[eDebate] to josh: not original question . . .but I'll answer before ending. read andy instead, really

V I Keenan vikeenan
Fri Apr 6 22:00:38 CDT 2007


Dear Josh:

I am not angry (beyond a general sense of frustration at the inequities of
the educational systems of America, and my general excitability).  I'm not
even angry at you.  it is not about me beyond general inquiries of knowledge
and my perceived derailment of that conversation.

I am, instead, frequently sarcastic.  I am also REALLY passionate about
educational equality of opportunity.  Ask Tuna.  Ask Sam Nelson.  And they
can also tell you I am aware it can be misunderstood :)  And I did point out
the FLAWS of attempting such a discussion (with nuance?) via such a medium
precisely because it leads to communication difficulties such as the
inability to determine tone.  I will now include many, many emoticons.  ://
will now indicate sarcasm,     }:{ is frustration.

I would also welcome suggestions on better emoticons.     ://

Josh, i know that there are MANY people who actively work in this
community.  What I am saying is that 1)NOT EVERYONE knows about those
efforts to emulate or build upon which we should share 2)  there are
deficits to be filled that are possible, and 3) there are some that don't do
this work who may should..  Even if we know generally that these efforts are
out there, we may not know specifics (ie EMORY=orignal UDL, recruitment,
ENDI, many talks by M. Wade).  I am also saying that the possibility of
having a discussion about those options on an open forum would be nice if
could be had straight through.  However, as a community, we are pretty
crappy about how we engage in said conversations (that was my original post
under this topic).  That's all.

I was not saying ALL privileged programs do nothing, but there are some that
don't, and we can honestly recognize that.  I also don't think ALL current
efforts are sufficient. My last "rant" was not about the privilege of the
PROGRAMS, but the privilege of those of US (individuals) who discuss or
don't discuss or diffuse the discussion on the issue in public, especially
on this forum where we CAN choose to ignore it or joke about or turn it back
about the person bringing the issue to the table, not the issue itself.  I
also think that Andy's point in his last post includes that since there does
need to be larger institutional or structural changes in "debate" to
accomplish some goals by his reasoning, then the "choice" of other programs
to not care becomes problematic.

One of your args is that persuading voters is necessary.  Agreed.  I get
this.  but also not the only solution (for example, as I've shown, my state
has a program of redress already - what else should we do?, or what if
people think "affirmative action" is problematic as undefined?).  Andy
questions if in the  in-term of persuasion of voters, what COULD we do?
Part of his answer is internal debate tournament structure change.
Obviously that would require cooperation from others.  Think of it as
analogous to your voters example - it means that this conversation would
need to happen publicly.  perhaps Andy needs to refine his "button passing"
approach for the taste of others in our community, but I also think the bag
of buttons shouldn't get knocked over every time he or others try.  That's
all.  And some personal responsibilty for how we choose to engage would be
nice, and how we are complicit in the derailing of those conversations.

(the above should be read pretty much monotone, non-emotive.  :^I    )

I'm not sure I get the vitriol on your part . . . I don;t even think I was
criticizing you.  What I WAS saying is that given the skills we have as a
community we are definitely capable of engaging in conversation better, and
I am willing to admit that I am perhaps a case in point.

But on a few of your points in particular, I think you are misunderstanding
me or I don't get you:
I'm actually not sure what my "personal action agenda" is . . . better ed
equality?  (I think Gordon Stables believes it's "hybrids for all!"  ://  )
Better ability to hold conversation on edebate about issues of substance?
(because it's not a lost cause :// ) I don't think anyone has to do anything
like me - god, that would be SO awful.  What I want is a recognition of the
plurality that is there in terms of action, and if folks don't care to stay
out of the way, unless they think "diversity bad" or "diversity not
important", but then to own up to it (and don't pretend they aren't out
there, but in no way am I saying that's you.)

Nor do I believe "Debate is"  "just about activism".  It may be one thing,
it may be Andy's thing, but I'm open to debate as many things.  Again, not
sure where this came from.  I do think debate is about education, and I care
about the equality of access to that education given the discussion at hand.

