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CX vs LD vs PF?

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I am a hs sophomore policy debater on my school's varsity team. I have gone to camp twice (GDI novice, and then SDI 4wk) and after my first tournament of the school year, I am finding that I can't stand CX.

 

It isn't that I don't love debating.... Last year was fun because novices just weren't that good, didn't talk too fast, and there wasn't as much jargon because nobody understood it anyways. There was less work because our coach did our files. We won all the time and it felt great to win and to be a part of a community. I love my team, and I love my name in the school paper when I win. I also liked the topic last year because I think poverty is an interesting topic. I don't care about military presence that much, and in policy the arguments about war don't even have anything to do with logic or common knowledge, but a whole bunch of stuff that crazy people write on their blogs. I hate all the jargon and the fact that policy has very little real world application.

 

Last year my team ran this ind of k/performance aff which I thought was fun, and I'm finding that I find actual policy affs really boring. My tournament yesterday, either went 2-4 or 3-3 (not sure) an that is WITH a BYE! I haven't been reading a lot or anything because I have no time or motivation to do so. The coaches say I need to do debate an hour a day at home, but the thought of it makes me want to shoot myself. I want to argue about things that have real world application. I want to sound smart when I talk to older people about my debate topics. I don't want to spend my time debating CPs and DAs and weird K authors and all these weird words like "ontology first" and whatever. I just want to argue, and make smart logical arguments about things that have real world application, and things I care about.

 

Also, while I love to argue, there are other things I like to do more, that I want to spend more time on, and policy just doesn't give me the time to do all the things I really want to do. If I HAD to cut one of my ECs out, it would be debate, just because I enjoy music/drama more, and as I get more serious about that, I need to dedicate more time to it. I don't really plan on debating in college at this point either, so I don't see the point in just working and working on it, especially when my team doesn't even debate the national circuit.

 

I feel bad about telling my parents because they spent so much money for me to go to camp, and then if I switch I need to tell my partner, which will go over terribly, and my coaches, which would probably also go over terribly. But I'm just not happy and I have no passion for CX anymore. I don't even care if I win or lose, or about any of the speeches in the debate. Does this often happen to people between novice and varsity years? My main question is whether I should switch to LD or PF. I think the LD topics seem more interesting, but I've heard that LD still spreads, they still have theory and CPs and DAs... how is it different other than there being one person? PF sounds interesting too, and I like the fact that the debate is slow, and based on lots of logical arguments, but in order to debate PF I need a partner, and my partner, like many CX debaters has Policy snobbery and thinks all other forms of debate are below her (actually, most of the team feels this way, another reason why I'm hesitant to switch or talk to my coach about it.) What should I do? Someone want to fill me in on CX vs. LD vs. PF?

 

Thanks :)

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On LD there can be DA,CPs and theory if the circut is more progresive (parts of texas for example) or it can be traditional value and cirtiron based if your in a traditional circut (all of kansas). It just depends on where you debate.

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Bear in mind that in a small district things can change rapidly - when I joined debate, LD was less traditional than CX and now the opposite is true here. Judging by the fact that you actually have varsity/novice divisions, this may not apply to you.

 

Modern, natl-circuit LD tends to be fairly similar to CX. It could be more work (more new research w/each topic) or less (much less depth w/each topic) depending on how you and your team divide up work.

 

Traditional LD is probably less work than CX, but it has much less real-world application. I find it very boring.

 

If you can yell loudly, you might be quite successful at PF.

 

Just my 2 cents. For the record, I'm in the opposite position. I'm an unhappy LDer wishing I could do CX.

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My partner and I did CX for more than two years and then moved to PF in our Junior year. PF, then, was easy pickings for us because we knew the basic logic of argumentation and PF was a brand-new event (having been created just the year before). While we did have some difficulty slowing down to speak to a lay audience and scrapping the esoteric K, CP, etc. arguments, we had a lot of fun and also raised the bar quite a bit for PF in our area, by the end of our Junior year, there were at least a dozen highly-competitive teams in the state besides us and only a handful had any background in CX or LD.

