Misa Stekl Paradigm

Last changed 15 February 2020 5:20 AM EDT

PRONOUNS: they/them/theirs

mstekl@stanford.edu -- please put me on the email chain

PhD student @ Stanford, in Modern Thought and Literature

Emory '19 (did not debate; judged on the GA circuit for 4 years)

Bishop Guertin '15 (debated on the national circuit, went to the TOC, etc. etc.)

***UPDATE for Berkeley 2020: This will be my first tournament on the topic. Please do not assume any familiarity with the topic or especially with any topic-specific acronyms. You can spread, but clarity is paramount as always — clarity over speed any day, but today more than ever!***

My favorite judges in high school were jon sharp, Calum Matheson, and Jarrod Atchinson.

In general, you should not change what you do because you have me in the back of the room. As a debater, I tended to be pretty flexible, alternating frequently between "critical" and "policy" positions. This is your space to argue, not mine, so I will vote for the arguments on the flow that yield the path of least intervention. Pure objectivity being impossible, I nonetheless do my best to keep my subjective argumentative preferences out of the picture. That said, I'm not quite a blank slate; for instance, I won't be persuaded by racism/sexism/etc. good, or by any unapologetically discriminatory positions or practices.

I’m pretty well versed in K lit – I study theory at a graduate level, so I should have some degree of familiarity with whatever you choose to read. I'm an especially good judge for any brand of poststructuralism, including those concerned with questions of identity. Obviously, this doesn't mean that you can rely on buzzwords to get out of explaining your argument; it does mean, too, that I'll know if you have no idea what you're talking about. You should have at least a working knowledge of the position you are asking me to vote for, which requires you to do at least some cursory background reading and thinking. Then, bring your knowledge of critical theory to bear on the particulars of the aff, balancing overarching framing questions with specific link and impact analysis.

I'm not convinced that the aff must defend governmental action. Which is only to say that I will not enter the room with any dogmatic biases against plan-less affirmatives. That said, I probably enjoy a good framework debate more than most, and find myself voting for framework as often as I vote against it. Still, I don't think it should be your only strategy against all K affs; I will be more persuaded if you at least make an effort to substantively engage the aff. Of course, particularly obscure affs or those lacking a consistent advocacy will tend to be harder to defend against framework than core, topic-specific K affs.

***UPDATE September 2018: As I've judged more debates, I've become increasingly wary of framework as a default negative strategy against K affs. In my experience, framework very often becomes a lazy cop-out, even an excuse to avoid debating the substance of the aff. I can still be convinced that this is not always the case, and I will continue to evaluate framework debates technically, but it is on framework debaters to prove the value of their strategy.***

I think I tend to prioritize evidence quality less than most judges. Not that good cards aren't important – they're the pillars of your argument – but they can't replace good analysis. Depending on your argumentative genre of choice, it may be better to establish your position through evidence-reading or through your own explanation in the constructives; but in most cases, I'd rather you invest more time in nuanced and specific applications of your argument than read another card. In the final rebuttals, you absolutely shouldn't rely on your cards to do the work for you – extensions should be much more substantive than simple author name-drops. If you can't explain your author's argument, as well as its implications for the debate, I won't explain it for you.

Clear! I'll take clarity over speed any day. You should be comprehensible enough that I can understand the text of your cards. I will not call for cards after the debate if I was unable to understand them when you read them; I only read evidence for the sake of refreshing my memory.

Chill out. While antagonism is inevitable in this competitive forum and may even enhance debates in limited doses, I maintain that debaters too often take aggression to unhealthy extremes. Outside of a small number of "critical" strategies that benefit performatively from hostility, there is no reason to deliberately be an asshole to the other team, or – especially – to your partner (!!seriously!! if I can hear you yelling at your partner during prep time, you're doing something wrong). Jokes can also help ease the tension.

Speaks – Points vary by tournament (i.e. I'll give higher points at Samford than at the NDCA). Generally speaking, I'm a bit of a point fairy. Methods for improving your speaks include innovative, specific strategies and clear logical organization. Humor is the icing on the cake.

30 – Among the best speakers I’ve ever heard: you should be top speaker and win the tournament. A+
29.5-29.9 – Outstanding: expect to be one of the top 5 speakers – you should be able to make it to late elims. A
29-29.4 – Very impressive: a noteworthy performance with quite little room for improvement; you deserve to be among the top 20 speakers. A-
28.6-28.9 – High average: you are in or near the top of your division; with any luck – and, more surely, with just a little more practice – you should be able to break. B/B+
28-28.5 – Average: you're doing well, but still need to iron out some remaining issues with your clarity of speech or of argument. B-
27.5-27.9 – Low average: you have potential, but displayed: a) notable problems with both speaking and argument development, or b) more serious problems in one of the two areas. C/C+
27-27.4 – Below average: your performance was passable, but suffered from critical issues of both style and content. C-
26.5-26.9 – Needs improvement: you spoke poorly, made major strategic mistakes, and likely dropped some important arguments. D
26-26.4 – Needs major improvement: you failed to answer a majority of your opponent’s arguments and made some manner of unforgivable mistake. D-
0-25 – You did something offensive. F

Clipping will result in an immediate loss and the lowest speaks allowed by the tournament. I will follow along with the speech doc and record the debate; if I catch you clipping, I will stop the round you even if your opponent doesn’t call you on it.

