Da Spew. . .
Tue Nov 11 01:32:35 CST 1997
Well, I thought I'd chime in now that my darn papers are written
(well almost. . . ) on the speed/clarity gig. I have been struggling with
similar problems that most people have posted about (Joel, Deatherage,
Bill N., and cory) since I started judging. So here are a few random
thoughts about the issue:
1. A lot of judges try hard. I try to write down the args in the
cards, and listen and understand the args as made in the debate. I know
that most debate judges are working hard in the back of the room.
2. The debaters almost always have a heavy advantage in the
explanation of arguments. They pass cards back and forth while I sit in
the back of the room wondering. . . "mmmm what does the un-underlined ev
say?" Debaters can remedy this by previewing their big args earlier for
3. I usually have a much better flow of the round. When I
debated, I tried to flow, but at a certain point, pulling more cards, and
futzing around is more fun! I notice that a lot more debaters are
ignoring the cards in a disad, or substructure of a T once they "think"
they have a handle on the args. This isn't neccessarily bad, it just
means that debaters are putting hte emphisis on the performance and not
always the flow. [I notice a lot more of the "organized pile of cards to
be extended in the 2nr" happening.] Two implications for my judging:
a. I have found myself intervening to protect teams from new args
a lot more. I don't think that I have gotten much better at flowing, but
I think more 1ar's and 2nr's are making new args.
b. I find myself giving more crediblity to the more carefully
explained args. I say at least once a tourney: [insert best redneck
Vermont voice:] "welp, I don't know what the 1ar means when she sez:
'chinese arbitration.' So I give this story less credibility when I weigh
shit out." Now this is countered by great 2ac's, who lay out their turn
stories so sweetly that the 1ar only needs to say: 'poop,' and I know
exactly what they mean. In the end, I want a clean explanation of stuff
before the 2ar/2nr. (This seems only fair to the other team as well.)
4. Structure to the spew goes a long way. Numbering is a crazy
concept, but it helps keep the rest of the debate together. It makes the
debate easier to flow (provided we share the same numbers -- none of this
Bill Law numbering: 1, 4, 7, 6.).
5. Clipping of cards is a problem. recently I have begun ignoring
much of the cite and even parts of the tag to try to get a good chunk of
the card down on paper. Beginning and ending words can help judges figger
out what was actually read from a long card.
I admit that I feel succeptible to people who clip cards. Maybe
its just my brain, but I listen hard and often pick out the "punch" words,
so that is often what I get down on my flow. The truly violent clipper
will trigger my bullshit alarm, but most might be too slick for my lil
5. Underlining is a whole nother matter. I see TONS of people
down a small part of a huge card. I think judges can help deter this by
asking what was actually read, and trying not to let the rest of the card
influence their decision. If ya wanna read a short card, just read one.
Debaters could use cx time to hit on particularly abusive underlining, but
you might have strategy to impliment, so maybe just talk to debaters
outside of the round. At the cap city debates, I pulled someone aside who
I thought was playing it a little loose w/ the spew and told 'em to watch
out. . . maybe community enforcement can help?
6. I agree that rounds should slow down. I like fast debates,
but the arguments should be emphisized more. So cover, but tell a hot
story! Perhaps the best debater I've ever seen, Biz Repko got even worse
to debate when she would slow down. . . Then you knew she was really gonna
kick yer butt. (of course she never had to got that fast to cover me &
Gordie. *grin*). Good debaters should be confident in their ev and their
arguments to lay them out on the table to be debated. [now if yer
straight-turning in the 1ar, thats another matter.]
Well I gotta go sleep, but i'll chat w/ y'all more later.
Oh yeah, 7. Judges get used to the clarity levels of certain
debaters. I was on a panel at South Carolina where I thought I was
brain-dead cuz I seemed to be the only person having a hard time
understanding a particular debater. But the othe judges had seen her
already and heard her gig. . . another thing to think about.
King Maxwell & Elena Cattaneo - Revolutionary Warriors for Justice!
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