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JamieSaker

Fremont-Mills Policy Invitational

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Announcing the first ever Fremont-Mills Policy Debate Invitational, featuring a single division of varsity Cross-X debate for year-end clash. Low entry fees of just $15 per team have been done to help teams bring novices and introduce them to varsity competition with this end-of-season opportunity. We will have qualified and experienced policy judges available to hire and will provide rates for tournament judges, but encourage bringing team-hired judges (I'll gladly provide names of available judges for hire as well if you email me).

 

When: Saturday March 12, 2011, check-in at 8:00-8:30. Round one at 8:30

Where: Fremont-Mills Community School District, Tabor Iowa (located in the southwest corner of Iowa, just a convenient hour from Omaha and Lincoln, two hours from Kansas City, and two and a half hours from Des Moines metros).

What: Four rounds then breaking to elimination rounds.

 

Note: I'm working on getting this set up with joyoftournaments for registration but in the interim, please either post here or email head coach Jamie Saker at: jsaker @ fmtabor.org

 

I'll post updates with acknowledgements from teams coming. We have good commitments from the Nebraska circuit already.

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Here's the location of our tournament:

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Fremont-Mills+High+School,+Tabor,+IA&aq=0&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.634084,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=Fremont-Mills+High+School,&hnear=Tabor,+Fremont,+Iowa&ll=40.894311,-95.66946&spn=0.055149,0.169086&z=13

 

 

Yes... it's hard to believe, but there's really a school and people out there! And cows, tractors... definitely one of the most rural debate tournaments you'll ever attend! Come for the scenery and the clash.

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Question: Any hotels near?

 

Also: Norfolk isn't attending (we have speech NSAA qualifiers that day) so I'm free to judge for any school that needs it.

Edited by rjk

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Question: Any hotels near?

 

Also: Norfolk isn't attending (we have speech NSAA qualifiers that day) so I'm free to judge for any school that needs it.

 

There's actually a really nice and new America's Best Value Inn, along with a new Super 8, at the Iowa I-29 exit to Nebraska City. It's about 25 minutes from us which really isn't far when you're out in the country. I-29 and U.S. Highway 2:

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=nebraska+city,+ne&aq=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=29.634084,86.572266&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Nebraska+City,+Otoe,+Nebraska&ll=40.689571,-95.788507&spn=0.006915,0.021136&z=16

 

And of course, there are more options in Nebraska City. We're really not far at all from Omaha - I drive to work in Omaha and it's about 45-50 minutes (which is a short Atlanta commute!) so if you have options in Council Bluffs or Omaha, it's not far.

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corn ... soy beans ... and maybe some jammed jelly

 

And there are cows all over. They're best when they're fresh.

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because food is pretty much always the most interesting part of visiting a new place (for me), i did a little independent research, and food has come through as fascinating once again. using that google map link jamie posted, i "searched nearby" for "food". the only place that came up that actually seemed to be a restaurant was "the diner" (the other results were a old folks home, a winery, and various public works like school and waterworks). there is only one review on google for "the diner", posted by "Mary Jane" on Nov. 7 2010. those of you who've been to this place, what is your reaction to the review?

 

a review This is a hole in the wall where everybody knows each other. Many gather at the table just to the right of the door for a cup of coffee and conversation. I wish that they served fresh locally grown food from their gardens. The waitresses are as kind and pleasant as they can be, but some of the local residents forget that they aren't the owners, and try to run off anyone who doesn't have a license plate from Mills or Fremont County on their pickup truck or car. I don't know where they get these ridiculous notions of inhospitality from, but that isn't in any kind of Bible I have ever read. If you are looking for local ambiance and a big confrontation about your heritage or if you were born on the right side of the tracks, then this is the place to go because it can get really pretty heated inside there with the small and narrow view points that will be directed at you. You may be stared down in silence or given an open and loud verbal assault before being told to get out of town. The food will fill you up that is if you can even digest it after an experience like that. People used to say how friendly Tabor was, but that was in the good old days, and things have changed. The locals have become intolerant and closed minded even before the "Other" side has opened their mouths to say anything. I suspect that fear plays into this, but who is stirring up the pot to make it this irrational and for what good purpose? I think that the breakfasts are the best food served. This place is one that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. I have been going here for years and this kind of behavior is new to my experience there, but I suspect that it has been under the surface for quite sometime. Go to find out for yourself. The waitresses are as nice as they can be. This one is to be rated unique.

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Sounds like fun...lets all go together and see what these folks think of a group of motley hippies.

 

Yea, the diner's closed. Apparently their concept of hospitality wasn't conducive with a sustainable business model. Actually, about the only locals I know of that ate there were their regulars. We've been here since 2003 and I only ate there once. More of the farmers and old locals who were there, and not anybody younger.

 

In town, Big T's Sports Bar & Grill is a hangout that attracts an interesting divergent mix of locals and visitors. Returning from Lincoln East tournament Saturday night, there were cars everywhere in town for some band that was playing. They'll get Sunday crowds of motorcyclers from Omaha who love to ride the Loess Hills. It seems to be a rather openly tolerant place.

