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Everything posted by LCHSdb8coach

  1. Good thing that I went ahead and did this last night, too, as only 6 of the 25 schools (well, sort of 6 1/2 as Pace's upper school is opening at 1:00) are actually open today.
  2. Who's going? LC will be bringing five policy teams. . . biggest total for us in a while! Varsity Connor Hamm/Faith Hutton Jennifer Dandron/Kyrstie Scales Novice Chelsea Norman/Rachel Perkins Dakota Lorenzen/Alex Western Elizabeth Aaron/Kristen Freeman Meg "Hoopie" Ball will be there in OO, and birthday boy DeVante Starks may be as well.
  3. LC is bringing four novice teams and three IEers.
  4. Kelly, I have no problems with oral critiques, but I do have a problem with them when they go on and on and on and on and on (which is why I tell judges at our tournament to keep it brief). I'm sorry, but if I'm responsible for getting 10 or 15 kids home at the end of a tournament (especially if I'm the one doing the driving), then I do want the tournament to run reasonably akin to on time. It's a less than pleasant feeling to be driving down the between-Madison-and-Thomson stretch of I-20 after midnight having to perpetually slap myself in the face trying not to fall asleep at the wheel. I think that because some judges just don't know when to shut up. . . when the critique lasts too long on a Saturday afternoon, the debaters stop taking everything in, anyway. I think that some tournaments and directors have overreacted by saying NO oral critiques, but that's probably because they know that if they give some judges an inch, they'll run a marathon. (Of course, putting your tournament on a feasible schedule that allows time for brief oral critiques can also allow the tourney to run on time.) Keep it to a reasonable limit. . . if what you have to say goes beyond that, write your email address on the ballot and go to the next round. If the debaters want to learn from you, then either they or their coaches will follow up with you. (I've emailed judges after we've gotten home because I wanted clarifications on what was on a ballot.) If they don't, then your oral critique isn't registering, anyway. Side note: it would also be pretty cool if coaches would stress to their debaters that actually listening politely to a critique from a judge who has dropped you is a good idea, too. One reason that I stopped disclosing VERY early on in my coaching career is that I didn't appreciate disrespectful kids arguing with me about my decision. Wanting to understand my decision is one thing; challenging me about it (as if I'm just another debater) is another. I've been outside rounds and heard debaters yelling at judges, and that bugs me to no end. Even if I have made the wrong decision, I deserve your respect. . . I'm just not going to sit and listen to an arrogant teenager treat me as if I'm an idiot.
  5. I finally started To Kill a Mockingbird this summer. . . need to pick it back up and finish it so that I will cease being a disappointment to everyone in the universe who knows that I've never read it.
  6. I know this and have tried to convince her. . . she's a bit on the paranoid side sometimes.
  7. I wouldn't say that. . . Jennifer (the very petite girl from LCHS) is just convinced that you hate her. (That doesn't necessarily mean that she thinks that the drops were illegit, BTW.) As for those who debate primarily in the state of Georgia, Kurtis Anderson/Robert Walker from Warner Robins should be very strong. . . they cleared at CFL Nats and went undefeated at NFL Districts this past March, defeating a team that cleared in Birmingham (Mills/Edwards from Carrollton). (They couldn't go to NFL Nats because Kurtis had a conflict with GHP.) I think that they will be competing a bit on the national circuit as well.
  8. I made sure that he saw your post when I was at GFCA State. . . I knew that it would mean a great deal to him, and it did.
  9. Serious props to GACS (and Fayzan specifically) for a FANTASTIC job at Allstate!
  10. True. . . but I don't know how many Georgia coaches who don't compete in national circuit tournaments got that word. Speaking only for myself here, I know that the NDCA hosts this tournament, and (now that I've looked back at past dates) I know that I've never really considered going because (a) it's not in our budget at this point in the year and ( it's traditionally at the end of our spring break. Thus, it basically isn't on my radar. So, Jeff. . . if you knew that long ago that they were the same weekend, why didn't you drop me an email after you saw the Allstate dates on the Georgia calendar? You know that if this had been brought to my attention back in August, I'd have been a good secretary and communicated with all parties involved to see about getting Allstate changed.
