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William Smelko

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About William Smelko

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  • Name
    Bill Smelko
  • School
    St. Augustine HS
  • Biography
    Coach
  • Location
    San Diego
  • Interests
    Debate
  • Occupation
    Attorney
  1. Don't know you Nathan, but having volunteered (yes, volunteered) to serve as the Novice Instructor for InfiniteCamp this summer, I thought that perhaps my personal expectations concerning the development of the online debate learning experience might make some things a little more clear for you, since clarity seems to be your niche. While teaching an online LLM Class in Bankruptcy Procedure this Spring, I have learned some of the benefits (and burdens) of what is both a static (objectivist) and interactive (constructivist) approach to online education. Certainly, the more interactivity that occurs, the better from the instructor's perspective as educator and from the instructor's perspective and learner in a brave new technological world. With students in Puerto Rico, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, California and other places I would someday like to visit, the virtual classroom enables self-motivated learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge base in a national legal subject area (the practice of bankruptcy is a federal responsibility), while at the same time also responding to the nuances of local practice rules, guidelines and requirements (admission to practice law is a state/territory/district matter). In the context of debate institute learning, the opportunity for students in remote locations to access a centralized debate workshop learning site without the added cost of travel, dorm expense and just being away from other summer obligations or entitlements provides, in my mind, the ideal nexus of a balance between what poker players would know as an "ante" and an "all-in." While we (possibly) might both agree that the on-campus institute learning experience is educational in ways well beyond the debate-centric knowledge base, there is a matter of cost-benefit to be calculated into the equation, particularly for students (and parents/guardians) who must pay their own way both to summer programs and to tournaments in the fall, winter and spring. I am a firm believer in the value of an on-campus debate institute learning and life experience. My son learned more during his summers studying with Scott Deatherage, Dan Shalmon, Chris Lundberg, jon sharp, Josh Hoe, Aaron Kall, Judy Butler, Tristan Morales, Josh Branson and others at Northwestern, Kentucky, Michigan and Stanford (and made more life-long friends), than I perceive he ever could have learned staying at home in front of his computer for a lifetime. My students at LCC and St. Augustine have had the same equally wonderful experiences growing and learning from Dave Hingstman, Steve Mancuso, jim hanson, Matt Stannard, Ken Strange, Dave Arnett, Greg Achten, Brian Manuel and Brent Culpepper. However, the options/abilities to attend summer programs at college campuses are not open to everyone and the reasons are largely (though not exclusively), financial. InfiniteCamp offers the promise of access to an argument and debate instructional experience for many who still want to debate at the upper levels of the national circuit but who cannot afford the money (or time) to devote to a large portion of their summer being spent on on a distant (or even local) college campus. The ability to integrate constructivist approaches into the curriculum is, and for a long period of time will remain, a work in progress. No doubt that practice debates make better debaters, but the interactive experience in online educational access extends beyond the actual debate round practice experience, though it may hopefully include such an opportunity at some point in the future. My hope and objectives in teaching a Novice curriculum will be to instruct in the basics, but also to provide feedback in the form of answering questions, watching practice speeches online and giving comments and criticism and assisting in the development of the next phase of competitive academic debate, a phase that, I believe, will inevitably include an online competitive experience. At the Golden Desert Tournament, a series of presentations were made to the technology subcommittee of a prominent high school speech and debate national organization by a number of truly gifted and forward-thinking teachers and scholars. How tournaments of the future are organized online and how speech and debate competitions are made available through the internet was the subject of those presentations. What Michael Burshteyn has done is to offer a glimpse into the future of where competitive academic debate is headed, at a reasonable price and on reasonably accessible temporal terms. The thread is about good camps for the price. InfiniteCamp qualifies as a welcome party to the discussion. The number of practice debates, the number of rebuttal re-do's, the potential for an online tournament are not the focused subject of the InfiniteCamp's advertising materials, nor, given the developing state of technology, could they be. Your discovery of "zero" responses in your search of the website for those items speaks well of your computer research skills, something for which you are to be lauded. However, the world of education, and the world of academic competitive debate, are moving beyond the static