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fdrobertson

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fdrobertson last won the day on March 10 2011

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About fdrobertson

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  • Birthday 06/27/1956

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  • Name
    Fred Robertson
  • School
    Millard West
  • Biography
    old debate coach: loves debate, horse racing, the Chicago Bears, rock and roll and lots of other music, and learning/teaching.
  • Location
    Omaha, NE
  • Interests
    reading, cooking, betting on ponies
  • Occupation
    teacher/debate coach
  1. It's 800 for 9 days of instruction, many critiqued rounds (and we have quality judges), all meals and snacks ( the meals and snacks at camp are excellent and made from scratch daily, and the meals you get at the homes you are staying at will also be fine), and a very good closing tournament held over the last two days. There just aren't any camps that offer better value along with better staff:student ratio. We also respect all types of policy debate--from traditional styles that can win you ballots at NFL, NCFL, and on your local circuit (if your circuit is more traditional) to critical and performance debate styles--and we always have respected all kinds of thinkers who influence debate. We are not going to waste your time having instructors tell you that Spanos is evil or other such nonsense that proliferates at so many camps. Our instructors will teach you how to run great Spanos arguments and how to answer them. It's as simple as that. Policy at NDI has always been and always will be open to new ideas about debate and what it can be, not closed minded and elitist and ultimately shallow. Fred Robertson
  2. Of course I forgot one staff member. My bad. Pittsburgh University NDT debater Ian Lee is also an important part of our policy staff at NDI. Fred Robertson
  3. Coaches and debaters, We hosted 30 policy debaters from several different states last year for our camp at Omaha Westside High School in Nebraska, but this year we appear to have about 10 less while the Public Forum and Lincoln-Douglas camps are both slightly ahead of last year's numbers. We did lose one staffer who has of course been very important to our policy teaching the last three years at NDI--Ryan Wash. I just can't keep costs as low as I do and pay what Ryan will be making this summer after winning NDT and CEDA policy championships with his partner Elijah Smith for Emporia State in Kansas. The entire NDI staff, however, has learned a great deal from Ryan's passionate commitment to argument; and I think it says something about the camp--the fact that Ryan has been on our staff at NDI for three years. But here is the staff we still have to offer: Halli Tripe, head debate coach at Winston Churchill H.S. in San Antonio and former NDT debater at Baylor; Jeff Roberts, policy debate coach at George Mason University; Chris Spurlock, NDT "nomad" debater and one of the best critical debaters and coaches in the country; Matt Kenyon, former coach at Sioux Falls Lincoln, where he had two national champion policy teams at NCFL Nationals; Mike Ewald, former coach at Sioux Falls Lincoln, current coach at University of Chicago Lab School; Kirsten Blagg, former top 20 finisher at NFL and student at Marquette University; Tim Royers; new head debate coach at Millard West High School; Dylan Sutton, former 7th place speaker at NFL Nationals and assistant coach at Omaha Westside; David Robinson, policy debate coach at Millard South; Zach Lipmann, assistant debate coach at Millard North; Lana Wang, top 20 finisher at NFL Nationals and student at Columbia University; Yaen Zhang, top 20 at NFL Nationals and Harvard student; and Brian Gonzaba, assistant coach at Omaha Westside. All of those folks will be led by Scott Wike, former head coach at Millard South, who does the best topic lecture in the country; and Dana Christensen, current head coach at Omaha Westside, our host school. As you can see, we don't try to go light on policy staff (in fact, there will other policy debaters who come in to help out voluntarily because the Nebraska debate community cares about teaching and working with policy debaters to make them successful) and plan on always being at 2:1 on staff/student ratio. But we need some more students in order to get to that ratio. Here are the basics you need to know. I will extend registration deadline to July 12, two weeks before camp for policy begins on Friday, July 26. I need at least that much time to work on getting you housing if you are coming to Nebraska from out of state. The cost for 9 days of instruction (check out our schedule by going to www.nebraskadebateinstitute.com) is $600 and that includes meals while at camp, water, and good snacks. Ask anyone who has been to NDI about our food; it is legendary. Prepared fresh every day with love, and we adjust to all dietary needs. In addition, if you are coming in from out of state, you will need to be housed by a parent of a local debater who is attending NDI or by other parents who are friends of the camp. That costs $200 but they will also feed you well. Nebraska folks are quite hospitable. If a few people who have attended NDI would testify a bit about the camp, I'd appreciate that. Staff members or former staff members can also join in. This is a very high quality debate camp, plain and simple. Yes, it's my camp, so I am a bit biased, but most everyone who has been to NDI knows I am not exaggerating at all, and our track record with policy debaters has been particularly strong. Come to NDI! You will love it! www.nebraskadebateinstitute.com Fred Robertson Director, Nebraska Debate Institute