"and sometimes - god forbid - good friends who like to tease each other do
so in a public debate forum." - yeah, which is why I think sarcasm may have
gotten us off wrong - I count Neil Berch and Ben Crossan as "good friends",
I think Stannard is pretty down with me, and I know Carver alright enough
that poking fun at the misinterp seemed okay as a jumping point before
asking for more different ideas to see if I missed anything.  Korcok beat me
to correcting the interp of what he had written - i thought it was pretty
clear the community college thing wasn't AT andy.  Look, it is down right
hysterical that we suck so badly at communication as a community given what
we supposedly do and what may folks study.  see . . . I think I prove my
point - being cutesy obscures issues.  Must listen to my own damn advice. :)


As to: "You can blame programs and coaches all you want - but the mood of
the actual people funding higher education is decisively opposed to this
type of usage of funding in higher education." doesn't answer my questions
about 1)states that have such programs and how to use them better, 2)
instances where students HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED and have aid but there are
coaches who do not bother even giving them the time of day to discuss their
"program" or school which creates a default rejection, or 3) the idea of one
root cause is ridiculous, we need to look at a variety of issues.  I get
what you are saying about your state - I'm not endicting you personnally.
But that is just NOT the issue in ALL states.

Perhaps I get your vitriol at me because you are seeing this personally or
defensively, and I apologize if you thought my statements were an attack of
you as an individual rather that another component of the community, but I
don't believe you are so naive that you don't believe  "some folks don't
care" isn't actually true.  I admit I also see the issue personally
especially after the last round of college admissions when I was a teacher.
I have watched our colleagues who also claim "admissions" as their problem
fail to even answer the email of admitted students from underrepresented
backgrounds inquiring about debate opporunities if they attended.  These are
the same folks who had publically assured that if "they could just get into
the school", it would be fixed.  No such delivery on cheap talk occurred.
That's my point about talk in general - it is not enough to say when the
system is overcome or fixed it will all be solved without personal
accountability by all of us. }:{
"Finally . .  .You should not just throw everyone under the "wasting money
on an unfair activity" bus just because everyone doesnt do it the way you
want it done."

I just don't get this - i don't THINK I said that at all . . . I sure as
hell wouldn't do this activity if I thought it was a waste.  I sure as hell
wouldn't have been an unpaid volunteer coach for 7 years, or a public school
teacher coaching debate without being paid for weekends (and . . .I'm
thinking was indicative that you probably don't know who I am or what I'm
about, which is cool. You have no need to, no reason to,  - but it would
then be best not to make assumptions about what I "know" about the community
-  in fairness.)  :^I

Yes, many people make an effort.  Also many people feel complacent with the
efforts they make for many reasons (comfort, tradition, failure to see
beyond box, human resistance to change, sheer exhaustion), some good, some
bad, and honestly not my place to decide - but at least we can constantly
question ourselves to do better, and when our hands are tied, to offer
assistance to those in a position to do other work, or at least not be an
obstacle.

I guess my final point is that just as it may be wrong to characterize the
whole community not doing anything or not enough, it is also wrong to say
what we've done is sufficient (or even successful sometimes) and to let
ourselves off the hook because we thought or talked about it because it
isn't the same thing as actual progress.

That's about it . . . .

have a good weekend.  if you wish to discuss this more, perhaps backchannel
is best.  perhaps where I went wring in first place.

one week til topic vote ... also an important conversation. MORE BLOGSPOT
input!