confines of a brick and mortar classroom. As such, the style, type and nature of the offerings of an online summer institute program are not easily analogized or compared to the style, type and nature of the offerings of a traditional on-campus summer institute. As a parent and as a coach of students who pay their own way to institutes and to tournaments, the costs (including opportunity costs of losing the on campus life learning) and benefits comparison of InfiniteCamp include a multitude of factors that make the idea of spending money on this Institute a good one for some, and not so good for others. Here is what is advertised, nothing more, nothing less, and I suspect the marketplace will obviously decide, again, with thanks for your unsolicited advice on how Michael can improve his sales pitch: “1 – Daily Video Lectures from each full-time lab leader as well as guest lectures throughout the week. 2 – On demand Video Seminars. As we begin to put together our class for instruction, we will take requests for lectures. Like everything else at InfinitePrep, we aim to tailer our information and resources to exactly what you need. If that means 2 hours of Impact Calculus, so be it! 3 – Complete Starter Set. We will provide all campers with an Affirmative, Case Neg, Topicality File, and multiple Disads, Counterplans, and Kritiks. 4 – Assignment lists. This aims to be a fully comprehensive learning experience, and that means assignments. Lab leaders will assign files to students along with research aids and cite lists. Assignments will be reviewed along with feedback to help everybody improve their research skills. All assignments will be shared with the camp as part of attendance. 4 -Drill Outlines and Hands on Curriculum. You will have step-by-step guides for drills and other exercises to help your speaking, research, flowing, and other skills. 5 – DropBox access for all campers. InfiniteCamp will work with DropBox technology to share files and research among the entire camp throughout the summer. This will make access and collaboration a seamless experience. and MORE. All in all, a full week of interactive customized instruction and personalized feedback to help you master the upcoming debate topic! And the best part is, InfiniteCamp can either be an option for those who are unable or unwilling to attend expensive full-time institutes, or simply a supplement to the institute instruction that you already will get. It is a complete package of the camp experience for a fraction of the cost. All it costs for one student is $250 for unlimited access to all our instructional material and hands-on interaction. Register before March 1st and receive an EARLYBIRD rate of $200! InfiniteCamp will revolutionize the way you prepare for debate in the summer, and we are excited to bring you the first elite caliber online camp experience.” There are GREAT institutes out there at REASONABLE prices, and GREAT values to be had from 3,4,5 and 7 week experiences at beautiful college campuses around the country. For those of you who cannot avail yourselves of those opportunities this summer, please consider InfiniteCamp as either an adjunct to your summer learning or as a means through which your knowledge of the topic and of debate can be enhanced at a reasonable cost in terms of both your treasure and your time.
  2. Don't know you Nathan, but having volunteered (yes, volunteered) to serve as the Novice Instructor for InfiniteCamp this summer, I thought that perhaps my personal expectations concerning the development of the online debate learning experience might make some things a little more clear for you, since clarity seems to be your niche. While teaching an online LLM Class in Bankruptcy Procedure this Spring, I have learned some of the benefits (and burdens) of what is both a static (objectivist) and interactive (constructivist) approach to online education. Certainly, the more interactivity that occurs, the better from the instructor's perspective as educator and from the instructor's perspective and learner in a brave new technological world. With students in Puerto Rico, Alabam, Missouri, Florida, California and other places I would someday like to visit, the virtual classroom enables self-motivated learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge base in a national legal subject (the practice of bankruptcy is a federal responsibility), while at the same time also responding to the nuances of local practice rules, guidelines and requirements (admission to practice law is a state/territory/district matter). In the context of debate institute learning, the opportunity for students in remote locations to access a centralized debate workshop learning site without the added cost of travel, dorm expense and just being away from other summer obligations or entitlements provides, in my mind, the ideal nexus of a balance between an "ante" and an "all-in." While we (possibly) might both agree that the on-campus institute learning experience is educational is ways well beyond the debate-centric knowledge base, there is a matter of cost-benefit to be calculated into the equation, particularly for students (and parents/guardians) who must pay their own way both to summer programs and to tournaments in the fall, winter and spring. I am a firm believer in the value of an on-campus debate institute learning and life experience. My son learned more during his summers studying with Scott Deatherage, Dan Shalmon, Chris Lundberg, jon sharp, Josh Hoe, Aaron Kall, Judy Butler, Tristan Morales, Josh