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Balonkey last won the day on December 26 2007

Balonkey had the most liked content!

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182 Excellent

About Balonkey

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    Ce n'est pas un âne
  • Birthday 04/24/1986

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    Logan Martin
  • School
    Colorado Law School
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  1. that's pretty much why you don't get it. you too. Can anyone say New Coke?
  2. You joined this site four months ago. These events happened six years ago. You were probably in elementary school. Let it go.
  3. Ms. Peters: Sorry you received negative reputation. That is unfortunate/inappropriate. Is that "contract" intended to be construed to prohibit judges from flowing on computers? I didn't think such a reading was obvious, but apparently Z and Cluce thought it did. Would seem a bit strange to me, but at any rate... logan p.s. It is unlikely that I will be available to judge at state, but I'm sure this information could be relevant to others as well.
  4. Thank God everyone's ok. What caused the vehicle to roll?
  5. Balonkey


    Denver's Big Blue Bear Fighting to the Bitter End DIA Mustang
  6. Sandy eloquently and passionately illustrates the insane amount of resources that go into high school CX. There's no arguing with the fact that, per kid, CX is ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE more expensive than any other event in terms of time, money, and energy. When you take that into account, Regrettable as it is from my (obviously biased) perspective, you really can't blame a coach for "switching" to PF when you consider just how much he or she saves in terms of resources, and while I do believe that CX is a more valuable event on its merits if I were in the position of a coach of an entire squad of debaters in all manner of forensic events I don't think it would be nearly such an easy decision. Holistically speaking, what do you want to accomplish with a speech/debate team? The answer for most highs schools doesn't include bagging a lot college debate scholarships, or, I think, even ensuring that your students are engaged in the most in-depth, gruelling intellectual excercise you could conceivably provide for them. More realistically, I think you want kids to have a chance at a meaningful activity where they can learn, work hard, and maybe grow up a bit along the way. On this count, CX may in fact be the best event out there (and I personally believe that it is) but it's hardly overwhelmingly so. Anyhow, having thought about some of the ideas/insights in this thread over the last couple of days, I think I'm the most (naively?) optimistic about the future of CX as an activity. The main reason for this, I think, is that I think a lot of the frustration, hurt feelings, and bitterness both discussed and exprsesed in this thread is more the result of the decline of CX rather than its cause. Furthermore, I think that negativity, in itself, is about the easiest thing to fix there is. Debaters (aka "the kids," emphasis on the diminutive) need to accept the responsibilities that come with being ambassadors for their activity. I'll fully admit that I think people have unfair expectations of debate (isn't it at least a tiny bit strange that people who have never judged a debate before feel comfortable watching a video of the ndt and saying 'that's not debate.'?) but the fact is these aren't going away, and while its unlikely that any debater will ever please anyone completely with his substance/style, a lot more smiles and kind words could go a long way. At the same time, college debaters, coaches, judges (aka "the adults," overly-simplistic metaphor supplied for emphasis) should realize that while the returns they get for being incredibly selfless may not reveal themselves right away, but they are no less important for it. Kids make mistakes. THey go too fast. Their arguments don't make sense. AND THAT'S A GOOD THING. Kids who debate like that should lose. Not because they're bad, arrogant, or 'corrupted,' but because they didn't persuade their critic. No more, and no less. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned in high school, not just about debate but about life, were intimately related to what could be crudely characterized as 'adaptaion errors' when I debated. I realize it's unpleasant to watch an unclear, overly-cocky 16-year-old blather on at incomprehensible speeds about some hackneyed French philosopher who has no discernible relation to the supposed 'topic' of discussion. But it's also unpleasant to watch a clammy freshman mumble and fumble his way through a series of anecdotes that have nothing to do with his NX topic on Obama's energy policy. Or 9 minutes of a DI's overwrought monologue on abortion/suicide/rape/self-harm or whatever other shock-topic du jour that makes "red asphalt" Public Service Announcements seem positively uplifting. Why is it that in example one we talk about the event like it's "broken" and in the other two we have the perspective to realize that there's something really beautiful about the process of development which takes kids from the phase in their lives we see as a judge to the phase where they are arguing briefs in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, or dazzling juries with their poise and showmanship? I think the answer is that people are just frustrated. Frustration leads to bitterness and bitterness has caused people--on all "sides" if you want to look at it that way--to question the good faith and sincerity of motive behind the actions of their colleagues. And I guess the reason I keep saying I'm ultimately optimistic is that I just don't think bitterness can kill this activity. Thinking about it in Obamaesque terms, I think that hope will win out. It has to. Lemme just conclude by giving a shoutout to three people who I really admire: I mentioned Winston Miller in one of my earlier posts, and wanted to mention him again. As I said before, that guy was great because you couldn't doubt that he really, really, really cared about you. Winston didn't like speed--in fact, he hated it. He didn't like rudeness either--I suspect he hated that too. But I'll never forget watching him lecture a fast, rude debater for 30 minutes after a round on why he shouldn't be so fast and rude all the time. And what was so goddamn admirable about the whole thing was just how incredibly selfless he was. He wasn't incredulous. He wasn't mean. His perspective wasn't "I the great Winston Miller have been offended by your disagreeable debate style and look down upon you for having engaged in it." It was just "don't do that. It doesn't work." The man cared, and I didn't appreciate him enough when i was in hs. When I judge now, I strive to do