Alpharetta High School '12
Emory University '15
I debated four years at Alpharetta, qualifying to the TOC in my senior year, before debating for Emory University. Currently, I work in international localization for Netflix Originals, with a specific focus on anime content.
My top-line advice if you have me in the back of the room is do what you do best. These are general predispositions, not immutable laws of judging, and you're always best off advancing a strategy you know well.
Please add me to the email chain: email@example.com.
Are you OK with K's/Critical Affs/Planless Affs/Performance/Non-Traditional Affs?
I've run everything from super 'policy' affs with giant heg and econ advantages to 1ACs that consisted largely of a poem and leftist arguments. In high school and college, I went for stuff like Security, Badiou, Derrida, and had a good share of 1NCs that were 1-Off Kritik. If this is your jam, I'm a good judge for you.
When it comes to framework and framework-related arguments against these types of Affs/K's, your 2NR/2AR 'story' should focus on the educational implications of each side's approaches. I'm interested in the question of how to best make debate a powerful, educational, and useful activity for students. How does your position interact with those considerations?
Framework aside, I feel it's always preferable for teams to engage their opponent's K/Performance/Identity argument than go for an exclusion-driven approach. Not only is it more respectful of these methods in the activity, it's often more strategic.
None of this is to say I won't vote on Framework - far from it. I went for it in college, and vote on it every debate season. My advice for teams advancing this strategy is simply this: I am far more likely to be persuaded by a direct challenge to the efficacy of the other team's method/model for debate than a procedural fairness claim.
Thoughts on the Politics DA?
Love them. My senior year was almost entirely me taking that week's Politics DA in the 1NR. My favorite 1NR's dig deep into the aff evidence, tear it apart, and make solid comparative analysis. For the aff, don't be shy about putting all your firepower against 1 or 2 serious logical holes in the DA (this goes for any, not just Politics/Elections). The internal linkage between a particular bill passing to a terminal impact is typically pretty flimsy, and Aff's that push that point will do well in front of me. Zero risk of the disad is an RFD I've given.
Should I ever make Theory arguments an option in your rounds?
I'm probably more willing to vote on theory arguments than your average judge. That said, if you want to make "Conditionality Bad," "50 State Fiat Bad," or other theory arguments an option, you need to focus on what debate looks like under the other side's interpretation. What happens to prep, strategy, research, and why is it bad? Do the impact work, talk about what your vision of optimal debate looks like. These debates tend to be especially messy, so minimizing theory jargon is recommended.
Anything else you really like?
Impact turns, advantage counterplans, highly-specific case debates.
Any strong opinions about Topicality?
I enjoy a good T debate. Reasonability is hard to win in front of me, but strong counter-interpretations are underrated.
At the end of the round, how do you usually go about making your decision?
When the round ends, I take a note of all the key questions to resolve, then work through them one-by-one. This means framing arguments ("prioritize X," "view the [X] through the lens of [Y]," "here are the 2 ways to vote [X]") are great ways to win my ballot. My default state, unless guided by arguments in-round, is to assess the debate through an offense-defense paradigm, weighing how one area of risk interacts and/or outweighs another. I also rarely call for cards unless a nexus question of evidence quality decides the round. To borrow from Ed Lee's paradigm, "while I am a huge fan of quality evidence, my decisions will privilege a debater’s assessment of an argument over my reading of a piece of evidence."
What can I do to get high speaks if you're my judge?
Have fun! Be nice! Utilize cross-x effectively. My favorite debaters were all fairly slow at spreading, yet extremely strong speakers. And hey, I work in the anime industry, so pandering with references never hurts.
Any pet peeves we should know about?
Two pet peeves. First, please, please, please email/flash speeches in a timely fashion. Second, there is no "flow clarification" segment in policy debate, i.e., if you're asking what cards a team read, that's part of CX. You should always be flowing, with the speech doc as a reference, but not as the source of truth. There's been an unfortunate trend away from strong flowing skills, please don't let needless mistakes happen to you.
"Don't forget. Believe in yourself. Not in the you who believes in me. Not the me who believes in you. Believe in the YOU who believes in yourself."
- Kamina, Gurren Lagann, Episode 8
I wish you the best of luck and hope my feedback will help for future rounds. I love the activity and the fantastically cool people in it. I’ll do whatever I can to support you and help you grow as a debater.