Branson and others at Northwestern, Kentucky, Michigan and Stanford (and made more life-long friends), than I perceive he ever could have learned staying at home in front of his computer for a summer. My students at LCC and St. Augustine have had the same equally wonderful experiences growing and learning from Dave Hingstman, Steve Mancuso, jim hanson, Matt Stannard, Ken Strange, Dave Arnett, Greg Achten Brian Manuel and Brent Culpepper. However, the options/abilities to attend summer programs at college campuses are not open to everyone and the reasons are largely (though not exclusively), financial. InfiniteCamp offers the promise of access to an argument and debate instructional experience for many who still want to debate at the upper levels of the national circuit but who cannot afford the money (or time) to devote to a large portion of their summer being spent on on a distant (or even local) college campus. The ability to integrate constructivist approaches into the curriculum is, and for a long period of time will remain, a work in progress. No doubt that practice debates make better debaters, but the interactive experience in online educational access extends beyond the actual debate round experience. My hope and objectives in teaching a Novice curriculum will be to instruct in the basics, but also to provide feedback in the form of answering questions, watching practice speeches online and giving comments and criticism and assisting in the development of the next phase of competitive academic debate, a phase that will include an online competitive experience. At the Golden Desert Tournament, a series of presentations were made to the technology subcommittee of a prominent high school speech and debate national organization by a number of truly gifted and forward-thinking teachers and scholars. How the tournaments of the future are organized online and how speech and debate competitions are made available through the internet was the subject of those presentations. What Michael Burshteyn has done is to offer a glimpse into the future of where competitive academic debate is headed, at a reasonable price and on reasonably accessible temporal terms. The thread is about good camps for the price. InfiniteCamp qualifies as a welcome party to the discussion. The number of practice debates, the number of rebuttal re-do's, the potential for an online tournament are not the subject of the InfiniteCamp advertising materials. Your discovery of "zero" responses in your search of the website for those items speaks well of your computer research skills, something for which you are to be lauded. However, the world of education, and the world of academic competitive debate, are moving beyond the static confines of a brick and mortar classroom. As such, the style, type and nature of the offerings of an online summer institute program are not easily analogized or compared to the style, type and nature of the offerings of a traditional on-campus summer institute. As a parent and as a coach of students who pay their own way to institutes and to tournaments, the costs (including opportunity costs of losing the on campus life learning) and benefits comparison of InfiniteCamp include a multitude of factors that make the idea of spending money on this Institute a good one for some, and not so good for others. Here is what is advertised, nothing more, nothing less, and I suspect the marketplace will obviously decide, again, with thanks for your unsolicited advice: “1 – Daily Video Lectures from each full-time lab leader as well as guest lectures throughout the week. 2 – On demand Video Seminars. As we begin to put together our class for instruction, we will take requests for lectures. Like everything else at InfinitePrep, we aim to tailer our information and resources to exactly what you need. If that means 2 hours of Impact Calculus, so be it! 3 – Complete Starter Set. We will provide all campers with an Affirmative, Case Neg, Topicality File, and multiple Disads, Counterplans, and Kritiks. 4 – Assignment lists. This aims to be a fully comprehensive learning experience, and that means assignments. Lab leaders will assign files to students along with research aids and cite lists. Assignments will be reviewed along with feedback to help everybody improve their research skills. All assignments will be shared with the camp as part of attendance. 4 -Drill Outlines and Hands on Curriculum. You will have step-by-step guides for drills and other exercises to help your speaking, research, flowing, and other skills. 5 – DropBox access for all campers. InfiniteCamp will work with DropBox technology to share files and research among the entire camp throughout the summer. This will make access and collaboration a seamless experience. and MORE. All in all, a full week of interactive customized instruction and personalized feedback to help you master the upcoming debate topic! And the best part is, InfiniteCamp can either be an option for those who are unable or unwilling to attend expensive full-time institutes, or simply a supplement to the institute instruction that you already will get. It is a complete package of the camp experience for a fraction of the cost. All it costs for one student is $250 for unlimited access to all our instructional material and hands-on interaction. Register before March 1st and receive an EARLYBIRD rate of $200! InfiniteCamp will revolutionize the way you prepare for debate in the summer, and we are excited to bring you the first elite caliber online camp experience.”