  11. Scu, I hope that you don't think that this was a case of, "Oh, so what that the NDCA is that weekend. We're going to put Allstate there anyway." It definitely wasn't intentional. . . it was just a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing (or the Georgia circuit not knowing what the national circuit was doing), and by the time everyone realized that they were on the same weekend (I don't think that I knew until I saw Matt's post), it was too late to make changes. (If you've been planning all year around that particular weekend, yes. . . six weeks is too late to make changes IMO.) Traditonally, NDCA has been the weekend before Allstate (I just looked this up. . . wondered why we'd never had a conflict before); this year, that didn't happen. . . I would think because that would have put it on Easter weekend. I've already communicated with Jenny Heidt about next year and our making sure that we know the dates in time to make sure that Mike Hester knows the dates so that we can collectively make sure that the two don't conflict. Remember. . . if you're (a) connected with a non-national circuit program or ( the coach of a college program, the NDCA tournament isn't really on your radar. Allstate has been on the debate calendar for April 17-18 since the beginning of August, but no one who does go to the NDCA spoke up to say, "Wait a minute. . . that's NDCA weekend. Can we change Allstate?" (If anyone did, I don't know about it, anyway.) If someone had, then I would think that the change could have been made quite easily. (For the record, I have nothing to do with the scheduling of the date. . . just hypothesizing.) I know that I probably sound/am defensive, but I just feel as if those who are responsible for Allstate are being semi-accused of just blowing off NDCA when that isn't the case at all.
  12. *Waves to Abigail* "All I Needed to Say" - Michael W. Smith
  13. It is a book series. . . the particular student labeled the fans of the series "Twitards" by morphing "Twilight" and a politically incorrect word for someone who has a particularly low IQ, which is apparently her opinion of someone who enjoys the books in the series.
  14. There's an OO in our part of the world that basically trashes the Twilight series and refers to those of us who are fans as "Twitards." I'm just arrogant enough (what with an English degree and nearly twenty-two years of teaching literature) to think that the value that I find in the books is legit and not to share the opinion that there's anything wrong with my IQ or common sense because I'm a fan.
  15. I decided to bump this back to the top. . . I think that it's interesting to see what people are listening to. "Tremble for My Beloved" - Collective Soul (OK, I realize that this sounds kind of weird to me, but I've sort of gotten addicted to the songs on the Twilight soundtrack. Yes, I'm a Twilight series fan. . . and no, I'm NOT a "Twitard.")
  16. True. . . it helped tremendously, though, that HoCo (a) had someone from Houston County (albeit a Northside grad) with a debate background coming into the school and ( is in a county in which debate is alive and well. (For HoCo, going to Warner Robins and Northside meant paying tournament fees to compete in two Allstate qualifiers; for a non-local school, going to those same tournaments meant hotel bills. . . in my case, a total of - if I remember correctly - $700-$800. The same applies for districts.) That's what I meant about the Catch-22. If two or three schools in either metro Augusta or in the Athens area could create and sustain policy programs and host tournaments, LCs financial situation would be SO much better. If Albany or Valdosta were in that situation, trying to keep things going at Cairo would be easier, I'm sure. That's one reason that most new programs spring up in metro Atlanta, I think. We need schools that are interested in starting programs/keeping them going (going back to what Kelly said about Brookwood), and we need teachers who are willing to coach. . . and specifically, former debaters who are willing to teach. Problem is, not a ton of former debaters go into the teaching profession, and not a ton of people who have no policy background are willing to learn it as classroom teachers. (To be perfectly honest, the only reason that I started coaching debate was that we got points toward the overall region and state literary trophies for our finish in debate. . . and the GHSA snatched that carrot away nine years ago. That's when policy in rural schools started going away in a hurry.) I'm actually a lot more optimistic about the possibilities of a policy revival than I sound, but I also know what it's going to take: heart and time. I have the heart for rural Georgia debate, but I'm doing well to keep my head above water with my current responsibilities. Thus, it's going to take a lot of effort from a lot of people who actually care about building in cities that don't currently have policy programs (Macon, Augusta, Athens, Savannah, Albany) and in the rural areas where basically no one wants to go because they're in the middle of nowhere in order to make it happen.
