with a pen in hand that is flying across the paper. You're not sure how he has managed to not rip the paper, he's writing so fast. Probably he is filling the yellow lined parchment with so much brilliance that it wouldn't dare to tear. Suddenly, he looks up at the timer. "How much prep time is remaining?" he asks. Concern never crosses his face. "Four minutes and 50 seconds," comes the timer's reply. He abruptly stands. The chair crashes to the ground behind him. He turns to his right, or left, whichever direction is required to face the nearest window. "Please stop prep time," he calls out dramatically, still looking out the window because it is more heroic that way. Then he flips his dramatic hair and dramatically walks over to the dramatic lectern where he begins his speech. Dramatically. You can't help but be impressed by someone like that. Or extremely weirded out, but this is how I view people who don't use all of their prep time when it's actually semi-admirable. Sure, no one is a hero for not using prep time, but sometimes it kind of seems that way.

Of course, though it sounds hypocritical and/or contradictory considering the nature and/or title of this blog and/or post, it is not always a good thing to not use all of your prep time. For example, say a 2A stands up to speak with 2 minutes left on the clock. He chooses to ignore it, and probably thinks he is heroic and/or impressing at least one chick for it. Poor guy. He's gonna wish he used that prep time. Or even if he doesn't, you will. I mean, seriously? Seriously? You had 2 minutes remaining, but you only have one voting issue and dropped Topicality and the Neg's DA/Voter of "2,984,223.7 People Die?" Really? Use prep time, sir. That is all I have to say.

There is, however, one person who would actually prefer that each debater not use all of their prep time. Ok, I lied. There are four. Unless you're in LD, then there are 3. One or two are the other team. (Unless one LDer has multiple personalities and/or is an interper, in which case you may be able to count more people.) Another person is the timer. Depending on how good you are at it, calling out time signals every 30 seconds can either be terribly tiresome or terribly stressful. Either way, give the kid a break and don't use all of your prep time. The last person is, of course, the judge. Do you know how boring it is to watch a debater look over her flowpad for the 12th time just to make sure she's covered everything because she still has prep time left? Me neither. But it probably is not that fun. Help a judge out.

So there it is. Take what you will from it.

Have you ever not used all of your prep time? Why, or why not?

You're homeschooled. Three minutes remaining. Until the world explodes. Or at least the timer. Metaphorically speaking.

1 comment:

  1. p.s.
    Since writing this post, I have debated another round in which we didn't use all of the prep time. Actually, we didn't use any until the 2NR (we were neg, yes) and then I was like, oh. We haven't used any prep time. I'm gonna use 4 and half minutes because I can.

    So consider yourself up to date.