  3. Good luck with the weather and the Tournament. Great job of being flexibile when nature is the opponent running a global cooling turn.
  4. Given the intense competition for qualification spots, you earn your TOC bids as a team and must debate as a team in Kentucky. It is not a matter of flexibility as much as it is about fairness in the qualification process. I hope your partner can change their plans and make it to the Tournament. UK is a beautiful campus and the Tournament is a remarkable and intense learning experience.
  5. Thanks to the Stanford Debate Society and the Tournament hosts. Wonderful event.
  6. Can someone please post and then update the bracket in something other than a TIF file? Thanks
  7. This is from Leonard Gail of the National Urban Debate League and explains much about the influence and legacy of Dr. Scott Deatherage. The NAUDL’s Executive Director, life-long educator, and our friend and colleague Larry Scott Deatherage passed away the morning of December 25, 2009. He was 47 and died of cardiac arrest. Throughout his life, Scott believed in the ability of debate to transform the lives of students. As a Northwestern University faculty member, Scott taught countless students the power of sharp thinking, persuasive communication, and argumentation. As Director of the Northwestern University Debate Society, Scott was one of the most successful coaches – if not the most successful coach – in college debate history. As the Executive Director of the NAUDL, Scott turned his extraordinary talent and focus to helping extend learning opportunities to students who might not otherwise have access to debate. Under his leadership, the NAUDL built institutions that will continue to provide life-trajectory changing intellectual challenges to thousands upon thousands of urban students across the country for years to come. His life, and his commitment to that work, came to a close all too prematurely. Scott’s family posted the following on the afternoon of December 25: As most of you know by now, Scott passed away early this morning. In his last two days, he was surrounded by friends and loved ones. Scott's family is working to deal with the immediate practical challenges of this tragedy, and has not yet set a time or place for a funeral or memorial service. Plans for those events, however, are in the works for the near future, and we will make sure you are all informed as soon as they are finalized. Thank you all for your continued patience and support – it has meant the world to Scott's family. The NAUDL will distribute information regarding memorial services in Scott’s honor as it becomes available at http://www.urbandebate.org/scott. You may also be interested in visiting discussions on the College Policy Debate Forums site and Facebook. At both sites, Scott’s friends and colleagues have shared memories and have paid tribute to him, and additional information about the memorial services will be posted there as well. On the heels of this tragic loss, please join us in remembering with admiration Scott’s remarkable life and work. The NAUDL Board and Staff
  8. Gordon Stables at USC passed this email along to many. This is very sad news about a truly wonderful debate coach and teacher. My condolences to Scott's friends and family. FROM GORDON: Scott Deatherage passed away last evening. The ceda forums (http://www.cedadebate.org/forum) contains more specific information and provides you an opportunity to share remembrances. Please keep the NU debate family in your thoughts and prayers today. We have a lot of folks in common. Tom Goodnight was Scott's predecessor, Brian McBride worked closely with him during their championship run, Noah debated for Scott as part of that run and many more connections. Gordon
  9. SDA is a quality program with quality teams and coaching. Kianna Eberle and Megan Gaffney are the first team (or certainly one of the first teams) from SDA to ever receive a TOC bid. They probably do not spend a whole lot of time on Cross-X.Com, so entreaties that go unread are not capable of receiving an immediate response from either Kianna or Megan. Now that they know of the community's need (demand/obsession/request) for information regarding their Aff and Neg cites, they have promised to satisfy those needs (demands/obsessions/requests) at their first available opportunity. So, please be a LOT nicer to the SDA debaters. Some people have different approaches to the activity, and those people at SDA are neither "losers," nor "sketchy." Having judged them twice, I can assure you all that they are two extremely honorable individuals and very open to the exchange of information.
