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About oasasaurus

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  1. Not an offer, but close. In Michigan, offers like this one never happen for first-year teachers and they never happen this early (often teachers are hired in late summer). The sales pitch was pretty good, recruiters were really pumped about me, money and cost of living are both great; now it's up to me to research and decide by June. So... research time!
  2. Hi all, I am looking into the idea of trying for a teaching job in the Fort Worth ISD (TX). I'm from Michigan, and am looking for some different kinds of information. For one I'm sure I just don't know what living in Fort Worth would be like. For another, I really want to find out what it's like to teach there or in the area. Finally I have no idea what debate in that region looks like, but as a long time debate coach I'm interested to find out. If you would like to contribute thoughts on these issues please either post them to this thread or (preferably) get in contact with me. My website with contact info is http://www.orionsmith.info. Thanks in advance!
  3. Hi all, I am looking into the idea of trying for a teaching job in the Fort Worth ISD (TX). I'm from Michigan, and am looking for some different kinds of information. For one I'm sure I just don't know what living in Fort Worth would be like. For another, I really want to find out what it's like to teach there or in the area. Finally I have no idea what debate in that region looks like, but as a long time debate coach I'm interested to find out. If you would like to contribute thoughts on these issues please either post them to this thread or (preferably) get in contact with me. My website with contact info is http://www.orionsmith.info. Thanks in advance!
  4. Okemos 2009 Debate Tournament FRIDAY 09/25/2009 AND SATURDAY 09/26/2009 The Okemos High School Debate team is pleased and proud to invite you to our fifth annual Debate Tournament. 2009 is the fourth year we're at the high school, we hope to continue at this great location. DIVISIONS AND FEES We will offer Varsity (Open) 2P and Novice 2P divisions of policy debate. Both will have 5 prelims. Open will break to quarters, and Novice will break to semis unless entry conditions require a schedule revision. The fee to enter a team in either division is $45, and the fee for each half-hire (covering one 2P team) is $60. Please make checks payable to Orion Smith. If your school does not allow this you may make checks out to Okemos High School Debate. Should you need to hire a judge please let me know ASAP. We may try to offer a JV breakout round or two. TOURNAMENT PAIRING We will offer two randomly paired rounds followed by three high-low within brackets debates. We will allow judge strikes for about 10% of our Varsity (Open) judging pool. ENTRY Entry is exclusively via email. Please send your entry to Orion Smith at smithori@msu.edu with the following information: school, number of teams, divisions, names of debaters and judges as those become available. A sample email will be available on our tournament website. Fees will be frozen at 5:00 PM the Wednesday before the tournament. LODGING There is no home MSU football game the weekend of the Okemos tournament! This means hotel availability will be quite good. There are a number of inexpensive hotels down the street by the 110 exit of I-96 (corner of Okemos and Jolly). One new hotel that’s even closer is the Staybridge Suites. StayBridge Suites 3553 Meridian Crossings, Okemos, MI 48864 Cheaper Options: Days Inn 6501 South Pennsylvania, Lansing MI 48911 (517) 393-1650 Super 8 in East Lansing 2736 East Grand River Ave. East Lansing, MI 48823 (517) 337-1621 SCHEDULE Registration on Friday 09/25 is from 2:35 to 3:15 in the cafeteria. Complete tournament schedule will be available at the tournament website. WEBSITE http://okemos.debateteams.net (click on Tournament) CONTACT Orion Smith, tournament director smithori@msu.edu (517) 490-0376 (cell) TOURNAMENT LOCATION Okemos High School 2800 Jolly Rd. Okemos, MI 48864 We hope to see you at the end of September!
  5. Thanks, that's helpful! I'm waiting on a list of lab rooms in Hubbard from the SDI staff, so that I can get permission from a lab leader to use their room for the meeting.
  6. Hi MI Debate! The MIFA Policy Debate Committee will be meeting this Saturday afternoon at the Spartan Debate Institute. I will be shortly securing a particular room, but we'll be in the dorm hall for the camp which I think is on the East side of campus. When I get the specific location worked out, I'll put out another posting. We have some important issues to work out. I'll outline two: 1) Now that the schedule for the three MIFA State Debate events has been synchronized (Novice Policy, Varsity Policy, Legislative) into one weekend it falls on us to figure out how to accommodate that change. Things we'll need to talk about include how to make judging work, who would run/operate the Policy tournaments, possible changes in schedule etc. The Forensic Council expects us to deliver motions to them in August. 2) Someone, please step forward to take the role of Chair. We can do this with elections or mutual agreement, but my student teaching schedule in 2009-2010 will not permit me to attend Forensic Council functions during that time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
  7. I'll admit I was never drawn to opp wins as a mechanism to determine who clears, but for some reason I don't feel that same objection to using it in prelim pairing. One thing I've thought about opp wins plus high-lows is that opp wins could vary a lot more in real world situations than speaker points, especially than high-low speaker points. Here's an idea from conversation with Joe Kelly about this subject: couldn't one normalize the two to a standard frame of reference before adding them together? Or maybe use a statistical measure, like z-scores?
