Author Topic: My high school debate experience  (Read 158 times)

Offline Jacob

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My high school debate experience
« on: September 28, 2017, 09:50:12 PM »
During my high school years, I was on the debate team.  My brother and I formed a policy debate team.

The topics those four years:
(1998–1999) Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward Russia.
--This was a fun one since the ultimate harm was "nuclear war".  Our case for the affirmative was for the US to withdraw from the ABM Treaty and pursue national missile defense.

(1997–1998) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a policy to substantially increase renewable energy use in the United States
--We had a couple of affirmative cases.  The one I remember was also good as an negative counterplan: floating iron just under the surface of the ocean to promote the growth of plankton in order to suck up atmospheric carbon.

(1996–1997) Resolved: That the federal government should establish a program to substantially reduce juvenile crime in the United States
--Biocriminology!  Basically, criminal behavior could be determined by genetic markers or dodgy brain chemistry before children started to offend.  Those found out would be treated accordingly.

(1995–1996) Resolved: That the United States government should substantially change its foreign policy toward the People’s Republic of China.
--Our freshman year.  Our first case was a hastily put-together argument for doing something about Chinese arms sales and proliferation.  Later we moved on to relinking most favored nation status to human rights.
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Offline PerEvangelicaDicta

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2017, 02:13:18 PM »
Quite respectable, Jacob!  Which did you win?

I loved debate in high school.  Thinking about it, it's no wonder I married a process engineer.
They shall not be confounded in the evil time; and in the days of famine they shall be filled
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Offline Jacob

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 03:47:06 PM »
We never had much success.  My brother and I weren't all that hot on digging up evidence or speed readking.  One team, Dan and Lindsay, walked all over us every time we debated them.

During the year when juvenile crime was the topic, we won a few times with our biocriminology case.  During one round, the opposing team came up with a disadvantage to our case and we managed to turn it around and show that it actually wasn't a disadvantage, but rather only added to why biocriminology was a great idea.  I never was quite sure how we managed to do that.
“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
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Offline Carleendiane

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2017, 05:11:58 PM »
The only debate I had was with the girls....which guy was the hottest.  :P  Yeah, silly girl. And then, I met my husband, who taught me to think with a critical mind. I was not stupid, but nor was I aware of that fact. I learned more after school than all the years of schooling put together. :)
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Offline Christina_S

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2017, 06:48:24 PM »
I used to debate justice with my brother, back when I looked after all the younger siblings  ;D
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2017, 07:15:04 PM »
I took a debating class in high school, but was never very good at it.

They asked me to debate in FAVOR of abortion. I wouldn't do it, but instead of being courageous I broke down in tears.  I don't think they gave me the opportunity to debate on the opposing side.

I did write a speech in the 8th grade against abortion.  I won 2nd place.  The first place speech addressed the question "what is truth?".  The speaker's answer: truth is sincerity.  Ugh.
Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.

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Offline Jacob

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2017, 10:04:58 PM »
They asked me to debate in FAVOR of abortion. I wouldn't do it, but instead of being courageous I broke down in tears.  I don't think they gave me the opportunity to debate on the opposing side.

What was the class like?  Anything about actual formalized debate?  How to do it?

As for debating abortion, if someone is going to take the Negative side, someone has to be Aff.  At tournaments, teams have two rounds as the affirmative side and two as the negative side.  In Policy Debate, we only had resolutions that were cut and dried, change this or that policy, etc.  In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, they had real philosophical stuff.
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2017, 11:51:25 PM »
They asked me to debate in FAVOR of abortion. I wouldn't do it, but instead of being courageous I broke down in tears.  I don't think they gave me the opportunity to debate on the opposing side.

What was the class like?  Anything about actual formalized debate?  How to do it?

As for debating abortion, if someone is going to take the Negative side, someone has to be Aff.  At tournaments, teams have two rounds as the affirmative side and two as the negative side.  In Policy Debate, we only had resolutions that were cut and dried, change this or that policy, etc.  In Lincoln-Douglas Debate, they had real philosophical stuff.

I know we had teams, but I don't remember how formalized it was; only that I was supposed to argue for abortion and not given a choice (short of putting down my foot or  tears). I didn't want to argue for it even if I would later be given a chance to argue the other way (I don't remember if I would have been).
Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.

If I am not in the state of grace, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me

- Saint Joan of Arc
 

Offline Heinrich

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2017, 10:38:33 AM »
Impressive. I would like to start a debate club/team at my high school.

First topic:

Resolved: That the study of the German language should be instituted and mandated from kindergarten through to 12th grade.
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Offline Jacob

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2017, 10:48:50 AM »
Impressive. I would like to start a debate club/team at my high school.

First topic:

Resolved: That the study of the German language should be instituted and mandated from kindergarten through to 12th grade.

That looks like it would be more of an LD topic than policy.  Which means you would need a "value", some kind of moral or ethical rationale.  The Pyramid of Good, or whatever it's called, was always popular.
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Offline Heinrich

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2017, 05:02:20 PM »
Wut Ld mean?
Pray for the Consecration.                           
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Offline Jacob

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Re: My high school debate experience
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2017, 06:18:50 PM »
Wut Ld mean?

Lincoln-Douglas.  It's named that since Lincoln and Douglas debated heavy philosophical topics.
“Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.”
--Neal Stephenson
 
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