  10. Bruce: Thanks for coming out. Sorry about the weather, sometimes 78 gets down to 72 in winter. Congrats to Bro Rice and Fullerton on getting to the semi's bid round and to Damien and San Dieguito on an excellent Final Round. I did sit. San Dieguito AFF--Critical Homeless--Damien Neg: 2NR went for Cap K. I voted on the PERM, Zizek evidence. Other Judges felt the Negri Cards outweighed/pre-empted the Perm's effectiveness. An excellent debate. Two marvelous teams in Finals. Thanks to all who attended. Happy Holidays.
  11. This was just put up on edebate. It is well worth reading: *In Recognition: Ross K. Smith* Earlier this week the college debate community lost one of its most accomplished and influential coaches, leaders, mentors, and friends. Ross Kennedy Smith passed away on July 19, 2009, but his influence will be felt for many years. In the shock of the last few days the debate community has paused and reflected on the ways in which Ross influenced us all. The tremendous outpouring of condolences and memories is a testament to how many lives Ross touched. As representatives of the three largest collegiate policy debate organizations we take this moment to remember a coaching legend. For the last quarter century Ross, as Director of Debate, and Alan Louden, as Director of Forensics, embodied the Wake Forest University Debate team. As we celebrate Ross, we also celebrate the remarkable partnership of these two remarkable forensics educators. Together they defined a standard of excellence for all debate programs. It is not always easy to highlight their accomplishments in isolation of each other, because they both exemplify such modesty. Today we celebrate their partnership as we remember Ross. A Wake graduate himself (’82, ’84), Ross started coaching the Demon Deacons in the fall of 1984 as he began one of the most significant coaching careers in the history of intercollegiate debate. As the Director of Debate at Wake Forest, Ross left his mark as a deeply committed and incredibly successful coach. His list of accomplishments is long and well-known. He coached the 1997 and 2008 National Debate Tournament National Champions, the 2006 and 2009 NDT 2nd place teams, was named National Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1998, and District VI Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2006. In Best of the Decade polling he was named Best Judge of the 1990's and Second Best Coach of the 1990's. He qualified more teams to the elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament than any other coach in the last decade. As remarkable as this list of accomplishments is, it only begins to appreciate his energy and his passion as an educator. Ross was a tireless advocate for bringing the very best from policy debate. A brilliant teacher, Ross was a mentor to Wake students of all competitive abilities. With leadership from Al and Ross the Wake Forest debate program has influenced hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students. Many fields owe a debt of thanks for the talented young professionals that learned from Ross. It is almost impossible, for example, to find a debate program untouched by Wake graduates. Regardless of when they were involved with the team or if they were an undergraduate competitor or a graduate teaching assistant, these students fondly recall the influence Ross has on their development. Marcia Tierksy (WFU Class of ’94) explains, "Ross was a remarkable person. He was a great mentor and a brilliant innovator. I know that I would not be the person that I am today without Ross's influence, and I could easily name 50 other people who could say the same. Ross had a great gift for making those who debated for him better. Better debaters, better thinkers, better speakers, and better people. There are no words for how much he is missed." His influence was not just limited to those enrolled as students at Wake Forest. Ross saw competition not as a way to divide people, but as an opportunity to teach all those around him. Many of those who have shared their memories in recent days are those who competed against Ross and his Wake teams. Dan Shalmon (Berkeley, ’04) shared what is was like to compete against Wake Forest, "Debate coaches are intensely competitive people. Rivalries can become intense, personal and mean. Races for the Copeland Award, which recognizes the best team of the course of a season can become downright ugly. Such races usually are waged between two, or at most three teams…. Ross was a mentor to me and my teammates. He was also the coach of the team we contended for the Copeland with most closely. Our race came right down the wire; our debates with Wake were exceedingly close and often infuriatingly so. Ross was always - and I mean without fail - friendly and supportive." Ed Panetta, the Director of Forensics at the University of Georgia, himself a former Wake debate graduate assistant, noted this same experience of coaching against Ross, "While his teams were very competitive -- he didn't project a sense of being competitive with his professional colleagues. This is a gift that fewer and fewer coaches exhibit. When Georgia was in the finals of the (1997) NDT against Wake Forest we spent most of the