Everyone is giving each other all kinds of breaks, and I'm here for it. Let's try to survive this pandemic period together. I'm just grateful that Speech and Debate has this virtual option for keeping everyone safe and healthy. The tech problems and other issues we will face during tournaments are able to be overcome. I have miles of patience for you, and I am on your side. Let's do this.
Please hit the “Do Not Disturb” option on your phones and other devices during the round so that your speeches are not disturbed by alarms for calls from your family and Slack notifications from your coach. I wear headphones and your timer going off sounds really loud.
Please "pre-flow" your cases before the round start time. Tournaments want us to start on time.
I don't disclose after rounds unless the tournament requires it. I weigh everything up to the last word of the last speech. So that means I can't start deciding until the end of the debate round, which means I need time to think and write after the round is done so I can turn the ballot in on time.
I give high points/ranks to competitors who speak well and argue well. If your speech is as good as those in extemp, I will rank you highly. At a certain point in the year, everyone doing Congress is at about the same level for their argumentation skills because everyone is using the same formula for each speech. Therefore, having high-level presentation skills is what separates the top 6 from the bottom 6 for me.
I am biased against speeches that, after the first few, don't rebut or support previous arguments. As a Congress coach, I've seen the student thought process: "Goshdangit I spent all that time before the tournament writing this sponsorship speech and I'm gonna goshdarn give it." Well...ignoring the other speakers and giving a speech that just repeats the arguments of previous speakers does NOT help you get higher scores from me.
Policy is rare in my state, so I haven’t judged it much. The more of your speeches I understand, the more likely you are to win. I don’t read cases or evidence that you share - I judge based only on what you say so that there is no confusion about what was said vs what was written. I don’t mind spreading as long as you’re understandable, but I’m not a perfect flow-er so I’m going to miss some things and will depend on you to tell me what you think is important after the first constructives. I judge based on who was more persuasive as opposed to who covered more points - this usually means if you have some squirrelly argument I will ignore it and go with the arguments that makes more real-world sense. Speaking of squirrelly arguments - I am so sorry but "everything leads to nuclear war" is hack. We were saying the same thing in the 80’s and it feels played out. If it makes sense that something might lead to nuclear war, then I’ll accept it. But when you try to say something like more laptop manufacturing in Malaysia or the military playing Fall Guys on Twitch will lead to nuclear war, you’re going to have to work REALLY HARD to get me to give that any credence.
My LD preferences are pretty much the same as Policy above. There’s not a lot of progressive in my area, so I don’t know all the jargon. I don’t care if you do progressive or traditional, as long as I understand what you’re talking about. The more of your speeches I understand, the more likely you are to win.
The more of your speeches I understand, the more likely you are to win.
No forensbots. If you are giving us a speech that you've polished so much that it shines, make sure your eyes aren't dead. If this is literally the 50th round you've performed this piece, practice it with a friend and tell her to tell you truthfully if you look like a soulless automaton.
My entire life is spent watching young people speak. I notice everything: swaying back and forth; shifting foot to foot; grabbing the bottom of your blazer; pacing too much; purposeless, repetitive gestures. I was once in a national circuit final round in which I ranked a speaker 7 because she kept smacking her lips every other sentence. The other 2 judges didn't notice and each ranked her first. There is nothing wrong with any individual movement or tic, but if you repeat that movement too often, I will see it and tell you. Watch videos of yourself to notice and reduce your own unnoticed habits.
Events I have judged but not enough to have preferences for:
BQ, Extemp Debate, original spoken word, duo improv, radio speaking, broadcast announcing, pro/con challenge, and world schools.
Events I haven’t judged:
Parliamentary, Mock Trial
High school coach and classroom Public Speaking teacher from 2011-2018, then 2021 to present. Coaching/teaching both speech and debate.
Drama teacher since 2003.
Teaching private public speaking lessons to adults since 2019.
I’ve judged at over 70 online tournaments since the pandemic. Online platforms I've judged on so far: Zoom, NSDA Campus, Accelevents, Classrooms.cloud, HopIn and Yaatly.
I've completed the NSDA/NFHS online judge training including the cultural competency section.
I know how to be a Parliamentarian for Student Congress.
In high school I did policy and prose/poetry.
I speak Spanish and Portuguese.
My pronouns are he/him/his.