  4. Debaters and Coaches, The Nebraska Debate Institute could use a few more students in all divisions of debate. Right now we are at 26 in policy, 18 in Public Forum, and 13 in LD. Registration deadline is June 30 but I would give folks a few days after that. Folks, we run one hell of a debate camp. All divisions of debate are headed by experienced, hard-working coaches and we have tons of staffers, especially in policy, to help you improve your game. That may be why 5 of the top 30 policy debaters at 2012 Indianapolis NFL Nationals attended NDI in the past two years: Evan Jones-Sioux Falls LIncoln (NDI 2011), Bryant Yang-Sioux Falls Lincoln (NDI 2010,2011), Taylor Simundson-Sioux Falls Washington (NDI 2010), Lana Wang-Millard West (NDI 2010, 2011), Yan Zhang-Millard West (NDI 2010,2011). Here's the policy staff: Dana Christensen, Omaha Westside Head Coach; Scott Wike, former Millard South head coach; Tim Royers, Millard West assistant coach; Chris Spurlock, NDT debate nomad and policy coach of a Winston Churchill TOC qualifying team; Jeff Roberts, policy coach at University of Texas-San Antonio; Halli Tripe, former top NDT debater at Baylor; Ryan Wash, NDT All-American at Emporia State; Ignacio Evans, NDT debater at Towson State; Kirsten Blagg, NFL Nationals top 20 policy debater 2011, Marquette University; Ana O'Hara, NCFL National Champion 2011, assistant coach at University of Chicago Lab School; Mike Ewald, head coach, University of Chicago Lab Schoool; Matt Kenyon, head policy coach Sioux Falls Lincoln, winners of NCFL Nationals in policy last 2 years and quarterfinalist at NFL this year; Ian Lee, NDT debater at Pittsburgh University; Dylan Sutton, assistant coach at Omaha Westside; and Carly Persell, assistant coach at Omaha Westside. I don't think any camp anywhere can match the diversity of style we have covered or the energy and enthusiasm for policy debate. In Lincoln-Douglas, students have to put up with me, Fred Robertson, I have qualified over 25 different individuals to TOC, NFL, and NCFL in Lincoln-Douglas debate and have had deep out round participants in all types of debate at all three tournaments over a 25 year career. Charles McClung is the co-director of NDI; he is thehead coach at St. Louis Park High School in Minneapolis, one of the top national circuit squads in LD in the nation. Other staffers are NFL qualifier and current student at Washington University, Priya Sirohi; and former West Des Moines Valley Lincoln-Douglas debater Scott Koslow, also an NDT debater at the University of Texas-San Antonio. In Public Forum, our staff is led by Toni Heimes, head coach at Lincoln Southwest, where she has always qualified at least one PF team to NFL Nationals and several to the TOC; and Aarron Schurevich, assistant coach at Millard West, which has had teams at the TOC in Public Forum for six years in a row. Other staffers are Steve Foral, recently retired head coach at Lincoln Southeast, with over 35 years of experience coaching debate; and Mina Davis, assistant coach at Millard West and a Nebraska State Champion Public Forum debater in 2010. The camp is hosted at Omaha Westside High School. Lincoln Douglas and policy camps begin July 27 and end on August 4. Public Forum camp begins on July 30 and also ends August 4. Our prices are very reasonable; in fact, dirt cheap. Our food is legendary. I am not kidding about that. We can definitely find you housing. We just could use a few more debaters who want to improve. Check out our website at www.nebraskadebateinstitute.com You can also email me at fritz.robertson@gmail.com or give me a call at 402-709-9217 and lets talk about you coming to NDI for policy, LD, or PF. Fred Robertson Head Debate Coach, Millard West High School Director, Nebraska Debate Institute
  5. I haven't read all the posts at all and I am joining very late on this discussion. But I have to say this--it never ceases to amaze me how many people delude themselves into thinking that white privilege and racism no longer exist. I'm an older white guy--just over 55, about to be 56. Lots of old white guys like me have basked in their white privilege so long that they don't think about its constant presence in their lives and how it makes their lives easier. I still screw up on this all the time, making comments that are just flat out wrongheaded, but I have people who call me out on this who I hang around with--mostly debate folks--and this helps me be a little smarter, even though, like most of us, I can be a real dumbass, especially regarding these issues, which are sometimes regarded as being complex but are actually quite simple. It comes down to this: there is still a very strong social hierarchy in place which means that white men are presumed to be more reliable, intelligent, hard-working, etc. than others. This is of course utter bullshit, but this social hierarchy gives me advantages and has given me those advantages for my entire life. It will continue to give me those advantages. Only a dunce wouldn't realize this. The idea that students who are in minority groups have the same access to debate is just downright ludicrous, and it amazes me that people think this is true. I admit I haven't read everything in this thread, because it's huge, but I have to ask--has anyone even brought up womyn and what happens to them when they advance into the top levels of competitive debate? That is worth writing several books, just about that subject alone. I have always done as much as I can to keep my debate teams in good balance with about 50% male/female, which is actually still pretty rare, and since I've come to a school-- it isn't a school with a diverse population (especially regarding class)--that does have a number of first-generation