Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When You Don't Have To Pay Attention In Debate Rounds Anymore

There are multiple reasons why I am the 1A in my debate partnership. One of them is that delivering the 1AC is basically like delivering a platform speech that isn't memorized. No thinking is required at the podium, and I like it that way. What can I say, I'm an interper.
Another really great reason is that the 1A is the first one done. Once I give my 1AR, I am free to pass out the prep table. I don't literally pass out, but I could if I wanted to and it really wouldn't matter except that I am trying to uphold an illusion of professionalism. Which is why, in addition to not passing out, I make it a point to flow the two remaining speeches. The good news is, however, I don't have to. If I miss an entire argument, who cares? That's my partner's job, not mine.

There inevitably comes a point in every debate round where everyone except the 2AR is done. There are a number of ways you can fill your time:

1. Doodle
You, sir, are sitting at a table with access to multiple variously colored pens and 5,000 pieces of paper. You've got anywhere from 5-15 minutes to burn, and that does not include prep time. Time to get your doodle on. 
2. Come up with blog post ideas
Maybe I'm the only one that does this, but I came up with this post and two others during a 1NR recently. There's more where those came from, people. I hope.
3. Play Bingo
My friend Erin sent this page to me, and it is legitimately amazing. Seriously. It's called 2AR Bingo, and it's an excellent way to pass the time once the round is coming to a close.
4. Tell your partner what to say
There is a 50% chance that you will finish your role in a round before your partner does. There is a .095% chance that you will still feel like debating at that point. If you do, feel free to furiously write down responses on sticky notes and shove them onto your partner's flowpad. He will love that. My partner sure does. Actually, wait, no he doesn't. He threatens to run horrible Counter-Plans instead of what I tell him. It's not good. Maybe you shouldn't tell your partner what to say after all, though perhaps helpful "suggestions" may be warranted.

5. Take a nap
The key is to not get caught. I have not yet determined how this can be accomplished.

I generally spend more time thinking about what I'm going to do when I'm supposed to be debating rather than when I'm not, but hey, that time is important too.

You're homeschooled. Relax.


  1. This is so true and so funny. The ONE downside to LD is that you don't get the 20 minutes of downtime at the end of the round. I've found that flowing the remaining speeches and then drawing skulls and crossbones over they arguments your opponents make that you don't appreciate is a good way to pass the time. So is writing Coldplay and Owl city lyrics.

    But I think the bingo cards are the coolest thing I've seen all week. I'm going to have to write a version that somehow works for LD.

  2. My partner and I last year would fill our flows with "responses" to the last speakers speech that generally were some form of Katy Perry lyric. ["You want think nuclear war is an issue? No worries! cause baby you're a firework! You can totally take the nuclear war!"] so much fun. xD