 

Casey's is the place we run to grab sandwiches and pretty good pizza, particularly when James Country Grocery is closed. The grocery makes hot lunch as well as sandwiches to order every day except Sunday.

 

But as a culinary mecca, Tabor's certainly not. Fortunately, there's some expertise being brought in from Omaha to ensure the coaches/judges lounge is positively memorable and good support from our music boosters parents to have great food for the kids.

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and on the topic of the diner, I never did figure out how a place that served ice cream but was never open at evening hours when you want ice cream (e.g. after a ball game) could survive.

 

Strangely, the shortcomings in the restaurant category have been a boon for all the community groups. Each weekend we'll have something up at the community center -- spaghetti dinners, meatloaf, ham balls (still haven't figured out the fascination, particularly since they don't do a non-meat version!), and incredible fish and chicken frys. Our church does an early Thanskgiving supper that will pull in most of the community, and yours truly does the spring-time Mexican Fiesta which does almost as well.

 

Parts of Tabor are very Mayberry, parts are agricultural, and remnants of the radical Oberlin College abolitionist/anarchists who founded the community 160 years ago still show. Mayberry where Sheriff Andy and Barney Fife are openly counter-read. Every community has those who don't know how to handle difference, but I think the spirit of the community's founders very much lives.

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When is this Mexican Fiesta!?

 

I'll check the date - usually in March, though I may have some international travel going on. They were a bit annoyed with me last year since I had to fly to Atlanta at the last second and had to delegate my duties.

 

Also, I neglected there is another pretty popular place to eat. Links pretty hard to the anthropocentrism debate tho...

 

Skyline Sportsmans Club

http://skylinehunting.net/skylinehunting/

 

That's just south of where we live a few miles, also in the Loess Hills. Not really a good idea to go in and ask for vegan...

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Preliminary Team List

(22 total teams in the VCX division - School alphabetical order)

 

Fremont NE Ford & Wilson

Fremont NE Webb & Thor

Fremont NE Voung & Martin

Fremont NE Smith & Ledesma

Fremont-Mills IA Tab Anderson & Schaaf*

Fremont-Mills IA Tab Nissan & Saker*

Lincoln High NE Wunder & Johnson

Lincoln High NE Findlay & Lee

Lincoln High NE Stevens

Millard South NE Snelling & Gonzaba

Millard South NE Hargan & Casas

Millard South NE Christiansen & Anderson

Millard South NE Freeman & Barnett

Millard West NE Badal & Spady

Millard West NE Murray & Schudak

Millard West NE Blagg & Zhang

Millard West NE Wang and Jiang

Sioux Falls Lincoln SD Calhoun & Huckins

Sioux Falls Lincoln SD Johnson & Rivard

Sioux Falls Lincoln SD Point & Yang

Westside NE Bosch & Tombi

Westside NE Henry & Kennedy

*Tab are not allowed to break and are debating with novice/varsity parings.

**Mavericks will be permitted to break.

***Prep time will be 5 minutes (NFL model)

****Prelim round judges criticisms are asked to be limited to no more than 10 minutes.

*****Depending on the consensus of coaches, guidance from tab and tournament timeline, we will evaluate breaking to quarters instead of semis (there is a chance our schedule may move quickly given one division of debate only; teams and judges are encouraged to help us break to quarters due to earlier awards.

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Looks like a great field; this would have been a good tournament for Grady and Tim to get some practice in for states and NFLs, but they're off being awesome multi-talented extempers attempting to qualify to state (good luck)! I will be there judging what I hope will be fantastic, educational and competitive rounds. This is an extremely competitive and well-rounded field, so I'd really love to see this tournament break to quarters if possible, or at least have all teams with a winning record recognized during awards.

Edited by rjk
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@rjk

 

+1 about extemp....all the good debaters in SD generally win the extemp portion of our tournaments too....(we run both IE's and debate at the same tournaments)...both events definitely reinforce a fundamentally sound skill set.

 

Last year, a debater/extemper on our team, Frank Liang was a semi-finalist at Catholic Nats in debate, and semi-finalist in U.S. extemp at NFL's...not a coincidence imho.

 

SFL is looking forward to the tournament.

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@rjk

 

+1 about extemp....all the good debaters in SD generally win the extemp portion of our tournaments too....(we run both IE's and debate at the same tournaments)...both events definitely reinforce a fundamentally sound skill set.

 

Last year, a debater/extemper on our team, Frank Liang was a semi-finalist at Catholic Nats in debate, and semi-finalist in U.S. extemp at NFL's...not a coincidence imho.

 

SFL is looking forward to the tournament.

 

I really like the way SD runs tournaments with both speech and debate competing both days. In Nebraska, typically speech tournaments happen on Friday afternoon/evening and debate the next day. I think having both events on the same days at the same place would encourage participation in both IEs and debate. We always did both at Norfolk and I feel like I benefited from that significantly -- competitive success in one definitely contributed to success in the other, and extemp reinforces a lot of the skills necessary to be successful in debate (especially at tournaments with a more diverse judging pool like NFL nats). I really don't think I would have qualified to nationals in either policy or extemp if I had not done both activities.