This is not, in fact, your CX.

*** Update March 2019: YES TKO PLEASE TKO! Far too many debates drag on painfully long after they (should) have technically ended. For this reason, I am following B. Manuel's paradigm and urging you to invoke "total knock-out" mode if the other team makes an utterly irredeemable mistake – e.g., double turn, dropped T or a K, etc. Of course, you must stake the round on this; if you can pull it off (i.e., if you can satisfactorily extend the dropped/devastating argument while covering all your bases, e.g., answering condo if going for a dropped K...), then you will win the round after your speech and receive 30s. If you are unsuccessful, you lose and get a hard cap of 27.5. ***

Full Judging Record

Tournament Lv Date Ev Rd Aff Neg Vote Result
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX Triple Lowell ST Little Rock Central AR Neg Neg 3-0
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX R6 St Francis SV Little Rock Central GaLi Aff
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX R4 McQueen LR Chaminade AH Aff
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX R3 Downtown Magnets MP Little Rock Central GL Neg
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX R2 CK McClatchy FS Lowell ST Aff
Cal Invitational UC Berkeley HS 2020-02-15 VCX R1 Silver Creek TV Lowell YR Neg
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 Semifi Chattahoochee Adam & Manne Westminster Yu & Li Neg Neg 5-0
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX1 Quarte Little Rock Central Gaddi & Liu Montgomery Bell Maxwell & Bozza Neg Neg 4-1
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 Octafi Niles West Bat-erdene & Bennett Head Royce Ramaswamy & Wogan Aff Aff 3-0
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 6 Westminster Manghat & Sayers Berkeley Prep Zinober & Kapadia Aff
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 5 Blue Valley Southwest Stanfield & Wu Greenhill Siva & Feinstein Neg
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 4 Little Rock Central Doris & Fahoum Westminster Yu & Li Neg
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 3 West Des Moines Valley Dukle & Li Greenhill Gouru & McDonald Aff
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 2 Carrollton Sacred Heart Hernandez & Arvanitis Chattahoochee Adam & Manne Neg
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2019-03-15 CX2 1 Cambridge Menon & Reddy Montgomery Bell Barnard & Climaco Neg
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2019-02-22 LD Quarte Valdosta Albert Kang St Pius X Catholic Joseph Tarnowski Neg Neg 3-0
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2019-02-22 LD Octafi Lassiter TJ Riggs Cherokee Rylee Holland Neg Aff 2-1
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2019-02-22 LD R5 Northview Sreyaash Das Starrs Mill Cole Wittbrodt Aff
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2019-02-22 LD R4 Warner Robins Anastacia Del Rio Cherokee Rylee Holland Neg
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2019-02-22 LD R1 Pace Alex Noel Cherokee Sean Howell Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD WAU Quarry Lane SK Harvard-Westlake AM Neg Neg 3-0
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R6 Harvard-Westlake SM American Heritage Plantation PB Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R5 Lake Travis BL Futures RA Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R5 West Des Moines Valley CT Greenhill AM Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R4 Greenhill MR West Des Moines Valley CB Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R4 La Salle IM Evanston Twp HE Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R3 Henry W Grady SD Presentation IC Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R2 Needham ZL New Trier WT Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R2 Harvard-Westlake AM Newark Science SB Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R1 Troy LG Cherokee JP Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2019-01-25 LD R1 Bronx HS Of Science HW Stuyvesant CL Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 VCX Semis Westminster IR Pace HN Neg Neg 3-0
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 VCX Quarte Pace HN Henry W Grady NW Aff Aff 2-1
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 JVCX Quarte Montgomery Bell YM Cambridge HS MR Aff Neg 2-1
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 VCX R4 Riverwood JP Alpharetta HS SJ Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 VCX R3 Riverwood CL Northview KD Aff
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2018-09-28 VCX R2 Berkeley Prep KZ Montgomery Bell KS Neg
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2018-03-23 CX2 R2 Alpharetta HS Moodley & Kumar Mamaroneck Epstein & McKinney Aff
1st and 2nd Year National Championships at Woodward Academy HS 2018-03-23 CX2 R1 Jesuit CP Hall & Nagorzanski Greenhill Khan & Ratnam Aff
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2017-03-03 CX Quarte Riverwood AD Chattahoochee JN Aff Aff 3-0
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2017-03-03 CX R4 Alpharetta ML Henry W. Grady WN Neg
