Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Debating Against Your Friends

I like my friends. Obviously. That's why I'm friends with them.
Also I like debate. Put the two together and it's like, whoah! awesome! Debating with friends is fun. Last  Monday, I, in an extreme lapse of sanity, agreed to debate my good friend in LD despite the fact that I had never before done LD. But you know what? It was fun. I'm glad I did it. Everything's more fun with friends.

Recently I found my first flowpad from back in the ancient days when I had only been doing TP for like a week. It's amazing comparing it to the flowpad I use now. So much has changed since then. The pens I used then are out of ink (though I still keep forgetting the green one is), I can actually do a 1AR that's five minutes, I know the meaning of fancy terms like "affirmative," "harms," "timer" and "running permutation on non-mutually exclusive counter-plans." But you know what hasn't changed in the numerous months since my uber-novice days? On both my first flowpad and the one I'm using now, admittedly my... second, one consistent theme is that I often debate my friends.

Sometimes they kill me. I mean, not literally, and they're nice about it and all, but I'm pretty dead by the end of it. I guess that's what happens when you have 3 teams in your club who are some of the top teams in the nation and your coach makes you debate two of them the summer before you officially even start in Policy and then the other team very shortly after because you'll apparently learn something. We had fun, but man. I had no idea what the heck was going on. Cross-Ex was a nightmare. But then my friends would always hug me afterwards and sometimes tell me all about the flaws in their arguments so I could attempt to, I don't know, metaphorically poke them next time while they ruthlessly claw at my responses and then unrepentantly destroy them until they no one even remembers they exist. And then hug me.

The great thing about debating friends, though, is that they're fun about it afterwards. Sometimes you debate acquaintances, and you're not sure how you're supposed to feel about them afterwards, so you're nice, of course, but it can get a bit awkward. Sometimes you debate people you've never met or even seen before, and you're not sure if you're all of a sudden supposed to be friends or if you should keep pretending like you've never met, because, if you want to get super technical, you probably haven't. But when you're with friends, even if you don't like them very much during the course of the round, you know you can act like everything's great afterwards.

I love debating friends who, immediately after the round, pretend like it didn't happen. Let's pretend we weren't just arguing. Let's pretend I wasn't attempting to rip your arguments to shreds or attack your credibility with various evidence indicts. Let's pretend I didn't take a careful flow of the 1AC so I can tell everyone in my club about it later. Let's just be friends again. That would be awesome.

So you are. And you laugh and joke and at the next tournament, someone will say, "That was such a fun round, but I still don't know how we won."
"Wait, seriously? You guys so deserved that!"
"No way! You two are great! And-"

And life goes on.

You're homeschooled. No dispute there.

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