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Hate Judging thread-responses, recants
Well I guess I know I have said something offensive when I raise the ire of
David Klein, one of the coolest people on the planet. I want to stick by
some things I said, concede the good arguments made by others, and redirect
some of my sentiments to a more positive mode (as influenced by Tuna, new
leader of the civility on the "L" regieme).
1.) I am glad that many people agreed that the most important thing we do is
educate. I can see the point others make that competition leads to
education, and that they are not mutually exclusive. MY call is for a more
meaningful and centralized commitment to education, not making it a "by the
way this happens too" aspect of the activity.
2.) Let me apologize for my tone. I see that it was alienating and
pompous. I hope that like Bear, I come over better in person than on your e-
mail. However, gross rationalization, I do feel some justification in
responding with some degree of emotional angst when the subjects of our
activity, the students, are publicly berated on the "L" for sucking by those
whose job it is to help them not suck. Most of the readers of the "L" are
students, and I felt it was appropriate to point out that the problem is not
them in most cases.
3.) I have no excuse for the bad behavior of students in interacting with
critics. Some debaters are jerks during the after round critique. But I
choose not punish all debaters because of the immaturity of a few. I still
think that coaches attitudes in some cases allow for students, and sometimes
mandates, that students not accept losses, and to find fault with anything
but their own performance. I still stand by the position that the judge is
the one "professional" in the round, and does have a higher obligation to
decorum than the students. I do want to say though that outrageous abuse
need not be tolerated by critics, and they should feel free to cease their
interactions with, and only with, the offending parties. It should also be a
chance to be an educator by having a discussion with the coach of the
offending debater to outline where the lines were crossed. Now if the coach
is equally offending, shame on ourselves.
4.) Graduate assistants and Program assistants are not the focus of evil in
the universe, or even our community. I made a gross generalization here that
was inappropriate. There are many talented and dedicated graduate
assistants, and "other" that contribute in meaningful ways to our community.
My call is moderate the intensity of the drive for squad success with drive
for community success. I understand that in many programs, the debaters
would get little to no support if it were not for the grad/program
assistants. Yes, many of the "professionals" (the directors, faculty
coaches, etc.) in our community have dropped the ball, their judging
obligations, and educational duties. If it were not for the enthusiasm of
the grad assistants many debaters experiences would be diminished. But
please hear my message. It is difficult to think about the broader education
goals of the activity if you yourself are not directly involved in education
as student or a teacher in a classroom setting. If your sole focus is
debate, and winning debates, and your mission in the academy is defined only
in those terms by your director, or by the design of your position, then you
may be susceptible to some blind sides related to what the debaters are going
5.) Grad assistants/Program assistants please enable yourselves to stay in
our community. Please cross apply Tuna's message here. Maybe my tone should
have been more one of invitation, not judgement or finger pointing. I
concede the moral and argumentative high ground here to choice and
flexibility on the part of those who do make sacrafices to work with debate
at any level or form.
6.) You are correct, you do not need my validation. My students DO need your
validation though. Even if they don't get your ballot, can they have some of
your ideas, and advice, and encouragement? I know my students need help in
their coaching, they have to listen to me, so knowing that my students are at
this diasadvantage, won't you please help them out with your wisdom and
insights? I am sorry if they do not give you great debates, we are working
on that part. But we need feedback and support. My students seem to work
very hard on debate for your, is it OK to ask for reciprocity?
7.) Biz, Leah, Becky specifically. I hope that my rants are taken in the
same vein that some of yours have been given, the need to vent and the use of
hyperbole and exaggeration to make a point. I will try to listen to you all
more carefully. We need strong and talented coaches in the activity so the
entire activity benefits. I know you have a lot to give to your students
specifically, but don't you expect others to give to yours, and are
disappointed and frustrated when they don't? We also need the diversity you
bring to our community, and the role models you provide. Please share your
vision of how to fix debate by being judges, and educating us to a better way.
I'll begin by shutting up on this issue.
8.) Concessions I should make. 1.) Judging is very difficult 2.) Judging
(and coaching) is very fatiguing mentally and physically. We also have to
drive the vans home. 3.) No one ever appreciates judges in a meaningful
fashion. 4.) Tournaments are not often judge friendly in terms of time
demands, and knowing for sure when one will have to judge.
9.) Ideas I would like the community to discuss. 1.) How do we humanize the
judging experience. 2.) what can we do as coaches to make sure our debaters
provide an enjoyable (or tolerable) experience to judge. 3.) How can we get
more people to judge so that a few overworked judges have a lessened burden.
4.) How do we get people to judge, instead of buying out there judging and
forcing fewer to do more?
Given my original tone I want to commend the level of civility of the
responses. I think we all want the smae thing at a larger level, I will
attempt to be more eloquent in my expression of it.
Thanks for reading,
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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