Now, before you think I'm a horrible hypocrite for starting a blog about kids who do speech and debate when I didn't do debate... umm... please don't think that. But I do debate now, so there. Anyway, this is an abbreviated compilation of the biglong lists I've made about things I find funny/amusing, ect. about debate. Confessions, sure, and just general observations made from the other side of the table. I wrote this during what you might call "Russia year" or "Government Legitimacy year," though only the Russian aspect is here mentioned.
Confessions of a Non-Debater
For those of you who debate and love it, I have some confessions to make:
1. Inherency, solvency, topicality... I didn't really know what any of these meant until I saw a TP round... I kinda still don't.
2. I've spent a decent amount of time wondering what the C and R of terms like "1AC" and "2NR" mean.
3. One time I thought Jackson-Vanick was a debate team.
4. I have no idea how to spell "Jackson-Vanick."
5. "Cross-Examination" sounds like a surgical term.
6. "Cross-Ex," however, is fun to say. Cross-Ex, Cross-Ex, Cross-Ex.
7. I like when people say things twice in a debate round so they really make sure you get it.
8. I like when people say things twice in a debate round so they really make sure you get it.
9. I like when people refer to someone as their "opponent" 'cause somehow it always makes me feel like they're fighting a dragon or something.
10. I like when people start Cross-Ex by acting all sweet and like they actually care about their opponent and then ask 17 questions showing that the opposing team's argument is stupid.
11. I like when people end Cross-Ex by saying "No further questions" when clearly the only reason they're stopping is so that the timer doesn't have a heart-attack.
12. One of the most appealing things to me about debate is that you can urge an affirmative ballot without saying "VOTE FOR ME!!!"
13. Sometimes I wonder if someone from aff or neg has ever accidentally encouraged a ballot for the other team. (btw they have.)
14. Sometimes I wonder what the teams who aren't assigned aff or neg do if no one in the room has a coin.
15. "Aff" and "Neg" are weird words.
16. I like when someone makes an analogy saying that something about his argument is like the legs of this table or is like how he would need a spoon to eat ice cream or risk looking silly.
17. One time, someone mentioned a "squirrel-y case" or something, and then I thought of Dug from Up, and this amused me to no end.
18. TP sounds like toilet paper.
19. LD has almost nothing to do with either Lincoln or Douglas, apparently.
20. I have a tendency to view anyone debating a Veritas team as bad or evil or flat-out wro- SQUIRREL!!
21. I like when debaters have to flip a coin but first someone has to call it and everyone looks at each other like "uh... I guess you can call it... I guess."
22. It's funny when the debaters go to introduce themselves to the judges and they're all talking over each other so the judge can maybe catch that I'm Chandler Lasch and I'll be your first negative speaker but probably not because the aff dudes are still introducing themselves and they talk really loud.
23. I like when the timer has to hold her arm up for like 45 seconds because the kid giving the speech is reading straight from a paper so he's not looking at the timer at all and whenever he does actually see the number she's holding up it's not even all that relevant anymore and her arm is probably really tired but in 15 seconds, back up it will go.
24. Are the debaters not allowed to look at each other in Cross-Ex? This has been driving me crazy. But it's kind of funny because it looks like they're either doing a duo or mad at each other.
25. I like that the judges can voice preferences that they would like to see in the round. We don't do that in speech:
"As your judge today, I'd like to see a funny interp in which all of the characters come out alive."
"This is a DI room, sir. The D stands for Depressing. And Death."
26. Is there a logic to the various colors of sticky notes you guys sometimes put all over your evidence? I kind of think you debaters just like the pretty colors. I like the skinny little pink ones, personally.
27. I fully intend to single-handedly win Team Policy. At first I couldn't figure out how I could do this, but then I did. I can't tell you. Unless you ask.
28. Do you write your name on the board in case you forget it? I should start doing that.
29. You drop arguments. You hit other teams. You run cases. You tag responses. Debate sounds like a somewhat violent sport.
30. I wish your evidence was like fingerprints or hair samples or something awesome and detective-y and not boring pieces of paper.
31. When someone is speaking, I frequently watch the other team. I like when they zone out or whisper to each other. The best is the appalled looks they get on their faces when the debater who is speaking mentions an argument they dropped or something. Sometimes they throw their hands in the air. Other times it's a more subtle head-shake. Sneaky, sneaky.
32. Will the world explode if you go too far over time? Let's find out.
33. I often wonder what the partner who is not speaking is thinking. Especially if he's zoning out or if he's staring like, "What the heck are you doing?"
34. Sometimes you guys are talking at a regular pace, then you start to read something and it suddenly feels like I pressed Fast-Forward. It's actually really funny and I don't know why I'm the only one who has to contain laughter.
35. Don't you love the explosion of beeping emitted from the timer between speeches? I know I do.
36. Sometimes I feel like the timer gets nervous during prep time. He shakily calls out, "Two minutes, thirty seconds used..." By this point, he and I are both scared that they'll run out of time.
37. So you sometimes say that you are now open for Cross Examination. Is it ok to say that you're closed once the time is up?
38. I like when debaters use harms or disadvantages like "death." Yea, that sounds like a pretty big harm.
39. I love when the timer holds up one finger and the debater starts on fast-forward mode, but the ten-second count-down panic mode is even funnier.
40. Are you familiar without the "debater sway?" That's what I call that odd habit you all have of rocking back and forth while you speak. And by "you all" I mean about 90% of the debaters I've watched.
41. Oh my gosh, what if one of your colored pens ran out of ink and you had to flow the entire round in ONE PEN AND ONE COLOR. Would that be horrendous?
42. I never flow rounds. I hope it makes me look really smart like I can keep it all in my head and not like I don't know how to flow.
43. I love when people use the phrases "just in case" or "in this case" when referring to debate. Never fails to amuse me.
44. I like that you guys ask the judges for "anything that [they] would like to see or not see in this round." If I was a timer, I would offer my input as well:
"Well, I've been timing for three years now, and I would like to see you actually paying attention and acknowledging my hand signals and please don't go over time. Also, I prefer to alert you at 31.5 second intervals in prep time rather than 30 seconds."
45. ...I think I might enjoy debate.
I hope you're half as amused as I am, if not more. :)