-VIK






On 4/6/07, Josh Hoe <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Your anger is somewhat misplaced,
>
> There are a TON of people who work very hard across the country for fixing
> many of these problems as well as many other important problems that
> education and debate face in general.  Your implicit assumption that
> privledged programs dont attempt to fix anything is clearly uninformed
> (Emory for instance, this years NDT champion, has done as much as anyone to
> bring these very issues to the fore across the country).  Ede and Andy and
> 100 people you likely dont know have done 1000s of things to try to address
> issues of access to education in debate.
>
> However, your argument seems to be - if people dont accept your personal
> action agenda - DAMN them for debating.  Debate is not just about activism,
> its not just about questioning privlege, and sometimes - god forbid - good
> friends who like to tease each other do so in a public debate forum.
>
> In addition, I spent a great deal of time talking about how VOTERS not the
> government is a HUGE barrier to these issues...For instance, we had
> affirmative action in admissions in mission, had it supported by the Supreme
> Court, and then had the CITIZENS of our state STOP our ability to defend
> it.  People do not generally believe in what you are talking about - we MUST
> direct our persuasion toward those that are most responsible for the use of
> public funds....the citizens....they do not believe in redressing these
> issues...and until we and others like us committ to persuading normal every
> day folks that affirmative action and access and poverty and race issues
> arent UNFAIR it will get worse not better.  You can blame programs and
> coaches all you want - but the mood of the actual people funding higher
> education is decisively opposed to this type of usage of funding in higher
> education.
>
> Finally, I think you really are not being fair to people who are in
> general underpaid and overworked....Most everyone that I know is VERY
> concerned with these issues and become more involved every year in trying to
> do whatever they can to redress race, sex, orientation, gender, and poverty
> issues.  In a world where most of us get very little or no funding at all
> its not easy...You should not just throw everyone under the "wasting money
> on an unfair activity" bus just because everyone doesnt do it the way you
> want it done.
>
> It is frustrating for sure.....on a ton of levels....but you are doing no
> different than those people you vilify...You are just tarring the whole
> community with the Omri blog brush,
>
> Josh
>
>
>
>
> On 4/6/07, V I Keenan <vikeenan at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > true - not entirely fair.
> >
> > it is not entirely fair that we as a community have the privilege to
> > dismiss, obscure, joke about or deny issues based on the intellectual and
> > academic privilege we posses because OUR access to educational systems is
> > not what is in jeopardy.
> >
> > it is not entirely fair that this is an issue that members of our
> > community can choose NOT to give a crap about because it's not important to
> > some and their version of the activity can go on just fine in its privileged
> > little enclave because no one loses funding or the opportunity to debate who
> > is currently included if there is no change
> >
> > it is not entirely fair that we fail to regularly recognize as a college
> > community our collective influence on the development and expectations of
> > the high school debate community at all levels and where we are complicit
> > with the inactions of institutions that already underserve some students and
> > continue the privelege of others without question
> >
> > it is not entirely fair that the same exact lipservice is paid year
> > after year in many programs and the old "throw up our hands, admissions,
> > what do I do?" is thrown out as the reason.
> >
> > it is not entirely fair that when we try to address the above issue the
> > answers include,  "I'm doing enough, what else do you want from me?"
> >
> > yeah . . . let's talk about "personal responsibility" . . . .
> >
> > yes - there has been some discussion of what to do. Thanks to Eli and
> > Chris for some thoughts on the legal options, and to others with alternative
> > suggestions.   The last suggestion that was thrown out was really
> > interesting, but mostly devolved into the Andy Ellis debate biography,
> > rather than perhaps a more necessary discussion of a) assuming the community
> > college system as an answer assumes a still inadequate ed system which is
> > not changed or b) the resource disparities for competitive debate between
> > community colleges and other institutions and perhaps the unique challenges
> > of engaging that model.  That's my point- there is more area for
> > discussion.  It could be had.  I just feel that if we're not going to have
> > it, let's all be up front about the collective apathy and antipathy, rather
> > than use it as an opportunity to mock each other yet again until it dies and
> > we bring it up haphazardly again next year.
> >
> > and just as a thought . . perhaps our willingness to engage each otherin this manner is indicative of why we have trouble with inclusion on a
> > larger scale.  I thought another thing we learned in this activity was how
> > to engage in communication constructively so that persuasion was possible.
> > this is what I'm calling out.  but what do I know, i think rain is wet.
> >
> > I actually am asking what other options are there in states, colleges,
> > or other institutions. i am asking personally so that conversations I have
> > with high school students can take place in a realistic, open, and informed
> > atmosphere about where to apply to college.  I am asking for the community
> > because as Dave pointed out, it would be nice if when faced with the
> > impossibility of not getting a student with potential into our institution