  17. I know. . . I think that when Mrs. Watkins retired, the powers-that-be found it very easy not to keep things going. Sometimes, I think that administrators may not be so willing to do away with a program, but they're perfectly willing to let it die if given a chance.
  18. Note: the following post is coming from Lee Robinson the coach, not Lee Robinson the GFCA officer or Lee Robinson the district committee member. I don't think that I'm saying anything particularly controversial, but I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that I'm not speaking for either of those bodies. Actually, there were 12 policy teams. I think that the dropoff from our usual number is a little bit misleading, though; normally, because it's not a huge stretch to get to 30 teams, schools will throw in less solid policy teams (or pairs of students who are willing to give policy a try for a couple of rounds, at least) in order to make it to that number. This year, though, that wasn't going to happen. . . so some of us who normally do help to prop up the policy numbers didn't bother to this year. (We didn't enter anyone in policy; Carrollton entered only one team. If we had chosen to use more of our entries that way this year in the way that we usually do, we'd have been at nearly 20.) Also, speaking for my own situation, my number of slots was WAY down from last year because I lost so much chapter strength at graduation. . . I didn't have as much flexibility to put students in events that they truly wanted to compete in and/or where we needed numbers even more (I think that the only other event in which weren't dead on the minimum number on entries was PF with 12 teams) AND to put them in policy. I used my max number of entries but there's only so much that one can do with 15 of them. That said, there may be other schools who for economic reasons aren't traveling as much, don't have as great a chapter strength, and couldn't enter as many students. That said, another factor is some of the schools that weren't there and/or are no longer active in either NFL or policy in our district. Thinking about schools that competed five years ago or less that no longer have active programs or who just weren't there this weekend. . . TCC no longer has a program. Perry no longer has a program. McIntosh HS (not MCA, who had too many conflicts with state academic team this weekend to bring students) no longer competes. Cairo wasn't there. Policy may be alive and well in metro Atlanta (and in a few schools outside that region), but the simple fact is that policy just isn't that strong anywhere else south of I-20 besides Fayette County (and in only one school there now with the exception of the few Sandy Creek kids who compete in policy), Houston County (with three schools that debate), and Carrollton. I wish that I could see that changing (just as I wish that I could see things changing east of Atlanta and Gainesville. . . things are really dead over in my neck of the woods), but I think that it's going to take a lot of effort that most don't have the time to put in to make that happen. It's a Catch-22. . . in order for schools to be able to get involved in policy, they need programs and tournaments nearby to make competing economical. Because those programs don't already exist, new ones don't start. The dearth of one-day tournaments doesn't help the situation, either. . . it's easier for a program to begin building when going to a tournament involves simply paying a tourney bill and not having to pay a hotel bill as well. (For LC at districts, the hotel bill for one night was $490.00.) And when a coach leaves or retires from coaching. . . well, we don't have to look any farther than Brookwood to see what generally happens. They were state runners-up in AAAA/AAAAA in 2005 and the host of a large Allstate qualifying tournament; by 2008, the program was dormant. (The fear that this would happen kept Mrs. Watkins in coaching long after she wanted to be, I think, but eventually she had to do what was best for her.) Thus, all things considered, a smaller turnout in policy at districts is actually not all that surprising. . . and to me, it's as much a reflection of a sad situation as it is a sad situation itself.
  19. I'd love to say that I feel bad about our picking that date, but last year's backtobacktobacktobacktoback weekends with tournaments and literary just about killed a ton of people, present company included. For the record, history would indicate that most schools in our district would have been going, anyway, because most of them usually don't.
  20. Hey, everybody!! Districts are at HoCo!!! Come join us because we totally need judges!! OK, now everyone knows. *Makes mental note to do some Facebook messaging*
  21. Everything is supposed to be submitted by 4:00 P. M. today, so I hope that things are more certain than that by now.
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