Matthew Gillespie ParadigmLast changed 1/22 8:03P MDT
Your job as a debater is to persuade me. It's not to prove your point; it's not to destroy your opponent's case; it's not even to win. It's to persuade me as the judge that I should see the world the way you want me to see it, and thus put your name down on the ballot. This requires the total package, appealing to my reason, my sense of right and wrong, my emotions, and the common ground between us. Just pointing out logical fallacies, or having more recent cards, or pleading for me to "think of the children" does not cut it.
A few specifics on content:
I'm fine with any style of case construction, as long as it is well-explained. Value and Criterion/Standard, while the norm, are not necessarily required. It is sad that I have to specify this, but I appreciate when a case is built to confirm or negate the resolution, and not grudgingly tweaked to fit whatever the resolution happens to be.
If you throw a card at me, please explain why you read it. Why does it matter? The fact that you read something you printed from the internet, quoted from someone I've never heard of, means precisely squat. In LD, please back up and extend what you read.
When you provide impacts, they should link clearly, be well-explained, and absolutely credible. Please, minimize squirrel cases and implausible claims. Let's keep things real. Debaters have been predicting nuclear war and mass extinction for decades and we're still here.
If you state something as a fact, but any person with two brain cells to rub together would know it to be false, I will take that into consideration, even if your opponent does not point it out.
There must be legitimate abuse. I will not take into consideration any theory argument presented in the AC.
A few specifics on presentation:
I am perfectly fine with speed, so long as it is confined to Policy Debate. ;-)
I can listen quite quickly, but if I can't understand it due to lack of diction or sufficient explanation, or can't stand it due to fatally uninteresting presentation, I don't flow it. I highly value eloquence. Eloquence is impossible above 300 wpm. Please give your speech more meaning than the mere words. THAT is the mark of a great debater.
Please don't yell at me. I have pathologically sensitive hearing. Don't take offense if I put in earplugs. Do take it as a sign that you're getting too loud.
Cross examination / Crossfire:
Please be polite, allowing your opponent to answer your questions, and answering theirs succinctly. I am mightily turned off by monopolizers.
Other than this, I try very hard to be tabula rasa. I will consider any well-explained and well-linked argument when filling out the ballot. Again, persuade me.
Degrees in philosophy and logic from Boston University, Université Stendahl, and the Sorbonne. Currently a debate coach and teacher of multiple subjects. I am also a trained gemologist, genealogist, and proofreader, and enjoy a host of other occupations. Promethean.