Selena Zhang ParadigmLast changed 4/12 11:38A PDT
selena zhang (she/her/hers)
conflicts, affiliations, organizations: harker (ca), okemos (mi), archbishop mitty (ca), fairview (co).
if you would like me to know about anything to make the round more accessible to you (gender pronouns, where to sit, trigger warnings, etc), i encourage you to talk to/email me beforehand.
hi! i debated policy in high school on the colorado circuit and at uc berkeley. i am now a junior at cal studying economics and cognitive science but am no longer debating.
this is my third year of coaching and my second year with harker. i judge upwards of 50 rounds per season between policy and LD.
email for anything: firstnamelastname17 @ gmail [substitute as necessary]
if you are pressed for time, read the bolded parts.
- run anything and everything--i will listen to whatever you choose to present, but tell me why you win.
- clarity over speed. i will very explicitly stop flowing if you are unclear.
- tech ≥ truth, regardless if you are running 1 off, 10+ off, or anything in between.
- open cx is fine and emailing/flashing does not count as prep, but keep both to a minimum. time yourselves and hold each other accountable.
- being assertive is fine; being rude is not. i trust you all to know the difference and act accordingly.
at the end of the debate, i holistically evaluate the round, with the strongest emphasis on the 2nr/2ar. i then work my way backwards and determine how well earlier speeches set up the final rebuttals. dropped arguments are not automatically true, but must be warranted. i will not intensely read cards unless if you tell me to or if i feel like it would help me understand the analysis done in your speeches.
this process is slightly different for LD and PF. the speech times for both activities do not allow for extensive argument development, so i tend to evaluate the earlier speeches with a little more weight than i would in policy. however, your 1ac underview/spikes should not be longer than your actual 1ac case.
thoughts on specific arguments
case: i love case debates. i am a huge fan of ones that have more than just impact defense in the block. case turns, author indicts, and recuts of the opponent's evidence are great to see in a round. extinction good and de-dev are valid arguments provided you explain it well. however, morally abhorrent arguments such as "racism/sexism/etc. good" are not valid.
counterplans: are generally good if they are well researched and have a thorough solvency advocate. i am not against any specific counterplans, but if you do choose to go for ones that are considered to be somewhat illegitimate and/or abusive, be ready to defend them.
disads: great. i especially like case specific ones that have a strong link chain. impact calculus is important.
kritiks: sure. i am relatively well-versed in some of the more common kritiks, but i am not very familiar with some of the hyper-specific k's on this year's topic. it would be in your best interest to explain and contextualize your k to me in relation to the affirmative. this could involve (but is not limited to) excavating a very specific link to the affirmative, showing how the thesis of your k highlights the truth of the 1ac, pulling out lines from the aff that link into your kritik, among others.
i have a high threshold for kritiks, so make sure you understand the literature behind the theory. alt solvency is important, but you do not necessarily need to win the alt in order to win the k. make sure that you can clearly communicate how your alternative would function if it were actualized. flesh out the link debate and the perm debate. provide a clear framework of how i should evaluate the round.
K affs/nontraditional affs: a lot of what was written above is applicable to here: i am fine with them. i would prefer that your aff is somewhat relevant to the topic, and unless you are able to clearly show me why you deserve to win with an untopical aff, i am more inclined to vote negative on these. understand your k aff from the inside out, and make sure you have good framework answers.
topicality (for policy affs): i genuinely love a good T debate, but i do have a high threshold for it. that just means i want to see it debated well. tell me why you win on T.
T-USFG and framework vs K affs: great arguments. i do not have any strong opinions on this argument, but i hope to see fleshed out impacts, contextualized answers as to why your model is good/why their model is bad both inside and outside the debate sphere.
theory: this description is for any type of policy-oriented theory argument, ie PICs bad/good, condo, ASPEC, etc. refer to the LD section below for my thoughts on "tricks" theory arguments.
since very few people actively go for theory, i naturally have not judged many theory 2ar's. theory can be fine; however, i usually do not vote on it because the arguments and impacts are not fleshed out very well in most rounds. i find that i vote on theory if one side was at a clear and severe disadvantage coming into the round, and that the debater was able to explicitly contextualize this disadvantage.
(mis)disclosure and evidence fabrication can be voting issues, but i would hope that everyone appropriately discloses and correctly cuts evidence beforehand.
clipping: do not clip cards. i am comfortable dropping you on clipping, but i am generally reasonable if you stumble on a word or two.
my scale is relative to the tournament that i am judging at or the division of the event. other than that, my thoughts on speaker points do not differ much from everyone else’s, and i try to keep up with community norms. in general, i add points for clear speaking, well-developed arguments, and strategic argument choices, and i subtract them for the inverse of these qualities.
with the exception of a CP/DA and other sensible combinations, a split 2nr will hurt your speaker points. saying "clear" either means your voice is muddled or that you are routinely messing up words or syllables that are critical to understanding your speech. i will say "clear" 2 times before i stop flowing.
i judge LD quite extensively and have become very familiar with the style and format. most of what i wrote above is highly applicable to LD, especially at the circuit level. with my policy background, i have found that i am the best suited for LARP/K debates. however, please do what you do best: if you are not very familiar with policy-style arguments, you do not have to run them. while adapting to your judge is important, i believe that a characteristic of good debaters is that they are able to win with their own style regardless of the person they are debating in front of. i like impacts, but i am also down to judge a good traditional/lay framework debate as well.
i am seeing an increasing number of tricks and troll arguments, so here is my stance on them: my threshold for answering these are generally low, so expect an uphill battle if you choose to go for frivolous theory, tricks, or RVIs in the rebuttal.
i normally do not judge that many phil/tricks debates, so if you insist on that strategy, please spend some time contextualizing and explaining your arguments.
in PF, i follow a very similar method in evaluating debates as i do for policy and LD. tell me why you win; write my ballot for me. i am open to any kind of argument as long as it is well-warranted. most of what i have defined above in regards to presentation are also applicable to public forum. keep your off-time road maps and formalities (asking to take the first question, for instance) to a minimum. i am more lenient on speaker points in pf than other devoted pf judges and care more about your arguments instead of your actions.
paraphrasing cards equates to evidence fabrication -- have the whole card ready throughout the debate.
engage with the other side's arguments and use your best judgement
i flow CX. flex prep is fine, but i will only evaluate what is said during your designated speaking times.
- i understand that there will inevitably be disagreement no matter the decision, but i hope you can learn from the loss to win any of my future ballots. i can clearly tell the difference between asking questions with the genuine intent of improving vs. saying snarky remarks/asking frivolous questions in an attempt to undermine my judging skill and character. if these decorum issues persist, i will end the discussion and ask you to hash out your further questions through email.
if you ever need any clarification on RFDs on tabroom or what i said after the round, please feel free to reach out to me.
i am generally fine with any of your personal preferences when it comes to debate, as long as your actions are not affecting anyone else. i reserve the right to intervene in cases of bullying, harassment, or violence.