immigrant students, it seems those kids want to do debate on the team I coach. But I'm still a bonehead half the time, struggling through respecting everyone, their cultures, their beliefs. The debaters have been forgiving though, and they just want to debate, and I try to provide them with a place of challenging inquiry where people can have some fun, love each other, and learn. But through all of this, I know that I still have to keep learning not to be a dumbass white guy who acts like a fool half the time, but does not have to worry about it much because I am a dumbass white guy and I can whatever I please while others would pay dire consequences for acting like me. No one, and I mean no one, who cares about debate should ever give up in working to get more people included in the community we love. It has to keep happening, people have to keep working to make it happen. It won't just happen and it's foolish as hell to think it's already happened. Fred Robertson
  6. Mike, What you just posted is amazing. I had never thought about exactly why it is so vile that people use the term "ghetto" so freely. Good lord, I hear that constantly at Millard West, and I call students out on how ignorant it is to use that term to categorize a whole place where people live, but I never realized how truly awful the implications are of this language. Thanks for the wakeup call. Here's something I found from Drew Burk, the Virilio scholar/translator who I am trying to get to come to NDI for a day, with the help of Fremont Mills coach Jamie Saker, who has a connection with him through Jamie's work at the European Graduate School. A Grey Ecology is Needed Now More Than Ever Drew Burk The time of an intellectual having an influence is over. Who has an influence? It is the climate. -- Paul Virilio, Grey Ecology As we stare down the aftermath of another natural disaster, Paul Virilio's words, unfortunately, ring as true as ever. Within a world that is in a headlong rush into synchronized global emotion, we can begin to understand his concept of the integral accident. Yesterday, the accident happened somewhere, it was relegated to one geo-location. Today, the accident is integral, it runs the show. It happens here and there. Paul Virilio has been dismissed by some as a negative thinker who does not have the capacity to think past the destruction of World War II, where, as an 11 year-old child, "war became his university". Today, this university resonates with us to such an extent that we must begin to ask fundamental questions concerning the political economy of speed. According to Virilio, before the contemporary period one had time to prepare for war because strategists could foresee events. Today, within the dromosphere (the sphere of speed which produces the accident), the accident happens before we know it has happened. With any new invention, there is a loss. With the invention of the train, there was the train wreck. And so today, within a globalized culture, struggling to find novel ways of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and living within the aftermath of such fossil fuel disasters as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we must also have the courage to witness another "successful failure". Japan, site of the end of the last world war, itself predicated on the successful failure of the atomic bomb, now becomes the disaster site of invention once again. The atomic age was ushered in with the advent of nuclear power, a ?more efficient' resource than fossil fuels. Hailed as an antidote to the depletion of out-dated energy sources, nuclear power also inaugurated the prospect of nuclear meltdown. As Hannah Arendt warned us so long ago, "miracle and catastrophe are two sides of the same coin". If we can begin to assess this tragedy that has spread through real-time networks, Paul Virilio's demand for a novel sort of ecology, a grey ecology for the man-made world of the dromosphere, can no longer be ignored. While the natural disaster of the tsunami belongs to the world of the natural climate, that domain where a green ecology can be examined in order to rethink the problematic of global warming, grey ecology makes it necessary to study and prevent the excesses of an almost fanatical human commitment to the idea of progress. A grey ecology signals the necessity to reflect, within the context of an accelerated culture, on the instant when "progress itself becomes propaganda". Today, there is no malevolent dictator behind it all. The accident and its political economy of speed dictate the agenda. Consequently, we will need courage to recognize other accidents of the dromosphere. As the economy of speed leaves its destruction and rubble in every aspect of existence, as the workers of Wisconsin and elsewhere strive to demand a grey ecology within the man-made structures of governance, education, and excess wealth, we begin to see that catastrophe can be flipped on its head to provide for the miraculous. As the global networks share the pain and distress of all those suffering, whether in Japan, Libya, Egypt, or on any neighborhood street, we can perhaps begin to acquire the courage to demand a new ecology of progress. When scientists created atomic weapons at the end of the last world war, they were supposedly not in a position to understand their totally destructive nature. Today, as we continue our headlong rush into the future-present, as we desperately allow new inventive ways of extracting energy through clean-coal technologies, as we embrace without question novelty in the realm of instantaneous connection, we must also have the courage to face this medusa of progress with a critical mirror. Paul Virilio envisions no other way of proceeding than slowing down -- re-calibrating