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tpeters last won the day on May 7 2009

tpeters had the most liked content!

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About tpeters

  • Rank
    Crusader (the good kind)
  • Birthday November 8

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  • Name
    Tammie Peters
  • School
    Golden High School
  • Location
    Golden, Colorado (near Denver)
  • Occupation
    Speech/English Teacher/Coach
  1. It also opens with the Lakewood/Golden Tournament, at Lakewood HS this year.
  2. Here's another way of thinking of inherency: It is similar to the legal concept "innocent until proven guilty." The Status Quo is considered "innocent" of causing or exacerbating the problem (harm) unless the Aff can prove it is "guilty" of causing the problem or preventing the solution. Think also about the "real world" definition of "inherent." (and yes, this word is used in other contexts besides debate). Something is considered "inherent" if it is an essential part that cannot be separated from the thing being described. An author's inherent inability to follow a plot line through is a reason to reject a book. Thus, the AFF has to prove that whatever problem is presented is inherent/intrinsic/inseparable from the Status Quo, so the Status Quo must be changed. This then echoes Ankur's description of the types of inherency: structural, attitudinal and existential. Is there a law or a treaty or a Presidential Order (or other policy) which creates the problem or prevents the solution? Do Congressional attitudes and fears cause the current way of doing things to continue? (I agree with Ankur that existential inherency is the weakest form -- just because something exists does not necessarily make it inherent.) By the way, this can be a tough concept to understand. I've had debaters who didn't really get inherency until 2-3 years of competing. I hope this helps clarify things a little.
  3. For those of you planning on submitting topics, the PF Wording Committee will be putting out the topics for vote on Thursday, Oct 21. That means you need to email in your favorite topics before this Thursday.
  4. Thanks for your input, Snarf. Back to the point: what would you like to debate?
  5. Note: I hope this is a serious discussion of Public Forum topics, as opposed to a place to comment on the general value of PF debate. NFL has asked for help coming up with good topics for their monthly ballots for the next three months. I figured we should chat a bit about possibilities so NFL has some feedback about reactions to topics. So, here is a place to mull over possible topics for PF. What would you like to debate about? Why? What might be the drawbacks to particular topic areas and specific wordings? I'll get the ball going with a few topics that have come to mind: Resolved: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, on balance, has benefitted the American people. Reason: This is the official name of the Stimulus Act. As we approach the November elections (and I realize this topic would be discussed after that), there are many opponents to the President who are claiming that the Stimulus Act has been a "failure." Has it? Has the over $700 billion in funds and tax cuts been worth the tremendous deficit? Considering that unemployment is still too high, has it accomplished its goals? Resolved: The United States should recognize a Palestinian state. Perhaps other wording would be better. Reason: US/Israeli relations is a hot topic. Just this week, the current Palestinian President brought a new proposal for Palestinian recognition to the Arab League. Recent peace talks have stalled because Israel broke the no-new-building-moritorium (or did they if they were only completing already begun projects). Many see US action and pressure as key to changing Israeli actions. Resolved: Mandatory K-12 testing has improved education in the US. Reason: I realize that we discussed exit exams last year, but only 24 states have exit exams. Every state has mandatory testing, a la NCLB. Many would argue that the testing has focused education on the 3 Rs and have reinforced an essential foundation. Others point to the idea that these mandated tests don't test all subjects and that is hurting education by limiting the focus to only tested areas. (For example, speech is not a tested subject.) Are we catching up with the rest of the world? Are more kids benefitting from the back to basics? Are our students beginning to fail at the arts, etc.? Resolved: something about Mexico. Yes, I am looking for wording suggestions here. Reason: A big issue here in Colorado is whether the Mexican authorities have done enough to bring home the remains of a missing American tourist and bring those responsible to justice. The State Department recently issued a travel advisory for all of Mexico because of the danger to tourists. Well, there's one economic, two foreign policy and one education topic. What would you like to debate?
  6. This was just posted on the PFDebate.com today: Additional information about the new voting procedure is here http://blogcdn.pfdebate.com/docs/public_forum_debate_test_voting_process.pdf
  7. Just to clarify: I did not show Resolved first. It was not used as a way to pull kids into the event. I showed Resolved only AFTER the advanced kids had abandoned the event -- kids who had learned stock issues and kritiks and counter-kritiks and disads for 3 years. Those kids were telling the novices that it was a crazy event. On the other hand, I do show National Finalist tapes during the first two weeks of school in LD, PF, OO, Extemp, Humor and Drama. Those don't seem to intimidate students -- they tend to generate excitement. Finally, this happened before the current PF topic controversy (which happened on Saturday, when there was no school). When I present the new topic to them today, it will be interesting to see what they have to say -- both the new kids AND the kids who have done this for 2-3 years with great success.
