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willowisp013

Gonzaga Scholars lab Review

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I've heard great things about the GDI scholars lab, but i would like to hear from someone who isn't employed by GDI. If anyone has gone to GDI Scholars and has the time to write a review, i'd really appreciate it if you could...

 

I'd especially appreciate a comparison to the GDI regular 4 week program, if at all possible, and a description of how the lifestyle is in the world of the Scholars program.

 

Could you also describe the kind of people that get into the scholars lab? i want to know if its even worth my time to apply...

 

 

Please and thank you!

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My room mate was a scholars kid. he had a lot of fun, but i almost never saw him. they have less lunch and break time than normal campers. i thought i was swamped the work from my lab, but scholars was way overboard. the gdi is legit though.

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Hi,

 

I'd first like to start off saying that regardless of what lab you are put into at the GDI you will get far more than what you paid for. The GDI experience is amazing. Coming from a small school, I can definitely sympathize with your skepticism about applying. Let me tell you how things went for me and if you have ANY questions, feel free to pm me and you can really ask me anything about this institution.

 

The summer after my sophomore year I applied to the GDI 4 week varsity program. There I was under the instruction of Malcolm Gordon, Conor Cleary, and Mike Hester (if you don't know who these guys are, google their names with debate and you will see their endless accolades). Prior to this I had 1 YEAR OF IN-TOWN EXPERIENCE. What that means was I was horrible. I knew absolutely nothing about policy. So everything that I applied my junior year came STRAIGHT from that lab.

 

The next summer, I applied to GDI Scholars and got accepted. The positive thing about Gonzaga's application compared to others is that it does not revolve around your record. Their holistic application process (letter to the staff, record, essay about your favorite arg, etc.) gives you a chance to showcase your various abilities such that they can grasp a better understanding of your character and determination rather than just your performance. This selection criteria gives students from small schools THE BEST CHANCES at getting into a competitive lab because it allots extra-space to extrapolate on extraneous circumstances.

 

Overall, I will list a couple positive things about the GDI in general:

 

1. VERY CHEAP

-This is really obvious, ask anyone. Go compare the GDI with prices from other institutions of the same caliber and you won't even come close to beating it.

 

2. GREAT LAB LEADERS

-You will have lab leaders that you have heard crazy stories about, watched on the internet, and are basically revered by the HS and college community. You will get to work with the best and the brightest, that is a consistent them of the GDI.

 

3. LOTS OF PRACTICE DEBATES/GOOD EVIDENCE PRODUCTION

-If you were to debate the whole year off the GDI ev alone I think you'd actually end up with a winning record (not that I would EVER suggest this, lol). The point is GDI puts out a crazy amount of evidence that is both thorough and expansive. You will get all the major disads, Ks, CPs, case negs, and generic args that you will need.

4. GREAT ATMOSPHERE

-If there was one thing I noticed was that at times, I learned more out of lab than in-lab. The GDI is filled with students passionate about the activity. The best part is that everyone wants to help. Whether you're just taking a shower or eating at the cafeteria, people will often be discussing some facet of policy debate. It gives you a great opportunity to join in, ask questions, and expand your horizons somewhat. Also, for non-scholars, GDI hosts an array of entertainment options. You can play ultimate frisby, stake out a patch on their amazing grass field, go downtown, or really do whatever.

 

Now, the benefits of scholars specifically:

 

1. Three names: Jason Russel, Sarah Holbrook, and Jeff Buntion (also Burshteyn my year, but this fourth position alternates)

-Ask anyone in the country and these three are amazing. Jason is quite possibly the toughest yet most instructive coach I have ever encountered. He was able to break debate down from this esoteric activity to a simple series of arguments. He makes you feel like everything is beatable and you really want to win debates for him. Sarah Holbrook has a mind for kritikal arguments like no other. There is a reason she successfully coached the WGLF. Also, she was always nice to turn to when Jason Russel went crazy. Lastly, Jeff Buntin= card cutting machine. This guy could find a card on absolutely anything. Enough said.

 

To speak of these leaders comprehensively it's very simple. They make sure that you are there to debate, and SOLELY debate. Often times at camp you will find it is very easy to get distracted. These lab leaders make sure that during lab you are cutting cards, asking questions, and being efficient. Outside of lab they are doing the same. The scholars put out 1000 pages of evidence in the first 2 days. There was a time when the lab leaders came to our dorms at night and told us that we were cutting cards or going to bed; not goofing off. They really push you to work.