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I agree that extemp and debate are a great combination for improvement in both. still have had a few students do that at Millard West even--Mina Davis last year. She improved in speaking tremendously. I know some might disagree with this, but only if they are loons--she was by far the best speaker in PF debate in Nebraska last year--and that was mainly because she was also doing extemp and Jennifer Jerome was doing a great job of coaching her.

 

But I gotta disagree on the South Dakota style tournaments. Fine if you like sitting around not doing debate for a couple hours; otherwise, it pretty much blows. Missouri did tournaments like that, and anyone who knows me knows what high regard I have for Missouri debate. Our style of doing tournaments, with almost no piggy-backed rounds in PF and LD, and none of these speech/debate combined weekend long snoozefests, does mean we have fewer kids doing both speech and debate, but here is what it also means: many more debate rounds and out rounds, and happier judges who keep judging much longer because they aren't expected to either wait two hours between rounds over two days intermitently, or judge novice poetry along with debate.

 

So we should keep doing things pretty much the way we are now, which makes a shit ton of sense, and has led to, for one thing, the highest quality debate judging community of anyplace I have ever seen across the board, in all forms of debate, for varsity and novice.

 

Fred Robertson

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I agree that extemp and debate are a great combination for improvement in both. still have had a few students do that at Millard West even--Mina Davis last year. She improved in speaking tremendously. I know some might disagree with this, but only if they are loons--she was by far the best speaker in PF debate in Nebraska last year--and that was mainly because she was also doing extemp and Jennifer Jerome was doing a great job of coaching her.

 

Truth. Mina is a certified beast.

 

many more debate rounds and out rounds, and happier judges who keep judging much longer because they aren't expected to either wait two hours between rounds over two days intermitently, or judge novice poetry along with debate.

 

So we should keep doing things pretty much the way we are now, which makes a shit ton of sense, and has led to, for one thing, the highest quality debate judging community of anyplace I have ever seen across the board, in all forms of debate, for varsity and novice.

 

Fred Robertson

 

Fantastic point. You had me at "novice poetry," which is probably the worst event on the planet to judge in forensics. It's akin to someone in a hotel or dorm room playing really loud obnoxious music of a genre you hate and refusing to turn it off, thinking that everyone on the floor/in the building ought to have the same music taste. It's that bad.

 

It never bothered me much as a competitor to have delays between debate rounds because I was too busy competing in extemp, but I can see how this would be extremely frustrating for judges who don't participate in judging forensics or competitors who don't want to do both activities. I just think the system works well in South Dakota.

 

And please understand that I wasn't necessarily advocating change; I do like the way Nebraska tournaments are run and I appreciate the fantastic community and high quality judge pool we have here. I just also think that South Dakota is doing some things right with regards to encouraging participation in both IEs and debate. The Nebraska circuit has some great coaches in both activities and I'm guessing both like the current system a lot, and anything that differentiates us from the !%hole known as Missouri is probably a good thing (I hate that state, not necessarily for debate, but just in general).

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Fantastic point. You had me at "novice poetry," which is probably the worst event on the planet to judge in forensics.

False. Non original oratory takes that prize.

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I agree that extemp and debate are a great combination for improvement in both. still have had a few students do that at Millard West even--Mina Davis last year. She improved in speaking tremendously. I know some might disagree with this, but only if they are loons--she was by far the best speaker in PF debate in Nebraska last year--and that was mainly because she was also doing extemp and Jennifer Jerome was doing a great job of coaching her.

 

But I gotta disagree on the South Dakota style tournaments. Fine if you like sitting around not doing debate for a couple hours; otherwise, it pretty much blows. Missouri did tournaments like that, and anyone who knows me knows what high regard I have for Missouri debate. Our style of doing tournaments, with almost no piggy-backed rounds in PF and LD, and none of these speech/debate combined weekend long snoozefests, does mean we have fewer kids doing both speech and debate, but here is what it also means: many more debate rounds and out rounds, and happier judges who keep judging much longer because they aren't expected to either wait two hours between rounds over two days intermitently, or judge novice poetry along with debate.

 

So we should keep doing things pretty much the way we are now, which makes a shit ton of sense, and has led to, for one thing, the highest quality debate judging community of anyplace I have ever seen across the board, in all forms of debate, for varsity and novice.

 

Fred Robertson

 

 

HOLY SHIT ITS FRED!!!! jeez man. i've known you for over a decade and your first post is about the structure of speech tournaments? well, regardless, welcome to thunderdome.

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HOLY SHIT ITS FRED!!!! jeez man. i've known you for over a decade and your first post is about the structure of speech tournaments? well, regardless, welcome to thunderdome.

 

I seem to have the ability to say something innocent without intending to spur a discussion/debate and draw people who normally don't post into the fold.

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I seem to have the ability to say something innocent without intending to spur a discussion/debate and draw people who normally don't post into the fold.

 

Ryan, that's not surprising. You're just channeling your inner Liz Lemon.

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Ryan, that's not surprising. You're just channeling your inner Liz Lemon.

 

It's just synergy. You can't fight it.

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