  8. Here is a curious empirical observation, made during the meetings held at this year's Varsity State tournament. I thought it got lost in the subsequent discussion, though to be fair it didn't bear directly on the time scale we were discussing. 15 years ago, when the field in MI was much larger, at the Varsity State tournament each year some teams would compete for many years in a row even though they had very little expectation of winning hardware or many ballots. Simple and straightforward - why do I bring it up? It's relevant because, if true, it questions the universalism of the statement that teams stop competing when they know they can't win. Many times during discussions of what MIFA should do with its policy debate events, the argument is raised that administrators and students alike would cut programs if those programs did not bring home success. There are a host of other rationales for attending a tournament beyond winning the event. I am not trying to use the past as an indicator of the present, more as an indicator of the possible. And an avenue for investigation: what made these programs valuable to their members? To their respective administrations? Here's one related morsel to chew on, that I thought of after leaving the tournament. My administration was reasonably happy with our quarterfinalist trophy, that was nice. But they didn't know that the tournament had no real qualifier, and that we only won 4 of our 12 ballots in prelims to make it to quarterfinals because the division had just 10 schools. We worked hard and the kids had a great experience at the tournament, but I don't especially feel like running about telling everyone that they should see our quarterfinals award as evidence that we are elite. In other words, there exists a significant credibility gap between the perceived and actual challenges represented by hardware in the state, particularly at the championship event. I admit that there are qualifying factors and that other tournaments in the state operate differently. What I suppose I am saying is that using hardware to placate administrations is a bit like printing money to finance spending; eventually, everyone may lose.
  9. I'd like to ask questions in two areas: 1) Do you think travel costs are the only ones manageable from a policy/top-down perspective? 2) Michigan programs that are dropping off appear to be distributed throughout the competitive spectrum. Let us assume as you argue that insolvency is the prime mover of debate decline. Many (most) of these defunct programs never had any serious ambition to travel outside the state, meaning that cost overruns for national travel aren't the direct cause of their insolvency. Would you suggest that national travel changed the game being played against these schools, or that it changed the opportunities for them to compete in such a way that they perceived a bad value proposition? Are you perhaps suggesting that travel restrictions in a state with at least two distinct geographic regions (northern lower MI and southern lower MI) would serve debate if they constrained travel to regions instead of to the state as a whole? Thanks for your perspective.
  10. Mike, you would have been an interesting voice at the Debate Committee meetings that occurred at the State tournament this year. I'd like to echo your sentiment in a way, which is similar to a sentiment I posted on this thread nearer to its inception. I will try to keep this to four sentences. As debaters we learn to look for (and argue for) the primary cause of a problem, which we believe will lead us to the most effective solution. We are probably finding out that we are not equipped to determine the primary cause of debate's decline, or as Mike suggests it is something which we cannot control in which case we refuse to admit it because that would make us powerless. However, we can agree on some shared goals such as "more debate is better." Therefore we should work in whatever ways we can to accomplish positive changes, even knowing full well that we have not thought our way to perfect solutions. Bravo, Mike. Everyone, look: he's using his head, he's found a sphere of influence that he can utilize, he doesn't need official sanction and his actions generate a debt of honor from the community he wants to celebrate.
  11. I am in a teacher education program and going through a special education lab series at the moment. Two weeks ago, my instructor passed out a relatively simple reading selection that had been altered in various ways to simulate the frustration and anxiety that many students with learning disabilities experience during reading. This fascinated me, so a week later I built my own version. Find a card or some other text that you can copy/paste, then go to the following URL: http://okemos.debateteams.net/TextDrillTool/tabid/1169/Default.aspx I built this tool primarily to create speaking drills for students, and may also expand it in future with options such as "randomly underline words" or "reverse word order." Try at least the first three options, especially the "randomize spacing" option. If you are like me and all my students that tried this at practice today, the result will be very difficult to parse. The last option about randomizing pbqd letters is taken straight from the simulation in my lab, due to many students' difficulties with these letters that resemble each other after rotations and mirroring. Once you have tried the tool, I would appreciate some of your thoughts. Specifically: -Does anyone know of academic research that might indicate that parsing difficult text aids in parsing ordinary text? -I have worried that if I use the text-alteration tool too much for drilling purposes, it will actually damage students' facility with ordinary text. Is there support for that position out there? -One variation I tried with students after we all (I did this with them) struggled mightily with finding and saying the words in an altered card body was to suggest that they "let go" of the part of their brain that wanted to find words, and just try to pronounce the stream of sounds they had in front of them. This I said was analogous to when you encounter an unknown word in a card and you just have to say it, though admittedly on an intense scale. Does anyone think that this variation is more useful than just trying to find and say all the words in the text as words? Does anyone think that this variation is less useful? I hope that you find this tool at least entertaining if not interesting, and look forward to any thoughts. Thanks for your input!
  12. Okemos will send Luke, and... someone... hopefully... Luke's original partner punked out yesterday, a fact from which I am trying to recover. Anyone want to run a hybrid?
  13. I solved my own problem, or at least noticed a way around it. Looks like there's a difference between the URL to add money from the main Evazon page and the URL from the My Account page. From the main Evazon page, the URL was https://secure.cross-x.com/evazon/addmoney.php?sid=<<a session ID value>> From the My Account page the URL was http://www.cross-x.com/evazon/addmoney.php which redirects to https://www.cross-x.com/evazon/addmoney.php Looks like the base URL was different and the session identifier was missing in the second version. I was able to make my purchase, but this remains a (resolvable) issue with the Evazon My Account page.
  14. Hiya Phil, I'm getting a message from my browser about what might be a bad SSL certificate when I go to add money in Evazon, as follows: I tried going through this process in Firefox (which gives the most helpful error message), IE and Safari but no go on any of them. Please advise, I'm hoping to snag this week's Thursday File for the weekend.
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