debate together sharing fun memories. And, he was very gracious in victory. In fact, he was the only person left to help me move [our] evidence from the ballroom that night after the dust settled." Debate coaches and students spend a great deal of time together during the competition season, much of it at three day competitions, known as tournaments. Never content to direct countless tabulation rooms at other schools’ tournaments and host the largest regular season tournament each year, Ross always worked tirelessly to make tournaments better. As the hosts of the ‘Dixie’ (now renamed as the ‘Franklin Shirley’) college debate tournament, Ross was a driving force in improving the way that debate tournaments operate. Ross had as much influence as anyone in the last quarter-century in improving their operation. His willingness to take risks and experiment with new practices brought many of the innovations that today the debate community takes for granted. Everything from the basic time limits for each speech, the scale used to evaluate the way in individual debaters are judged, use of precise and accurate schedules, greater transparency in pre-tournament disclosure, and groundbreaking use of computer tabulation software were innovations developed at Wake Forest. He strove to provide great competition and legendary hospitality. It is not surprising that the annual Wake tournament was selected as the best tournament of the both the 1980s and 1990s. The humane and professionally managed tournament attracted the very best in college policy debate and is a positive memory for everyone who attended as a coach or competitor. Ross also influenced many more students by directing Wake’s summer debate institutes for high school students, organizing public debates and teaching Debate and Advocacy at Wake Forest. His high school summer workshop and early season national high school tournament provided high quality instruction and competitive experiences for thousands of high school students from across the nation. He also edited more than twenty volumes of the "Debater's Research Guide", the most widely respected annual guide to the policy literature and arguments surrounding each year's national high school debate topics. His service includes leadership at the national level of intercollegiate debate organizations. He served as the District IV representative to the National Debate Tournament for several terms and served on the national topic selection committee. Ross was a leading voice in making the merger of the NDT and CEDA communities possible, a tremendous step forward in the integration of our debate community. In just the last few months he played an active role in The National Development Conference on Debate, hosted at Wake Forest. He served as a member of the Best Practices Committee, a group that continued the spirit of his labors. He was a vocal and enthusiastic advocate at this forum, just as he had been his entire career. Ross saw debate as something that was not limited to just tournament competitions. He founded the Open Source Debate Foundation, which has as its mission the connection of the research and analytic capacities of the academic debate community and its graduates to the wider political and policy communities. He cofounded DebateScoop, a community blog devoted to coverage of campaign debates led by the nation’s leading debate and political communication scholars. He was active in local Democratic Party politics, including running for the Board of Education Forsyth County, NC, in 2006. He also taught regularly at the Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative, a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program that brought hundreds of high school students from around the world to Wake Forest for study of civic activism. In recognition of his exemplary service, he was named the 2009 recipient of the George Ziegelmueller Award. The award, named for the longtime coach at Wayne State University, is presented to a faculty member who has distinguished himself or herself in the communication profession while coaching teams to competitive success at the National Debate Tournament. Ziegelmueller’s son, Bill (‘91), debated at Wake Forest. Al Louden, himself a recipient of the award in 2000, presented the award. "The Ziegelmueller award is the top award presented by the National Debate Tournament, which recognizes long-term career contributions to the national debate community, akin to a lifetime achievement award … In Ross’ case, his competitive success, coupled with being widely recognized as the leading innovator for debate practice in the country, contributed to his selection." The generational nature of academic debate lends to a sometimes fleeting institutional memory. Students and coaches pass through each year. Some influence others as a judge, others host competitions, and still fewer truly become mentors to the next generation of talented students. Ross not only thrived in each of these roles, he set a standard for others to follow. Bill Ziegelmueller’s college debate partner, Mark Grant (’93, ‘95), expresses how Ross lives on in those he touched. Ross's passion, intelligence, wit, willingness to challenge contemporary thinking, and kindness