[eDebate] The 2006 Wyoming Debate Cooperative Shook It Like a Polaroid Picture

James Maritato james.maritato
Tue Aug 15 03:07:15 CDT 2006

Hello All,
     Yes, it's true - the Wyoming Debate Cooperative was outstanding.
We spent two weeks in beautiful summer Laramie weather and produced a
solid evidence set, had great practice debates and an excellent camp
tournament.  The rotating lecture staff also worked dilligently to
provide a good depth of knowledge on each case as well as how to
debate/debate against them.

     When I left Wyoming after finishing my MA and fled for New York I
made a vow to myself that I would never set foot in "desolate" (Smith,
K. 2004) Laramie ever again.  I hereby rescind said promise and
replace it with a new one:  I will return to Laramie to attend the
cooperative until I am completely unable to, or until we run our own
cooperative.  This year's cooperative ran smoothly and "cooperatively"
despite the absence of our fearless leader Matthew J. for the first
week.  After a long trip home with two Marist debaters who like to
begin sentences with phrases like "NEXT year when we go to the
cooperative, we should...", I have come to the conclusion that the
cooperative model not only "works" as Stannard has noted earlier.  It
RULES.  For a mere cost of $250/person my students received an
education that supercedes or meets most (if not all) of the camps
operating this summer.  And, when you consider that to send one
debater to camp would have cost us $1500 without travel and it cost
$1501 for all THREE of us to go to Wyoming WITH AIRFARE AND SHUTTLE
SERVICE INCLUDED there really is not a good argument for why so many
people are spending so much money (or charging for that matter) for
camp.  In addition to the regular D9 rabble-rousers, the cooperative
allowed students without full-time coaching staffs or who were just
beginning CEDA for the first time to make the trip out to an
educational yet competitive camp experience.  The staff and students
were excellent, Laramie was outstanding (there's even a bourgeoning
punk movement going on - Lawrence Arms and A Wilhelm Scream for FIVE
DOLLARS!!!!!?  YES!) and the level of concern and consideration for
students' needs and wants was on point.  If you have not come out to
the co-op I strongly suggest that you consider it next year - or
perhaps you could run one in a town near you!

Along with Stannard, I would like to thank everyone who helped to make
this year's co-op a success.

"Acting Director of Forensics" Seth "Pinto" Ellsworth deserves a huge
pat on the back for not only ensuring that the WDC ran smoothly but
also for coordinating the Wyoming Forensics Institute.  Without his
help, Stannard could have never brought his skills and knowledge to
the fine people of South Korea (though I'm still convinced that Matt
was really filming "Mattzilla" with Kim Jong Il up North).

"The Assistant to the Acting Director of Forensics" Will Jensen also
deserves our respect for scheduling and coordinating much of our camp
while also making certain that his lab learned and worked their butts
off.  He also has really nice hair.

The Actual For-Real Director of Forensics Matthew J Stannard gets
props for hosting the cooperative despite his absence.  You placed
your faith in us sir, and I hope that we did not let you down :-).
Without your guidance over the years we would never have pulled off as
great a camp as we did.  Thanks for always making the commitment to
give back to our community and for teaching many of us how its done

"The Officer of the Court" Jared Ellis gets mad props for coming up to
help out mid-camp.  Jellis was a major help and knows way more about
the Supreme Court than his "light haired cousin."  I am proud to now
count two "Ellises" among my friends.

Chris Crowe, Aaron Lyttle and Travis Cram are like the Three
Musketeers of student-lab-leaderdom.  When not leading the research
for dope ev sets they also play some mean foosball while listening to
Bad Religion.  This pleases me.

My lab (in no particular order):  Ruth (fetal invaders on your atari
2600 yo!), Angie, Alex H., Alex S. (aka Satan, aka Diablo, aka
Mitten), Pat, Gayle, and Jim - you all worked your arses off,
conquered the biggest and most bidirectional area of the topic, and
came in every day ready to learn and work hard.  You also knew how to
have fun while working as a cohesive group - moreso than nearly any
other college debate lab I have ever worked with.  Always remember:

My debaters, Margeaux and Kozak - you never cease to amaze me, and you
teach me new things every trip.  Thank you for "making it work,"
reminding me how "big" the sky is, for sharing arguments and embodying
a new type of community spirit, and for learning a ton while having a
blast.  Oh and those awards too  (shameless plug) :-).

Everyone at WDC:  Thank you for being so dedicated to learning and
teaching one another.  It was outstanding to see folks teaching one
another in and outside of labs and rounds and working to help each
other become the best debaters each of you can be.  You showed genuine
consideration for one another's educational experience and fed a
cooperative environment in an otherwise competitive environment.
Despite competition, at no point did I see anyone become so obsessed
with winning that they lost sight of what cooperative learning is all
about - working with and for one another.

And so, after a very long day of travel on a very short period of
sleep, I bid ye cooperative and community brethren a good evening.  If
you were there this year - thanks again.  If you weren't, give me a
reason to thank you next year - COME TO THE CO-OP!

Jimbo Maritato
Director of Debate
Marist College

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