 

I also dabbled in LD (4-0 lifetime record), but local circuit only where things were still slow and largely K-less. National circuit LD (and an increasing number of local circuits) are speeding up and becoming much more policy-like.

 

While the scope of of the prep work for PF and LD is less than CX, don't think that you can get away with doing less work and still sweep the floor with the best in any category. While the critique of PF as "speechie-debate" (debate for speech kids who had no idea how to debate) was somewhat valid back in its early days, that is no longer the case. If the PF pool seems easier than the CX pool, it is only because the PF pool is larger and less intimidating (and, thus, more inviting to novices who will learn). The elite of PF, just as in all other categories of forensics, are the elite for a reason.

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My partner and I did CX for more than two years and then moved to PF in our Junior year. PF, then, was easy pickings for us because we knew the basic logic of argumentation and PF was a brand-new event (having been created just the year before). While we did have some difficulty slowing down to speak to a lay audience and scrapping the esoteric K, CP, etc. arguments, we had a lot of fun and also raised the bar quite a bit for PF in our area, by the end of our Junior year, there were at least a dozen highly-competitive teams in the state besides us and only a handful had any background in CX or LD.

 

I also dabbled in LD (4-0 lifetime record), but local circuit only where things were still slow and largely K-less. National circuit LD (and an increasing number of local circuits) are speeding up and becoming much more policy-like.

 

While the scope of of the prep work for PF and LD is less than CX, don't think that you can get away with doing less work and still sweep the floor with the best in any category. While the critique of PF as "speechie-debate" (debate for speech kids who had no idea how to debate) was somewhat valid back in its early days, that is no longer the case. If the PF pool seems easier than the CX pool, it is only because the PF pool is larger and less intimidating (and, thus, more inviting to novices who will learn). The elite of PF, just as in all other categories of forensics, are the elite for a reason.

 

Well put. I had done CX freshman through half of my junior year (when my partner quit). Since then, I've done both PF and LD. Personally, I like LD much more than PF, as I'm still a bit of a CXer at heart.

 

However, seeing as you are also a music/drama person, I would point you towards PF. From what I've seen, the more persuasive sounding speaker tends to win the debate, even if they lose the line-by-line. Your background in the acting department could easily lead to some great successes in PF.

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You should probably try and stick it out for this year at least, sophomore year tends to be the most difficult year for most people in debate. You just moved from novice where you were beating a lot of people base upon natural talent and intelligence, but now you're debating people who may have more experience than you do and have put a lot of time into debate. If you work hard the rest of this year you will probably begin to see some more success and next year you will begin to reap the benefits. Plus if you've spent all that money on camp you probably at least owe it to your parents to stick it out for at least this season, I've talked my parents into spending money on things I later found out I didn't want to do, staying for this year will at least make it seem like they got some of their money's worth. In short, sophomore year sucks, stay in and see if it gets better.

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I'll just go ahead and tell you that you're looking at this wrong. You're whining about a 2-4 or a 3-3 at a tournament? Don't whine! If you're whining about it and think that you should've been able to just walk up to the stage and take a trophy before the first round, then maybe you should quit. It's about dedication and gaining motivation from defeat.

 

If you hate that a lot of it has little real world application, read more real world arguments. Go with predictions bad arguments, or just read K's more.

 

And if you're worried about disappointing people, then don't. You've whined about wanting your name in the paper and how much you'd let people down; if it's that important for you, then don't disappoint them. And don't disappoint yourself.

 

And if you think policy aff's are boring, either read a lot more K's, or try to understand the policy aff's more. It could be less of a boring issue and more of a not comprehending all of it issue.

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I don't know much about LD or PF, but I'd suggest another performance aff. You said you'd like to focus on music/drama more; why not do all three at once? It sounds like a good solution to getting away from policy affs and working on your other skills more.

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