won't be forgotten. Ross changed the world around him for the better, in ways varying from as personal as helping troubled students to as vast as improving the quality of debates in countless places and ways. Those of us still here already miss you terribly, but beneath that, are overwhelmed by how you positively touched our lives. Coach, teacher, boss, friend, I am deeply thankful for the time you had with us. Every person who has passed through debate in the last quarter-century has been influenced by Ross. Dallas Perkins, the Director of Debate at Harvard University described Ross as “one of the most highly respected judges in history” and “One of the greatest coaches in the history of academic debate in America has left us at a terribly young age.” At this truly sad moment we face the future and the change that will come. This will be all the more difficult because of how important Ross was in difficult times. When circumstances warranted change, Ross was not afraid to act decisively. Within weeks of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 Ross broke with traditional tournament format to provide opportunities for extended discussions of issues affecting the nation and world following the attacks during the Franklin Shirley tournament’s public debate-ins. The process of making this happen was challenging and it required motivating an entire community to adjust its practices. Appropriately, Ross voiced the challenge, "Look folks, there are thousands of people who WANT TO HEAR YOU. They are calling on you to debate in a way that answers their real need for something beyond the drumbeat of the media and the administration. Will you answer their call?" For the last twenty-five years Ross answered the call with a sense of joy and energy that inspired us all. We are better for having had the pleasure of knowing him. His pioneering contributions advanced our competition practices and our activity's pedagogy single him out as a true visionary who will be dearly missed. Today we begin the difficult task of moving forward, inspired by his legacy and answering that call. It will be very difficult to experience tournament competition without him. His influence, however, will last as long as we honor his memory. As the representatives of intercollegiate debate organizations, we recognize Ross K. Smith’s lifetime of service to our community and we express our most profound condolences to his wife Jayne, their son Alex, their entire family, Alan Louden, the entire Wake Forest debate family, and Wake Forest University. Brent Brossman, President – American Debate Association Tim O’Donnell, Committee Chair – National Debate Tournament Robert C. Rowland, Chair of the Board of Trustees, National Debate Tournament Gordon Stables, President – Cross Examination Debate Association
  12. This week has proven to be especially difficult for the TOC Administration, and for the Policy Debate Community as a whole. Look for an announcement and release sometime next week following many people's return from Professor Smith's Memorial services in Winston Salem.
  13. A very sad time for the debate community. Ross Smith will be missed by many, many people. He will be remembered by those who he trained, taught, coached, counseled and simply befriended. The largest group who should remember him will be those he thanked . . . for wonderful tournaments, for marvelous hospitality, for the opportunity given by competitors to improve oneself. A remarkable person of quality and dignity, one of his last edebate posts is how I think I will remember Professor Smith. In his words: "I've received some e-mail and facebook praise (thanks!). I want to issue a broader reply. Maybe it's just too obvious to state, but I've rarely been a person of few words (once you get me going) . . . . Thank you competitors. Every one of you, coach and debater, who face our teams and push our teams to think harder, research deeper, get outside of our narrower confines. You pose questions to our coaching, without which questions we could not learn and improve. On occasion, hopefully rare, we do not reciprocate or we fail to appreciate. When we (being human) are at our worst we might denigrate. I hope and trust not, but know that we mean not. We can't do it without you. What are the best debates you have judged or debated in? They are closely contested. They reflect a commitment to excellence. That atttribute can never be one sided. We are at our worst and best when we put everything we have into a debate and come up on the short end. But who gave us the opportunity to be triumphant and feel that the win was meaningful in the first place? Our competitors. Thank you. -- Ross K. Smith Director of Debate Wake Forest University" Thank you, Ross Smith, for making our world a far better, more human, more graceful place.
  14. Stefan, Michael, jon sharp, Professor Solt, Professor Smith and Big Jim (and others): Thank you for open sourcing these WONDERFUL lectures and files. The world of Policy Debate is better for your generous contributions and scholarship.
  15. This is the most helpful thing coming and going for those of us watching from afar. Thank you for all your hard work!!!
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