for other debaters what he did for me. I know I usually come up short My hs coach, Pauline Carochi, hated the aesthetics of "college" debate. It wasn't even that she hated certain types of arguments (kritiks/counterplans)--she just didn't like the speed, jargon, and attitude. But that didn't stop her from listening to us when we tried that crap anyways, or from encouraging us to go to camp where we would spend two weeks doing nothing but learning all the stuff that she personally loathed. My experience as a debater was greatly enriched for it, and I am still so thankful that I had a coach as selfless as she was, who realized that there were a multitude of ways to look at debate out tehre, and who encouraged me to take part in all of them. Lastly, Sandy, despite your very well-founded criticisms of debate's excesses, you produced some of the finest debaters I have ever known, all of whom were more than capable of persuading mom and pop that the aff case just didn't have no dadgum inherent barrier, or reading a prisons, er, dedev aff with multiple nuclear war scenarios in the 1ac at blazing speed. From my standpoint, there's something to that. At any rate, as a debater and as a person, I'm better for having known you, and hell, I wasn't even one of your students. Anyhow, this post got super long and probably shifted in tone as it got late. But I meant everything I said. I hope some of it made sense. logan
  7. I'll shut up soon, I promise. But I've had a day to think about this. Unfair judges and jerky people are not the cause of the decline of policy debate in Colorado. They have always been around, and will always be around. Everyone would like it if there were less of them, but they pretty much pop up in one form or another in every human endeavor known to anyone ever. Looking back on it, it seems hideously unfair to me how much weight got put on the shoulders of high school debaters to account for the decline in an activity that they gave so much to. To repeat a slightly obscene illustration: It reminds me of that family guy where Peter has a flashback to being a kid at a natural history museum. He asks his teacher, "Teacher, why did all the dinosaurs die out?" "Because you touch yourself at night." Peter frowns. Maybe debate is on the decline, but maybe it'll pick back up, too. I don't see how anyone can be sure. The things that make participation rise and fall are far more complex than a judge's paradigm, a team's argument, or a Chsaa rule. And it's about time we stop pretending like this isn't true. I'm not in a position to do much about any of it--few people are. I can't motivate a bunch of HS kids to choose CX over PF over Extemp over varsity basketball. I can't increase the measly pay of public school teachers and debate coaches, or subsidize the debate budgets of less-fortunate schools. For those who are dealing with these things, hats off. You're doing more than you'll ever be appreciated for. Maybe someday I'll be able to really help. For now, though, I'll just do what I can, like judging a round when I have a free weekend or answering a question if I know the answer or sending a backfile if I can get it off my hard drive. And for as long as I'm doing any of that, I'm going to be optimistic. If debate is on its last legs, I'll thank God for every day that I was able to be a part of it. If it survives in some form by the time I have kids, I'll hope it can do as much for them as it did for me. Now then, CivPro...
  8. I understood you Phil; it was me who was being unclear. What I meant to get across was this; numbers are just numbers. Of course they're down. Of course they were higher years ago. Nothing I do as a judge is ever going to change that. Maybe at some point in my life I will be in a position to increase the participation rate of HS debate, but I'm not there now. I'm in agreement with you that styles/judging/quality are more or less irrelevant to participation, and have given up the delusion that they aren't. So in the meantime, the only thing I can do is judge...sometimes. I hope you'll be involved in CO debate however you can in the future. For me, to the extend that I can't do anything about it, I'm going to be optimistic. logan p.s. as for the decline of this site--it just occured to me that when we were in highschool cross-x.com didn't have to compete with myspace or facebook. There's just as much highschool angst on the internet as there's ever been--it's just moved elsewhere.
  9. I started typing a long response to this. I seem to type a long response to something like this once per year. And it's coming up on six years...out of the activity. I think it's about time I start listening to that part of me that says "shut the fuck up, seriously." I've judged at one HS debate tournament this year and a couple last year. I liked what I saw. The numbers are hurting, but the attitude is good, and to the extent that I can, I'll be around to help. Sure, there's still a contingent with an axe to grind over debaters, paradigms, speed and all the rest...but it isn't coming from the "college kids" Debate is such a strange activity from a developmental standpoint--where else do you spend so much money, time, and energy just to be judged? For those newly out of debate and desiring to help, my advice is this: shut up and judge. Do both at the same time. Go to judge. Kids appreciate it. And when you judge, don't worry about how other people judge. You won't change any minds, and you don't have to. The one thing you bring to the table that a lot of other people don't is that you remember what it was like to be there--right there--being judged--just a few short years ago. You have a unique capacity to empathize with those you judge--use it while it lasts. The purpose of judging is to give back--no more and no less. You don't ump little league baseball because you want to see excellent pitching, and or so that everyone can see how adept you are at calling strikes and balls. No retrospective on HS debate is complete w/o mentioning the late great Winston Miller. The thing that made Winston so great wasn't his paradigm, nor his decisions, nor even the memorable advice he gave to debaters (incidentally, I would credit Winston with the longest oral critique I have ever seen in a CO HS debate round). What you had to love about that guy was that for the 8 minutes you stood up in front of him he really, really cared about what you had to say. It's not as bad as you think, Rapp. Call me when you're in CO sometime. logan p.s. One semester of Contracts is plenty.
  10. Was he in a cage? If so was/were there (an) animal(s) in the cage? If so did the animal(s) kill the man?
  11. I have him for Constitutional Law next semester. Should be interesting.
  12. Awesome man! Edit: I gots Schlag for Constitutional Law next semester. Should be neat.
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