Rachel Watson ParadigmLast changed 10/11 11:36A CST
Pronouns: Use anything except she/her. Ask for others' pronouns in-round. I personally default to they/them until I'm told otherwise.
For Bronx: This is the first policy tournament I've judged on this topic, don't assume I have policy topic knowledge.
I started competing in Lincoln-Douglas debate in 2008. Three years later, I taught myself policy and took on a more involved role in tutoring my teammates and helping both LD and policy students prepare for tournaments. I debated at Central Oklahoma from 2015-16, and if you're any gender other than a cis man or person of color thinking about that program or Wake Forest, ask me about why I left. I've been involved in the activity for eleven years now. I'm currently a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania and the debate coach at Holy Ghost Prep.
If you have an email chain (and this isn't a CFL tournament) add me: email@example.com
Feel free to email me about other stuff too, if you feel unsafe in round, if you want to know more about my paradigm, ask about arguments, get a better understanding of the RFD, etc.
The good stuff: My paradigm is driven first and foremost by the fact that debate is about education. Game-y debate strategies do have a lot of educational value, but I expect debaters to come to a round willing to learn about their opponents’ arguments, both policy and non-traditional debate approaches.
Because of this, part of the round that’s important to me is the way debaters treat each other. Respect your partner and your opponents. Respect every judge, too, even if you've decided you don't need that ballot to win the panel.
Don’t alter your argumentation just for my benefit; I’ll listen to any kind of argument you like to run and have a deep appreciation for well thought out and defended positions of any kind.
For LD Debaters: I enjoy both progressive and traditional LD, but give me a stasis point if you hit an opponent with the opposite style. You need to give me some way to compare the different models of debate and evaluate the clash in the round, otherwise I'm left with two different kinds of impacts and no way to weigh them if you don't do it for me.
I prefer debates that are more than claims. Debaters should be prepared to provide warrants/explanations for the arguments they’re making, and arguments should be well-developed.
All the below was written with policy in mind, but it applies to progressive LD as well.
I love a really technical policy aff as much as I do a complicated kritikal or performance approach. Run the argument you're the most comfortable with and prepared for.
Topicality and Theory:
I’m plenty happy to vote on topicality and theory arguments if debaters are willing to go all in and can defend that one model of debate or of the topic provides more education/learning opportunities. However, if the negative provides an overly exclusionary interpretation on Framework, they are going to have to work a lot harder to convince me that an exclusionary based model of debate is good.
I generally prefer negative strategies that don’t contain a performative contradiction, like reading counterplans that link to a Kritik of the aff. Other than that, please try to make it clear in round the ways in which your Kritik or counterplan function differently from the affirmative. Counterplans need a net benefit, and Kritik debaters should be prepared for impact framing arguments, especially in a round with a policy team. From the aff, be prepared to explain how a perm functions to achieve the net benefit/not link to the Kritik.
I’m happy to answer debater's questions on specific issues/arguments prior to the round. I will also respond to emails after the fact if you have questions about my decisions.