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RoboSmarts

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Jeff that was amazing. It's really unfortunate that you're stuck banging your head up against a wall in this forum. It would be nice if people would listen to reason, but hell that's what policy debate is for, unless you have a judge from this state who's never left the state. It's really terrible to think of solutions to this dilemma, then watch as people simply don't want to change. This area is like a bureaucracy and I'm coming to understand this more and more just within a year. I go to PHSSL district qualifiers and get told I can't have a tie in speaker points. I try to explain to these people that points have meaning and I can't just arbitrarily shift my point assignments and they tell me that i can't have a tie. I tell them that it will make the results of the tournament meaningless, because speaker points will decide the tournament. They tell me that I can't have a tie. I proceded to bang my head against a wall because it felt better than figuratively running into a brick wall. If anyone can figure a way out to overcome this bureaucratic resistance that this place has somehow developed I'll give them a cookie or something. It's terrible that this serious dilemma has been reduced to a joke, but that's my coping mechanism, or i'd have been driven away within a month.

 

Thanks to Jeff for that incredible analysis and I speak for myself as always in saying that I will definitely miss having you as a voice for those of us who think debate is an activity that's about (think about it) debate and not rules and arbitrary structures. I'll also miss having you around at tournaments but that's secondary. First you're a tool of my will. Muahaha. I'm kidding I have no power.

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Jeff that was amazing. If anyone can figure a way out to overcome this bureaucratic resistance that this place has somehow developed I'll give them a cookie or something.

I advocate policy debate seceding from PHSSL and forming their own state championship and/or organization.

 

Perhaps we should bring LD with us.

 

Leave PFD to the bureaucrats.

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I go to PHSSL district qualifiers and get told I can't have a tie in speaker points. .

 

funny....here is what you do.....write a letter to the PHSSL exec board asking for clarification now, and then present that letter to them next year....

 

here is what they will say.....ties in points are allowed, traditionally that means the negative wins because off presumption yada yada....

 

you may also want to mention the breaking of the neg block.....I do believe it is your district that won't let the neg break it up.......IE anything not in the 2NC and then again in the 1NR is considered dropped (I'm not joking for anyone else who reads this)

 

Welcome to Pennsylvania.......I am in my tenth year coaching.....imagine my frustration level.....

 

Shawn

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JI go to PHSSL district qualifiers and get told I can't have a tie in speaker points.
See District 12 Novice

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you may also want to mention the breaking of the neg block.....I do believe it is your district that won't let the neg break it up.......IE anything not in the 2NC and then again in the 1NR is considered dropped (I'm not joking for anyone else who reads this)

 

Welcome to Pennsylvania.......I am in my tenth year coaching.....imagine my frustration level.....

 

Shawn

hahahahahahaha

 

holy crap... I'm sorry

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See District 12 Novice

 

umm......huh?......you're off topic Brett....that was an unbreakable tie in the results that required a debate off. Mangles is talking about ties on one individual ballot.....

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Yes it is my backwards district that thinks that it's apparently better for debate if the 1NR gets up and repeats the verbatim speech from the 2nc then to have the 1nr cover issues that maybe haven't been answered yet. I try to micropolitically resist this by giving oral critiques at the end of a round, but i think this is a place where we need significant macropolitical resistance and shifts in practice.

 

The thing about the ties came from state representatives (the dude from Danville) and a few women who I've never seen before.

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here is what they will say.....ties in points are allowed, traditionally that means the negative wins because off presumption yada yada....

I've actually competed in a backwards college tournament where one of my teammates didn't break because her ballot was ADMINISTRATIVELY changed in the tab room.

 

She was AFF and was awarded the win. The speaks were tied. The tab staff crossed off "AFF" and put "NEG" while noting "NEG MUST WIN TIES."

 

This (temporarily) prevented her from qualifying to nationals.

 

It was highly ironic considering low point wins were allowed (and several of them took place at that tournament and weren't changed, including an AFF low point win).

 

This is the same tournament that broke to quarters and put the 2 seed against the 3 seed because "it's not fair for the same school to hit itself in the quarterfinals." The round was then judged by a first-year judge who competed (badly) exclusively in speech events at the host school, and had slept with one of the competitors. The good policy judges weren't used and then most of them weren't able to be used in later rounds.

 

EDIT: Oh, and they assigned sides in quarters even when the competitors hadn't hit in prelims.