> > we could give other information and possibilites.  I am asking because I
> > don't really know . . . and I was interested in community conclusions
> > about legal possibilites after a year on the topic because I think topic
> > education is  important and I'm trying to assess what we learned.
> >
> > but I'm probably not being entirely fair, so let's pat ourselves on the
> > back again for managing to get out the 12 relevant responses we did before
> > mocking omri's blog and pretending we did something . . .
> >
> > On 4/6/07, Josh Hoe <jbhdb8 at gmail.com > wrote:
> > >
> > > I dont know if this is entirely fair either, there were many answers
> > > and suggestions directly related to debate and responsibility throughout
> > > this exchange....There have also been ad homs and goofs,
> > >
> > > Josh
> > >
> > >
> > > On 4/6/07, V I Keenan <vikeenan at gmail.com > wrote:
> > > >
> > > > things we have learned from the preceding exchanges:
> > > >
> > > > A. Debate does NOT, as previously thought, develop critical reading
> > > > skills
> > > >
> > > > B. Critical thinking skills may be developed, but it's obscured by
> > > > the fact that we STILL can't interpret humor and sarcasm correctly via
> > > > electronic media.  (maybe we all need more emoticons).
> > > >
> > > > C. We are capable of engaging in a meaningful discussion of an issue
> > > > for about a maximum of 3 posts in a row.
> > > >
> > > > I have found myself agreeing with a korcok post on edebate.  perhaps
> > > > the snow outside my window is hell freezing over . .  .
> > > >
> > > > alas, despite the "hilarity" (cause that's what I read edebate for?)
> > > > none of it answers the original question at hand:
> > > >
> > > > School systems are screwed up and unequal.  Bright kids with
> > > > potential develop more potential via debate.  However; debate does not solve
> > > > for all of the inadequacies of the educational system.  Therefore, bright
> > > > students with potential will not have the opportunity to attend more
> > > > privileged or competitive institutions via debate because entrance
> > > > requirements do not account for these inadequacies.
> > > >
> > > > Theorectically, some of us care that the higher ed system we coach
> > > > in is replicating the elitism and privilege of society because of these
> > > > access issues.  This is problematic for any number of reasons (poor
> > > > policymaker training in a "democratic" society as the opinions heard are not
> > > > representative of the population served by said policies, poor activist
> > > > training as it prevents widescale practice of coalition building, FAILURE at
> > > > the basic pedagogical impulse that if debate teaches so many damn great
> > > > skills then they ought to available to others or else we replicate unequal
> > > > educational opportunities, true claims of elitism - to quote Bring It On, I
> > > > define being the best as competing and beating the best, which isn't true if
> > > > people just can't get to the game).  If we care, we hope to implement
> > > > policies and practices that may address the issue.
> > > >
> > > > We have heard a few ideas thrown out:
> > > > 1.  sue the system (colleges?) to demonstrate that admissions
> > > > policies have racist implications in an unequal educational world wrought by
> > > > de facto segregation
> > > > 2. personal activism - change one mind at a time to get a critical
> > > > mass to care (vote, hold hands, wear buttons, sing kumbaiya)
> > > > 3. recruit, and when they can't get in your institution, hope to
> > > > find them someplace else to go
> > > > 4. identify alternative access programs which account for these
> > > > discrepancies (ie HEOP) and publicize and exploit them to the students we
> > > > know.  Identify similar programs or initiatives in other states/schools
> > > > 5. accept the system is flawed and screwed up and focus on COMMUNITY
> > > > COLLEGES to access the students we are talking about where they are and go
> > > > from their
> > > > 6. pay lip service because it makes you look better but in reality
> > > > do nothing
> > > > 7. say AND do nothing because you just don't care - and own up to
> > > > it.
> > > > 8.  make a joke out of it
> > > > 9.  lobby ad hom's at folks until the issue is forgotten in the blur
> > > >
> > > > I'll also throw out:
> > > > 10. "Coalition" build by sharing resources between more and less
> > > > privileged institutions so that larger educational access at least does not
> > > > deny a certain kind of debate access which can supplement education.
> > > >
> > > > Did I miss anything?  Anyone notice where the discussion may have
> > > > gone awry . . .?  Seriously, other thoughts on the possibilities of
> > > > institutional change?
> > > >
> > > > if not, I'm going back to playing with Jimbo's Bard Coaching
> > > > puppets.  Collect them all.  I hear the HegeMom controls the strings of the
> > > > others    :)
> > > >
> > > > or, if you don't want to talk about this subject - JOIN THE DAMN
> > > > TOPIC CONVERSATION.
> > > >
> > > > -VIK
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Vik Keenan
> > > > Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
> > > > Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
> > > > 212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > eDebate mailing list
> > > > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > > > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Vik Keenan
> > Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
> > Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
> > 212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > eDebate mailing list
> > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> >  http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> >
>
>


-- 
Vik Keenan
Director - Baruch Debate, CUNY
Assoc. Director - New York Coalition of Colleges
212/992-9641 or 347/683-6894
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