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2017-03-03 CX R2 Northview JK Chattahoochee TR Neg
GFCA Varsity State Championships HS 2017-03-03 CX R1 Chattahoochee JN Riverwood AD Neg
GFCA First and Second Year State Championships MS 2017-02-11 JVCX R3 Alpharetta DD Pace HN Neg
GFCA First and Second Year State Championships HS 2017-02-11 NCX R2 Wheeler LK Chattahoochee AA Neg
GFCA First and Second Year State Championships HS 2017-02-11 NCX R1 Henry W. Grady NW Westminster BV Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2017-01-27 PEL R6 Wheeler PS Cypress Bay BK Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2017-01-27 PEL R4 Georgetown Day BF Little Rock Central JJ Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2017-01-27 PEL R2 Head Royce CD Grapevine MP Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2017-01-27 PEL R1 Stuyvesant CH Montgomery Bell CJ Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX Octofi Montgomery Bell FR Riverwood AD Aff Neg 2-1
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX R5 Montgomery Bell ZG Chattahoochee JN Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX R4 Alpharetta AZ Altamont IM Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX R3 Chattahoochee RT Montgomery Bell ZD Aff
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX R2 Chattahoochee DX Montgomery Bell BH Neg
Samford University Bishop Guild HS 2017-01-13 VCX R1 Westlake TS Chattahoochee AS Aff
Sequoyah Autumn Argument HS 2016-11-05 VCX Elims Galloway LT Riverwood AD Neg Neg 3-0
Sequoyah Autumn Argument HS 2016-11-05 VCX R4 Johns Creek KO Riverwood AD Neg
Sequoyah Autumn Argument HS 2016-11-05 VCX R3 Northview MB Henry W. Grady WN Neg
Sequoyah Autumn Argument HS 2016-11-05 VCX R2 Killian Hill Christian RC Walton SV Aff
Sequoyah Autumn Argument HS 2016-11-05 VCX R1 Galloway MF Alpharetta US Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2016-09-30 VCX 5 Montgomery Bell GZ Northview GD Aff
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2016-09-30 VCX 3 USN WK Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2016-09-30 VCX 1 Northview ST USN DG Neg
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 JVCX R6 Woodward KhPa Alphar GG Aff
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 OCX R5 Chatta DS Woodward KM Neg
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 OCX R4 Northv BZ Chatta JN Aff
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 OCX R3 MirSch LM Chatta ML Aff
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 PF R2 Marist KQ Lamber BK Con
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 PF R2 Lamber SJ Marist HT Con
The La Follette Debates at JCHS HS 2016-02-05 OCX R1 Milton HF WesSch GN Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL ADW Iowa City WZ St. Vincent De Paul MH Aff Aff 2-1
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R6 Fayetteville HS Debate MS Chattahoochee AM Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R3 Walter Payton CP BC Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart BG Aff
Barkley Forum for High Schools MS 2016-01-29 PEL R2 Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart PC Blake NW Neg
Barkley Forum for High Schools HS 2016-01-29 PEL R1 St. Mark's School of Texas WG Law Magnet GJ Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Mount Vernon Presbyterian TT Woodward FM Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Mount Vernon Presbyterian RS
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Chattahoochee ST Montgomery Bell CJ Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Stratford CP Pine Crest Preparatory T Neg
University of Georgia HS Bulldog Debates HS 2016-01-15 OCX Round Westminster Schools NR Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart BG Neg
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2015-10-09 NPF Round Milton YB Columb CT Con
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2015-10-09 NPF Round Sequoy JP Columb AP Con
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2015-10-09 NPF Round Columb LS Lamber ZB Con
Johns Creek Gladiator Debates HS 2015-10-09 NPF Round Columb TW SouFor TK Pro
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2015-09-25 VP R5 Alpharetta Madhavan & Brooks Westminster Schools Brannen & Carithers Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2015-09-25 VP R4 Henry W. Grady Choi & Watson Wheeler Azhar & Bellamkonda Aff
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2015-09-25 NP R3 Pace Jackson & Todd Mount Vernon Presbyterian Thompson & Stefaniak-Earley Neg
Chattahoochee Cougar Classic HS 2015-09-25 NP R1 Woodward Robinson & Kastle Westminster Schools Miles & Taha Aff
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 JV R3 Divine Child AS Montgomery Bell DL Neg
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 JV R2 Alpharetta MG Divine Child HR Aff
Policy Early Bird at Wake Forest HS 2015-09-04 JV R1 Divine Child LK Berkeley Prep YM Neg
Tim Averill Invitational HS 2014-10-24 NCX Rd 4 Lexington GS Lexington GZ Neg
Tim Averill Invitational HS 2014-10-24 NCX Rd 3 Weston GS Lexington LL Neg
Tim Averill Invitational HS 2014-10-24 NCX Rd 2 Weston GS Lexington SL Aff
Tim Averill Invitational HS 2014-10-24 NCX Rd 1 Lexington LI Weston GS Aff