  8. I'm not quite sure why you seem so defensive about my post. I am sad that my students don't want to do this event any more. I personally liked CX for what it used to be. But it has moved on -- and my kids aren't interested in its new form. I told them that there are students who believe it is valuable and fun. I hate to lose an opportunity for kids. I'm sad. (Also, yes, the novices were agape, but the advanced kids with 3 years experience were just as critical of what they saw and what they had been seeing.)
  9. Ian, just read your stuff on PFdebate.com. Wish I could give you positive rep for those posts as well!
  10. Apparently, controversy about the sensitive/insensitive nature of the topic has caused a reaction at the National Office. I, like all coaches, received this email within the past hour: That should be fun to research!
  11. I am sad to say that CX debate has lost one more school: mine. We have maintained a Policy debate program (in addition to LD, PF, and all the non-debate events) for about 50 years. But this year, the kids just aren't interested, especially those who have done CX for the past 3 years. My novices kept asking why the older kids were making fun of CX all the time. I tried to speak fairly of the event - I really do think it can be a worthwhile event. Then I let the event speak for itself: I showed them the first 20 minutes of the documentary "Resolved." I think that film does a decent job of describing (especially in the cartoon parts) the basics of this type of debate. The kids (old and new) thought this event had lost its mind. When the event spoke for itself, it demonstrated how devoid of "common sense" it seems to have become. One coach in the film talks about how ALL disads have to end in nuclear war, preferably multiple nuclear wars, preferably ending in global extinction. My kids couldn't believe that. The part explaining the kritik seemed, to the kids, to defy all logic. Of course, there was also the odd gasping for breath done by the very rapid debaters -- it sounded downright painful to present a speech this way. The kids were shocked that anyone would want to do this type of debate. I tried to tell them that this "game" of CX debate is valued by many folks and that there are lots of students who find intellectual value and fun in this "game." They were sure I was losing my mind. Understand, too, that these are very bright kids who are in multiple Honors and AP classes. They are not academic wimps. They are not doing PF and LD because these events are "easier." However, they have gravitated to PF and LD because they make "sense" to them -- they seem to be more "realistic" and logical than CX. My assistant coach and I have done our best to try to "keep up with the times." I took a class in Foucault that helped me grasp the concept of kritiks. We wrote our own Aff Kritik of Nuclear War disads, focusing on the trivialization of nuclear devastation. I have been on Cross-X.com, learning what I can, for several years now. While I do value the quaint, old-fashioned concept of "stock issues," I tried to prepare the kids for other types of arguments. My kids knew everything about their cases -- only to be defeated by a team claiming heping the poor would increase beef consumption which would lead to deforestation and global devastation. It was very demoralizing. I will continue to offer CX to future debaters, but I am not holding my breath about them taking me up on the offer. I'm sad to see it go, but it seems to me that Policy debate has done this to itself.
  12. One of the coaches in our area is really upset about this topic because the Con is full of extremist racist blather. When the most outspoken "sources" for the Con include folks like Sarah Palin, it sort of calls into question the whole stance of that side. That being said, I did some preliminary research this morning. I was particularly interested in relevant Con arguments. The topic asks whether the cultural center should be built near Ground Zero. I think the term "should" here is closer to "ought" in LD, about whether it is the right thing to do, rather than "should " in CX which asks for a policy decision. Thus, I don't think First Amendment and legal arguments help much -- they don't say whether it is a "good idea" or the "right thing to do." On the Con, I've seen lots of writers discussing the pain endured by the family. It may be too soon for such a project -- and that makes it disrepectful. A parallel several writers drew was to Carmelite nuns being asked to move their convent from a building outside of Aushwitz. (The situations are similar but not exact.) Another interesting thing I stumbled upon was the concept of "battlefields" and how they are "sacred." A viewing tower over Gettysburg was nixed because of the special circumstances of a "hallowed battlefield." That could apply to Ground Zero. I read somewhere about the location of the proposed cultural center endangering the visitors as it invites radical response -- there is another prayer center 10 blocks away that hasn't been disturbed by protestors. I teach a class in comparative religions. I'm going to do some research into the Q'uran to find out if there are arguments on either side about the appropriateness of this center. That's what I've come up with so far. ******************** Edit: Now I've read the debate about the topic on PFDebate.com. I don't see this topic as particularly offensive, but I can understand why others might.
  13. tpeters

    Sad news

    It is with a heavy heart that I report Sara Varney passed away this morning at 11:00am. She was with her daughter and died peacefully.
  14. tpeters

    Sad news

    Many of you debaters from the Denver area know Sara Varney, a judge who loves CX. She has been a judge for many years; before that she coached at Green Mountain and Alameda. Ms. Varney has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is in home-hospice care. Her family is with her and she seems to be at peace with what is happening. I know we will miss her presence. While she has requested that people not visit her as it tires her, she does like receiving cards. If you would like her address, please contact me through email tpeters@jeffco.k12.co.us and I'll forward her address to you. Tammie Peters
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