 

2. I have never learned more in my life

I came into scholars with zero out-round experience. My first day at camp I could cut like 10-20 pages of cards in 1 day. At the end, I could cut 100 pages a day (just in-lab hours). The coolest part was that I was definitely not the most improved scholar. You literally watch you and your peers get SO MUCH better. The best part is that this staff teaches you that you don't need to come from a big school or have any resources to go to the TOC . You just need intelligence and committment.

 

This year alone I have won every single local tournament in Nevada and I have cleared at my first national circuit tournament this year (The Meadows- Semis bid).

 

3. Credible alum

I'd say 90% of the scholars leave and clear at most out of town tourneys. Most go on to go to the TOC. From last summer, we already have multiple out-round appearances and Erik Johnson (Belarmine) received his first bid at the Meadows. Tyler Boykin was also a GDI scholar alum and I believe he went to the TOC his junior year.

 

 

 

Sorry for the really long post. I'm not sure if much of this made sense but that's why I leave the floor open for questions. I really encourage you applying to GDI scholars. It will be a great decision. I ended up picking this camp over 7 week (I think that camp is great too, just way too expensive for me).

 

Btw, GDI scholars have fun too, the regular campers just never knew about it. The scholars had like three barbeques, we get better dorms, and Jason ordered us pizza in-lab :)

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True Story. GDI Scholars is bomb. The scholar's program is subsidized and you are able to take advantage of some of the greatest debate minds in the country. Sarah Holbrooke, coaches a phenomenal team at The University of West Georgia and is said to be one of the best judges in the country. Russel can teach you how to cut "evidence-cards" that say just about any and everything, as well as good rebuttals. Buntin is uncannily smart and knowledgeable when it comes to critical literature, and Mike B. is just awesome. His insight in terms of in round strategies is scary. Not to mention all the fun you have. Scholars is definitely a program I think you should try, the lab leaders prepare you not only for debate on the high school national circuit, but for college debate as well. Not to mention the plethora of amazing lectures you get at Gonzaga by the multiple other great lab leaders. I know I'll never forget the four weeks I spent in Spokane. Cost+Superb Instruction+Great People=Worth a shot.

Edited by Mr. Muppet

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i loved scholars and gdi 4-week but i learned a lot from both. I cut more cards from scholars and worked with great lab leaders and learned a lot from my fellow scholars.

 

as for social life, i was really fun and popular, so i managed to have fun even when i was cutting cards!

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also i forgot to mention that Bsteyn and Buntin will not be working scholars this year but Leah Moczulski and Eric Lanning will be leading the lab with jason and sarah for this summer.

 

Leah and Eric are fabulous people and debaters. Together they went to semi-finals of the TOC and are both very accomplished and respected throughout the college circuit currently.

 

I personally had Leah as a coach after my scholars experience. I loved having Leah as a coach and meant, not only is she super cute and fun but she knows a thing or two about winning debates as well. That tournament my partner and I went undefeated in prelims and were in a bid round and I know that much of our success was due to the coaching of Leah.

 

Basically she is SASHA FIERCE. WORK WORK GIRL

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Highly recommend it.

 

Could you also describe the kind of people that get into the scholars lab? i want to know if its even worth my time to apply...
The lab mainly comprised of to be seniors and some to be juniors from all over the nation. From Washington itself all the way to New York. The selection committee won't turn you down solely because you don't have a TOC bid, haven't won a tournament, or aren't from a big name school. You'll have an equal chance as any other applicant. As long as you show your serious about debate and learning in an awesome lab over the summer in your application the trade off will be definitely worth your time to apply.

 

 

Side-note:

Not to mention the plethora of amazing lectures you get at Gonzaga by the multiple other great lab leaders.
Why is everyone using plethora all of a sudden. Edited by WenJen

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Highly recommend it.

 

The lab mainly comprised of to be seniors and some to be juniors from all over the nation. From Washington itself all the way to New York. The selection committee won't turn you down solely because you don't have a TOC bid, haven't won a tournament, or aren't from a big name school. You'll have an equal chance as any other applicant. As long as you show your serious about debate and learning in an awesome lab over the summer in your application the trade off will be definitely worth your time to apply.

 

 

Side-note: Why is everyone using plethora all of a sudden.

SAT Word.

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Guest fizelly27
SAT Word.

Go to GDI Scholars.....

 

 

.....you'll learn SAT words.

