(I can so relate, and I'm sure you can too. Enjoy the latest guest post from Katarina! Want to write a guest post? Click here.)
We all know we love speech tournaments, speech tournaments mean ballots
and ballots mean killing the battery in the car on the way home reading them, which
mean exclamations of “So and So judged me!” followed quickly by, “OOhh, what did
Now, for any of who do not debate, a debate ballot looks like this:
No pluses, checks or minuses here! Just good ol’ hard numbers to tell you
what you did well and what you need to (REALLY) work on. Trust me, it used to
look more intimidating than this. I was told back in the stone age it was a scale of
eight dots. Who uses dots nowadays? Ahem…I digress, under the Affirmative and
Negative bar will be an empty space (cue spacey music) to fill out an RFD which you
I.E people are already familiar with. The focus here is the judge!
We all know there are several types of judges.
Debate Moms- You try to smile while you kill your opponent in front of them.
They want you to be nice and usually write very constructive comments.
Debate Dads- Prefer a little more aggression. They want to know why
military occupation of Slovenia matters or why they should worry about angry birds
harvesting their data, IMPACT people IMPACT!
Alumni- these unique individuals toe the line between college debate
superiority and aching nostalgia. Expect to see constructive feedback, lectures or
simple one sentence RFDs for technical reasons on your ballot.
Community Judges- These wonderful people are thrown into our world,
where we try to teach and crush our opponent at the same time. Expect comments
lauding homeschool awesomeness or votes toward clarity people clarity!
But, really, we all love the judge who is rumored to be retired district
attorney for that debate club that wins everything. Or that-dad-who-writes-the-
most-epic-ballots! Or that-mom-of –of-the-best-debater-in-the-league. You can
arrive in a room checking out your opponent and then….you see him (or her) and
say “YESSS! So-and-so is my judge! (in your head of course). This is gonna be a great
round! You know they will write constructive comments, make you a better debater,
and plus, you can learn from what they wrote to your opponent. You do not even
have to worry about the round, you are simply embodied by the promise of a good
ballot on the way. Ballots like those are so helpful, you frame them, say thank you as
you read them, and say proudly to your parent or coach “So-and- so said this about
my 1AR, or he/she really liked it when I brought up F-16 Fighter Jets.” Comments
like these are the best, they tell you what you can work on, nothing like an unhelpful
ballot (cue sad doggy).
Yes, we love getting the judge we want because it means “EPIC BALLOT ON
THE WAY!” So go ahead and kill the car battery for those (or not).
You’re homeschooled, you got the judge you wanted…kachow.