[eDebate] Its been fun..

andy ellis andy.edebate
Fri Jun 22 19:34:17 CDT 2007

This will be my last public post for a while on this ill continue backchannels that i have already started and gladdy answer other inquires, but i think in large part the several posts and answers a day for a month part will end for me following this post. I do want to leave a few parting comments.

1) for the most part i have really enjoyed the exchange and engagemet from a lot of people, while there have been some heated and frustrating moments the sustained month of discussion to me has brought into the open alot of things that perhaps are left unsaid and usually left for team rooms or hotel rooms. This is one of the more prductive months of edebate discussion i have seen in a while and though we havent come to consensus agreement i think alot of ground has been covered and perhaps if we could build on such conversations some utility could come from edebate again...i know i have not answered everyones arguments and feel some of mine have been uncovered at times but compared to what has in the past been a series of flame wars this particular discussion has perhaps just maybe done a modicum of good. Thank you for the time and work people put in to engage a series of args....

2)if i have given the impression that i am speaking for any group of people across the board that is an error on my part and one i will work hard to avoid replicating in the future. i absolutly dont think all minority, poor, urban, de privilleged, novice, or whaever group of people speak or need the same things from the debate tcommunity and representations that explicitly or implicitly suggest that are as wrong as they are dangerous. One thing i have learned from this conversation is how wrong those generalizations are as different things work for different people among and within teams. Ken sherwood, melissa wade, jim hanson, matt stannard, scott elliot, josh hoe, betty maddox (without whom we would have never gotten baltimores ms prograqm of the ground)jackie massey and a host of other people who have made meaningful contrbutions to this community and conversation all have different but succesful approaches and each of them should be honored for the work they do...if i have forgotten you it is my fault, but i have litterly written to dozens of people this month and it doesnt mean i dont appreciate your contribution, simply that my critics might be too many to list at this point..i even have students on the towson team who vastly disagree with my positions on this subject. The point though is when i say students i work with you needent read it as an expert opinion on the psyches of some demographic group of debaters, simply as the particular students i work with most frequently. If i have used non definitive language to increase the scope of my argument thats my failing.

3) i am a different person as a program developer and implementer than i am as an edebater and college coach. The middle school program i have run for the last two years does in fact switch topics each month(last year they became incredibly bored with secion 412 of the patriot act) but also encourages and promotes the basic debate skills.stock issues, disads, case debate and the occassional counterplan. There is no prohibition on ks or perf stuff but there i no promotion of it either. I have no intention to soley push my ideas on the baltimore college debate project either. I have reached out to many people who i will never judge in a worldof  mpj to help produce quality curricular and argument material  for the college debaters i am recruiting at new programs because i realize my personal philosophes and argument choices are not and should not be the basis of what is functionally a new 
Region of debaters. I understand the value of switch side debate and  topic education and largely reserve  my particula ideology for the rarified space of high level policy debate tournaments. I believe that if my students at towson seek tests of their advocacies then the national circuit of POLICY not parli, not a new league,provide the best test possible. (cheap plug) contribute to the baltimore college debate project curriculum and evidence collection!!!

4) im not a hegemon, some people on my team agree and some think im a bit lost, i would never make anybody offer an alt res if they dont want to...alot of our towson teams do different things...dont take anything i say to mean we have a squad project.

5)surprise surprise i have notconvinced the entire community to turn their back on the topic...thats ok...and its not like i am not hearing your arguments, as my judging has modereated over the last two  years or so i have found discussions like this to be helpful in the process of lisening to things i might have previously cast off as unacceptable, and this conversation will contribute further to that process, i hope ,though at points i doubt, that this conversation will contribute  to some of you listening with distinctions possible to different versions of non topicality...

6)one argument lost in the process of all of this is that in many ways my proposal contributes to, not denigrsates the much vauntyed democratic process. The reasoning behind this is that a theoretoical innovation that allows students to debate the comparitive merits of different topics in a contest round better prepares students to evaluate the good and bad parts of various topics. This leads to a more informed electorate and takes much of the topic process out of the hands of old men like those of us ib this convo and provides students a mechanism to test and advaqnce resolutional possibilities durng the year so that electronic forums and thesummer eeting cease to be the only venues for debate about the comparative merits of different resolutoions..l

7) plan plan not sooooo bad, butits hard to mke it work anymore 21st century version might be res res...

8)thank yall its bee fun       

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