 

On a sidenote, the GDI is one of the best debate institutes in the country and the Scholars consists of the elite of the elite. If you really want to do well in debate I recommend going to either scholars or the 4-week as both have had succesfull alumni this year as well as years past (Ian has been in multiple bid rounds, Erik has a couple of bids, Kiki, Melvin, LeDuc, Kosmach, and myself have also done well (if I didn't mention you, its not because you haven't done well, I'm just too lazy to type all the achievements that GDI alum have as they are numerous)). Spokane also is just full of good people and I, personally, had a blast, and didnt really hear any negative comments.

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Go to GDI Scholars.....

 

 

.....you'll learn SAT words.

 

On a sidenote, the GDI is one of the best debate institutes in the country and the Scholars consists of the elite of the elite. If you really want to do well in debate I recommend going to either scholars or the 4-week as both have had succesfull alumni this year as well as years past (Ian has been in multiple bid rounds, Erik has a couple of bids, Kiki, Melvin, LeDuc, Kosmach, and myself have also done well (if I didn't mention you, its not because you haven't done well, I'm just too lazy to type all the achievements that GDI alum have as they are numerous)). Spokane also is just full of good people and I, personally, had a blast, and didnt really hear any negative comments.

 

I believe sadowski was in bid rounds once or twice this year

 

plus Novack made it to like quarters at fullerton or something

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Guest fizelly27
I believe sadowski was in bid rounds once or twice this year

 

plus Novack made it to like quarters at fullerton or something

james should learn to read...lol jk i love you man

 

jake has done extremely well this year, breaking at La Costa and Fullerton

Vince and Peter have also done a badass job this year, breaking at Marquette and Valley (and some other tournament if i am correct)

 

More people have done well. as stated previously, im just hella lazy.

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james should learn to read...lol jk i love you man

 

jake has done extremely well this year, breaking at La Costa and Fullerton

Vince and Peter have also done a badass job this year, breaking at Marquette and Valley (and some other tournament if i am correct)

 

More people have done well. as stated previously, im just hella lazy.

sigh, james how many times do i have to tell you, i broke at Long Beach and La Costa, our other team broke at Fullerton.

 

anyhoo, id def recommend GDI, the lab leaders are some of the most helpful and encouraging that i've encountered and you are guarenteed to learn alot and to better your debating skill.

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If you are a debater who wants to start competing at a national level and you have little to no national experience, go to this camp. I went from a 100% lay debater as a freshman to having a shot against the big kids as a sophomore. Numerous other people at the GDI come from not breaking at regional lay tournaments to having success at a national level. If you look above, you will see the records of some of the more experienced debaters who went to the GDI as well.

 

I'll be applying to the scholars lab this year. I've missed Spokane =[

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My expierence a gonzaga was great, I learned a lot and had fun. THE Lab leaders are some of the best in the country, who have success on not only a highschool level but also a collegiate level. One criticism I would have of my lab and from most of the others(non scholars, 4 week labs) however was that there was not nearly enough practice debates and too much of a focus on evidence production. DOnt mean to be a buzz kill but thought it its fair imput to prospective debators.

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Guest fizelly27
My expierence a gonzaga was great, I learned a lot and had fun. THE Lab leaders are some of the best in the country, who have success on not only a highschool level but also a collegiate level. One criticism I would have of my lab and from most of the others(non scholars, 4 week labs) however was that there was not nearly enough practice debates and too much of a focus on evidence production. DOnt mean to be a buzz kill but thought it its fair imput to prospective debators.

I would probably agree with this sentiment. I want to say at least 2 and a half of my time at Gonzaga was in ev production (although my lab was behind in terms of when our files were due). Its not a knock, but if you are in need of serious hardcore skills work you might want to look elsewhere.

 

 

Edit: Oh yeah I forgot Troovy bid at wake to name more names of badass GDI alum.

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I really want to get into Scholars but I'm not sure if I have a shot; I'm a second year debater, I broke at Meadows, broke even at USC, and lost my bubble round at Alta, and hoping to break at Golden Desert and Berk. Not the most impressive credentials, I know, but does anyone know if I have a shot or what I would need to get in, it would be much appreciated

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Im a junior from lone peak, about a 60% win record, broke at meadows, 3-3 at USC, 4-3 witha break round at Alta, and a dismal 2-4 at Golden Desert, do i stand a chance to get into scholars, i want to badly but i don't know if i have a shot. any advice or info on whether i stand a chance?

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Im a junior from lone peak, about a 60% win record, broke at meadows, 3-3 at USC, 4-3 witha break round at Alta, and a dismal 2-4 at Golden Desert, do i stand a chance to get into scholars, i want to badly but i don't know if i have a shot. any advice or info on whether i stand a chance?

....you made it in.

now i think your rubbing it in dude

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