our position against the political economy of speed and unbridled "progress". Virilio is not against progress, but unlike our technological predecessors, who perhaps could not have anticipated that train wrecks parallel the invention of the train, that shipwrecks are the inevitable fallout of the invention of the ship, Virilio challenges us, in the name of the future that is already here, to rethink an ethics of progress and invention. A grey ecology is needed now more than ever. ---------------- Drew Burk is a doctoral candidate at the European Graduate School. He has translated the work of philosophers such as Paul Virilio, Jean Baudrillard, and Jacques Derrida. Burk is the translator of Paul Virilio's, Grey Ecology, New York: Atropos Press, 2010. © CTheory. All rights reserved. © CTheory. All Rights Reserved I know that the majority of policy debaters and coaches are going to be dismissive of thinkers like Virilio, in the same way that so many "gods" of policy debate reject Spanos, mainly because Spanos is smart enough and honest enough to call out policy debaters for their disingenuous horseshit arguments (what else can be said about all the "hard hegemony" idiocy permeating machine policy debate?) but the day I start caring about what the majority of policy debate coaches and debaters think about such things is the day go out to pasture, and unless I also get to stand at stud, I hope that is no time soon. Fred
  7. It seems odd that I have to ask this, but I can't find anywhere a physical address for cross.x.com, nor a "contact us" section. since i have had a camp thread, which has been helpful to my camp, and since i said i would pay for this as expected, and since i have some money in my debate camp account, i want to send you a check. but i need an address to send it to. Fred Robertson Director, Nebraska Debate Institute
  8. I am not necessarily suggesting critical affirmative strategies, but that would be fine with me too. I was impressed by Westside's uprooted tree/David Lynch case, for heaven's sake. I'm open to pretty much anything. But if people are going to run high speed rail, then Virilio as a criticism on the negative is certainly a viable option for teams that are open to such strategies, which I would think would include most teams in Nebraska. I do think regular policy cases are hunky-dory. Clearly, that's what Lana and Yan ran all year. I like fixing bridges as a bigass topical as all get out aff case, because it is simply true that we need to do this. But sewers are interesting too, as prospective Commissioner Christensen has noted, and as his campaign manager, I must support him. Fred
  9. I really do think Virilio is quite an interesting idea. Speed and efficiency are often simply bad things, especially when transportation itself offers such wonderful opportunities to meander and have more time instead of less. I am looking forward to going to the TOC and Nationals in Indianapolis because we will drive to both places and debate van trips are almost always wonderful. Bunch of smart, creative people with time to talk to each other, listen to music together, tell jokes, laugh. Occasionally a future commissioner of sewers may have a little accident while gambling but it's all cool. What bad can come of that? Fred
  10. Can i be your campaign manager? I have some ideas to run by you for catch phrases: Dana Christensen: he knows his shit about shit. DC: he can transport your pee. Dana Christensen: the only candidate for commissioner of sewers who can grow algae in his ass. Do I have the job? Fred
  11. I had nothing to do in the last part of my study hall supervision so I thought I'd take a look at what was being talked about on cross-x.com Well, nothing is being written about here. Teams from here are heading to the TOC but no one is talking about anything. Next year's topic is challenging and it might be nice to talk about traditional, criticai, and just whatever the hell kind of positions people think they will be running. But no, apparently eveyone is on vacation from thinking. I do that occasionally myself sometimes but I need to do some thinking about next year's topic in particular, and that thinking generally is better when I can engage in conversation/argument/creative exploration of ideas with others. So this is my suggestion--someone start writing about next year's topic and ideas you have. I know I like the idea of running one critical argument that I talked to Spurlock about a bit on Facebook a while ago--I think some French guy named Virilio is the writer, but I might have the name wrong. I also think it would be intriguing to combine Virilio's general proposition that speed/efficiency is a tool of capitalist fascism with a criticism of speed/efficiency in policy debate practice. Many affs are going to bite into this criticism with regularity next year. Sorry if I got the philsosopher's name wrong: I can't check Facebook while at school. Fred
  12. Yeah, I should have mentioned Gonzaba! my bad. fred
  13. July 27-August 4 at Omaha Westside in Nebraska. Fred Robertson, NDI Director
  14. Just a few additions: I forgot one additional policy staffer: Ian Lee, who debates at the University of Pittsburgh. I wouldn't mind it if someone who has been to the camp would attest to the fact that you learned some things and had great food and judging and coaching while there. David Robinson, assistant coach at Millard South, will probably also be hanging out and I may hire him as well if I get enough policy campers, and I certainly wouldn't kick Bri Hargen out if she wanted to come get NDI food, since she is the best young judge in the midwest and one of the coolest people on the planet. Fred Robertson
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