[eDebate] Sick Debaters, Travel, and Bid Applications

Steinberg, David L dave
Sun Sep 20 06:37:36 CDT 2009

a rant!

I am sitting in a classroom at Georgia State University at 7:15 am, my head pounding.  

We left the hotel at 6:30.  Yesterday we began a little later, leaving at 7:00.  Cruel trick to start the second day earlier than the first.  And we live in this time zone.  For west coast people, it is 4:00 am.  I sacrificed my typical oatmeal and fruit breakfast for more sleep, a sugary donut instead.  After a long day with short breaks filled with round preparation (shoveled in some fast food during the 45 minutes we had for lunch) we completed our day and left the tournament around 8:45 pm, excellent by debate standards.  Selfishly, I took the team for a sit down meal, and then foolessly indulged in watching some of the Auburn football game on TV.  Self-indulgent, but it was Saturday night!  A mistake.  One beer with dinner.  I feel like I have smoked a carton of cigarettes (and I quit 12 years ago).  Another donut.

Sleep deprivation, poor food, cigarette smoke, no exercise.  OK, the high levels of mental/psychological stress reasonably go with the territory, but the physical stress is mostly unnecessary, its a choice we make in designing our activity.

And our students need to return to class and schoolwork on Monday or Tuesday, with substantially more pressure than other students who have not missed classes or sacrificed schoolwork time for debate work.

Are we concerned about the health of our participants?  Surprised when our immune systems do not fight off the flu?  I do not think so.

David L. Steinberg
Director of Debate, Lecturer in Communication Studies
University of Miami
PO Box 248127
Coral Gables, FL  33124

FLW 3015
204-385-5216 (fax)
dave at miami.edu
From: ceda-l-bounces at www.ndtceda.com [ceda-l-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of Darren Elliott [delliott at KCKCC.EDU]
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:03 PM
To: JP Lacy; Galloway, Ryan W.
Cc: edebate at ndtceda.com; ceda-l at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [CEDA-L] [eDebate] Sick Debaters, Travel, and Bid Applications

Don't risk a Forced Choice by Administrators of Non-Competition for others and yourself down the road.  This issue is larger than you might think.  I sat in on a legislative session this week where illness and N1H1 was a hot topic.  University AD's and Officials are contacting each other (and being directed to) and putting in place contingency plans should an outbreak occur.  The contingency plan in KS would appear to be to cancel games, tournaments, and events to prevent outbreaks.  I'm sure KS is not the only State, and the MIAA, NAIA, and NCAA Big 12 are not the only conferences with this in mind.  No doubt this will trickle down to non-athletic events if Colleges and Universities shut their doors to prevent the sickness from getting out.  Not to sound alarm bells, but its high on the priority list of those making decisions above all of us.  Dont risk not only the health of yourself and others, but entire tournaments being shut down.

I think Sarah put it best, we should be more kind to ourselves and those around us than we have been in the past.


Darren Elliott
Director of Debate and Forensics
Kansas City Kansas Community College

From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com [edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com] On Behalf Of JP Lacy [lacyjp at wfu.edu]
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:27 PM
To: Galloway, Ryan W.
Cc: edebate at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] Sick Debaters, Travel, and Bid Applications

Wake misses competing at our tournament every year. So does every other
squad that hosts a "major" national tournament.

It is hard for debaters to give up an opportunity to compete. Many would
give an organ to clear at a tournament. We need to get better at showing
people that debate isn't worth hurting themselves or others over.

I agree with Ryan that we should "cut people some slack" if they miss a
tournament due to illness, injury or other contingencies.

After all, hosting schools get that "slack" every year.

-- JP

Galloway, Ryan W. wrote:
> I think Sam and Sue raise a good point.  I would like to point out the counter-vailing tendency among debaters however, especially those that might be in contention for a 1st/2nd round bid.
> When I debated, I debated at the Redlands tournament my senior year when I was extremely ill.  I could barely navigate a flight of stairs.  I could not physically lift a tub (Gordon carried them all, and I forgot my promise that I would carry them at the next tournament).  Frankly, I was miserable the whole weekend and likely a severe infestation risk.
> When confronted about this question "why are you debating?" by Sherry Hall and Rebecca Tushnet, I remember weakly replying "that our bid was not high enough."  A rationale that made sense at age 20, an insane rationale at age 36.
> I think debaters, coaches, and rankers of bids should be especially cognizant of the way certain tournaments are viewed on the bid sheets.  I would encourage all to take a reasonable perspective of the situation, especially if estimates (like the one given at our university) that 30% of the population could get the swine flu this season.  Let's cut some people some slack if they don't have Kentucky or another tournament on their bid sheet that is a "must attend" tournament for a bid sheet.
> Take care of your health.  Be reasonable about the situation.  It's a debate tournament, you'll have more down the road.
> RG
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