hesperornis: (Default)
hesperornis ([personal profile] hesperornis) wrote2008-04-11 10:48 pm

OMG Debate!

I volunteered to help out with judging interp events at a high school speech and debate meet on campus this afternoon.  So I judged one round of poetry interp, then I somehow got talked into judging Lincoln-Douglas debate.  Which I've never judged before and only observed twice. 

It was kind of harrowing. 

Fortunately for me, my very first round was no contest.  Affirmative steamrolled Negative in every possible way.  I kept smirking during the cross-examinations because it was so painfully one-sided.  I would have felt bad, but Neg had such lousy eye contact that he couldn't see me trying not to laugh at him. 

The other three rounds were very tough.  Many good arguments were made.  I think I voted each way twice--the statement in question was "Sanctuary Cities are morally justified."   You'd be amazed at just how many different ways you can argue that point.  Well, you might not be.  I was.  One girl made it all about logic.  Another emphasized human rights.  Another held up justice.  It was quite fascinating, but also exhausting.  Especially because at least one of my debaters apparently had a background in Cross-Ex, because she spoke so fast I couldn't follow her reasoning.  I don't really understand why cross-ex debaters do that...  it can't be helpful.  Do you ever hear a politician or a lawyer talk that fast?  Of course not--people would think they were crazy.  I don't see what it teaches, and in this poor girl's case, she stumbled so badly over her own too-fast words that it hurt more than it helped, in my opinion.  Better to make a few concise points. 

I was also reminded of several philosophical concepts that I'd forgotten since Core at Whitman.  Heh.  I learned about someone's six levels of morality, too. 

I'm exhausted--and I went and signed up to help tomorrow, too, so I have to be up there by 7:45--but this has been a most interesting endeavour.  And I got a couple of hastily devoured slices of pizza out of it, so what the heck.