Don Athnos ParadigmLast changed 11/30 7:50P EDT
tl;dr Do what you want. Be nice.
Hi, my name is Don. I debated at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, although that was over a decade ago. I have also been involved with Mock Trial and Model United Nations in high school and college. My fondness for international relations and public policy has been almost constant since I began debating. My formal education has focused on the sciences, specifically chemistry and molecular biology. I’ve recently started coaching debate at Okemos High School.
Feel free to ask me any questions before the round. Also, please add me to the e-mail chain: dlathnos(at)gmail(dot)com
Decorum matters. Be polite. Show respect. Have fun.
Tabula rasa: You provide the structure for the debate. I want to see you do the things you are comfortable with and enjoy. I’m happy to see you center the debate around critical theory, policy-making, gamesmanship, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Competing frameworks are also welcome. I promise to do my best to mitigate my own preconceptions.
It would be wise to:
1.) Have a claim, warrant, and impact for all your arguments. If you are missing any of these elements it will be difficult/impossible to evaluate the argument and weigh it against others.
2.) Explain your positions/arguments. The entirety of human knowledge is pretty tricky for one person to have complete command over, much less me. This is especially true if your going to shorthand your argument into an author or abbreviation without establishing a baseline understanding. Plain language is preferred.
3.) Perform a comparative analysis of evidence, arguments, frameworks, etc. I prefer debates where it is clear that debaters are listening to the other team and capable of explaining the interaction of arguments in the round.
4.) Weigh the round in the 2NR/2AR. Tell me what the flow for the round looks like, which arguments are being won by who, and how should I prioritize arguments on my ballot.
Some other things:
1.) Road map your speeches. It’s an easy way to keep the round organized.
2.) Speed is fine, but clarity is important. Reading headers/contentions/tags/theory in a way that differentiates it from the rest of your cards goes a long way.
3.) “Can I run ____ ?” Yes, you can. The only exception is morally reprehensible argumentation (e.g. racism/sexism good).
4.) Do I have to tell you not to cheat?