[eDebate] seeing the forest. . .on our topic 'discussion'

Nicole nicole.colston
Fri Apr 24 20:23:29 CDT 2009

just a little e-debate vent you might say Josh.  or chalk it up to
sharing 'feelings'.  maybe, most accurately, my self-inflicted yearly
e-debate tradition.

i wrote this earlier to someone else about the assumption that i might
believe in "only K debate".  i think? it might also be responsive to
the assumption that "i don't want a topic".  anyhow, i am quite proud
of it, even if some people may disagree. . .

"maybe it isn't a [move to exclusively] "K" debate", but the real evidence
of changes in style and content that we see all the way to the top of
the activity.  my point, perhaps vague, was that these old arguments
of ground/topicality will always exist.  [And that we should consider
the educational implications strongly].
An example of an "alternative" might be [to consider different lines
of analysis, criteria, and methods of rez construction]
1) a topic worded to provide positive ground for
the identity politics debate on both sides, or
2) for the rez to access a
meaningful and real-world point of change, or
3) to consider the authors
which have dominated our critical literature in our verbage, or even
4) to consider changing the way we write resolutions to challenge notions
of agency in debate to provide new and meaningful learning

these seem to be 'the' changes in western academic thought that lots
of administrators are looking for.   that is, in the 'debate crisis',
we 'should' consider contemporary rhetorical perspectives, seek
interdisciplinary approaches, and make considerations for safe and
diverse participation for students and coaches.

i haven't read the non-traditional/ taboo topic paper.  but i am
absolutely sure that i support its presence in the selection process .
(do i dare point to as more evidence of said "evolution" in argument
practice i was referring to)

i believe strongly in a key issue approach to resolution analysis and
wording.  i am so terribly interested in others' approaches to the rez
(and debate education in general) that i decided to host a low-cost
camp this summer for debaters and coaches to do just that!

 <<looncall>>  fyi- no turtles will be harmed in the process

josh, i thank you for fleshing this out with me.  i think we might
make good friends, and i appreciate you as a fellow educator.

On Fri, Apr 24, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Josh <jbhdb8 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello,
> Just wondering about this:
> "Well, that we will obsess about grammar, definitional terms, and
> policy-esque style 'neg ground'. . . instead of choosing a topic that fits
> the changes in our community practices and evolution in argument and theory.
> ?maybe we could leave some of the ground and definitional debate to the
> debaters, what a thought! isn't everything debatable? can't we create SAFE
> debate space for everyone?"
> If this argument impies that the use of grammer, definitional terms, and
> 'policy-esque' style 'neg ground' creates 'unsafe' debate space for people
> and that we ought choose a topic that fits the?'changes in our community
> practice and?EVOLUTION in argument and theory'.....I think you?will find
> that many people disagree with your conclusions.? Perhaps these arguments
> are obviously more true than false to you...They do not seem obvious to me.
> Either way, its stretching it a little to suggest the majority or even
> large?minority would prefer to have "no topic"?where the debaters decide
> what the?ground is.
> Essentially, you have just indicted the entirety of Western Academic
> practice....In a period where debate budgets are being cut, debate is being
> questioned by administrations across the country, perhaps a bit more
> measured perspective would be worthwhile?? I could probably explain, at some
> level, why we debate "whatever we want to, whenever we want to," to an
> administrator...but we are self-funded.? Don't get me wrong, I think we
> should consider the danger of this but I think the idea of no-topic would
> fail a referendum (and I guess we will see if this is the case) in the sq on
> its merits.
> In addition, I am wondering why you write this letter at a time when the
> topic committee explicitly included a "non-traditional topic" option?
> Anyway, I am sure I will understand better once you flesh some of this stuff
> out.
> Josh

Take a visible stand for peace!

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