 

Yes, this took place in Pennsylvania. And not too far from Selinsgrove. How ironic. :)

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I'll reserve what blame I place on "national circuit" debate for the problems in less developed areas like PA for another time. Forensics (not just CX) in Pennsylvania suffers from three broad problems:

1. Coaches who think it is about their glory and popularity, rather than about a valuable experience (directly educational or not) for the students, which breeds infighting and unconstructive complaining about the way things are done and hordes of poorly run tournaments;

2. The mentality that the only judging qualification for any event is a warm body, which discourages students from trying to or even being able to improve when they get shitty or obviously incompetent ballots (like from me in OI);

3. Coaches (and sometimes not the coaches, but their school districts) who fail to understand that competing against more people from different areas is not only half the fun of the activity, but is constructive no matter what event we are speaking of. >>

 

THis is good analysis, but there are a few more barriers (And this is based on my time in PA):

 

1) There is a rigidity and fear of the new in Pennsylvania, unlike in other states I have lived in. District 5 of PHSSL, and the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has had the same Diocesean (sic) moderator for..well...since 1984 or before, someone once told me since the early '70's, Scranton has had the same one since the early '90's - thus, youth gets discouraged from purusing leadership positions and things remain as they have, as they always have. The key to change is getting young voices into leadership roles, but that doesn't seem to be the trend in Pennsylvania.

 

2) As far as travel - I think there are, as some of you have pointed out, substantial cost barriers to travel out of PA, but also - and this is ancedotal - there seems to be a real mental barrier towards travel in general. I know people in Johnstown who have NEVER been out of the valley, never even cared about what was on the other side of the hill, who have been to Pittsburgh once in their lives - we used to have a grim joke, something like "War is good, it's the only way your average Jtowner is ever going to see more of the world than the town's West End." Sociologists have explained this as people who live in valleys seldom desire to leave the valley. PA has a lot of Valleys.

 

I don't know - it's sad to see such a dedicated coach leaving because of the rigidity of the system.

 

Duane

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I too am leaving debate in the area. I will probably be around, but I will not be coaching at Jenkintown next year. I hope they will be able to continue with having a team, but I am not sure if that will happen.

 

K. Hanson

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Thanks Duane. I am actually staying in this area for a while, but am also considering a move to the "Burgh". If I didn't work 50 hours a week on top of coaching debate I may have the energy to put up with all the crap in PA debate, but unfortunately I do not.

 

K. Hanson

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I hear you. LOL. There will be a head coaching opening, most likely, this Spring, that I know of. The school will be looking for someone who can take a program that is both local and national in scope and run with it. Duane

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jeff, moving on to Grad school. Where to?

Nope, to the working world. Occupation TBA (cue Ben or Shawn with a McDonald's joke).

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you could just serve me beer at my favorite local watering hole... ooh ooh. or run quizzo. you'd be better than the stupid girl.... although i think the lisp guy has you beat.

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you could just serve me beer at my favorite local watering hole... ooh ooh. or run quizzo. you'd be better than the stupid girl.... although i think the lisp guy has you beat.

 

 

Not to kill the mood, but the head coach of the Hun School of Princeton just passed away. For those Philly people, he was a Holy Ghost Prep alum who frequently judges for them, as well as writing the PCFL extemp topics.

 

He was a nice guy, and died WAY too young.

 

Shawn

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Nope, to the working world. Occupation TBA (cue Ben or Shawn with a McDonald's joke).

 

It may not be DC, but the last time I was in Alexandria I noticed that the Taco Bell in the Landmark Mall was hiring. The mall is dead 24/7 so it should be a pretty laid back job. Don't get your hopes up for starting on a register though.

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I too am leaving debate in the area. I will probably be around, but I will not be coaching at Jenkintown next year. I hope they will be able to continue with having a team, but I am not sure if that will happen.

 

K. Hanson

 

 

wow, truly depressing as usual. I deeply regret in every possible way both of you leaving, that's two GIGANTIC steps back...

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terrible to hear about rob. he was a nice guy. shawn, any details?

 

kenny, sorry to see you go, alas, sadly, it was inevitable.

 

jeff, you already know my sadness to see you leave but there shall be many beers drank between now and then with which to drown sorrows.

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I hope to be around to do some judging and coaching. I will probably focus more on college debate next year, but if you every need a judge please feel free to contact me.

 

K. Hanson

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Wow...they are losing you too, Ken, bad things...Anyway, there will most likely be an announcement of interest coming out of Virginia in the coming weeks about a position opening - just something I'm hearing on the grapevine.

 

Duane

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