Last changed on
Sat January 1, 2022 at 9:48 PM EDT
Willing to judge all speech, congress, parli/world schools, PF, and LD. I also love serving as a parliamentarian in Congress. I strongly prefer Speech, Congress, and impromptu-style debate events over all other events. PF is sometimes fun; LD is fine if you need me. I would not consider myself qualified to judge policy, but I am willing to give it a shot in a time of complete desperation. I love tabbing and always prefer it over judging, so feel free to pull me if needed.
I’m an assistant coach/judge/person from Dallastown Area High School in PA. I graduated from college in May 2021 and now work full time, but I try to stay involved with Forensics as much as I can! I competed in several different events in High School, but as an alum I’ve continued to learn a lot more about everything Forensics has to offer, so when I travel with the team, I judge where I’m needed. That said, here’s what to expect from a round with me:
VIRTUAL TOURNAMENT NOTES:
Note that I have two very sweet but disruptive cats-- if this might become distracting to you, please let me know and I will keep my camera off. The same applies if you have wifi/other issues that make video chats difficult-- if it will be a bandwidth/connectivity issue, let me know if you'd like me to keep my camera off.
OVERALL TOURNAMENT NOTES:
SPREADING-- I’m still working on keeping up with this. Admittedly, I have a hard time catching important arguments when debaters spread. However, I’m okay with you spreading as long as you email your case to me right before the round begins. [email@example.com]. Please also do the same for your opponent. That said, please try to slow down during your rebuttal speeches (or anything else that isn’t pre-written) so that I can catch everything that needs to be on the flow. This especially applies for any sort of Theory/Ks/Plans/etc. I also ask that you slow down for any major parts of your case (Contentions, Value, VC, subpoints) so that I can get the tagline/topic down.
CASES— It’s only fair to warn you that I don’t have a lot of exposure to Theory, Ks, Plans, etc. However, what I've seen of Ks, I like. I'm open to disruption and anything that feels less like a round I've seen before. So I'm open to seeing more and learning more. Just let me know before the round begins that you plan to run one so that there’s no question of what’s going on. Articulate very clearly why your strategy is important + why I should vote for it rather than your opponent’s case-- and explain what the role of my ballot should be as a judge. What hypothetically happens when I vote for you? Also, don’t assume I already know about all theories that you’ll introduce into the debate. Even just a brief, simple explanation would be great so that I know we’re on the same page.
DISCLOSURE— I tend to take a few minutes after the round has concluded to make my decision. I like to look over my notes and my flow to ensure that I’m being fair in my decision and providing you with good comments. Therefore, I don’t like to give my verbal critiques or RFD immediately after the round. I’d rather you leave the room until I’m done with my ballots and then find me later. After I’ve turned in my ballots, I’d be more than happy to talk to you about the round as long as it does not go against tournament rules and as long as I am not actively engaged in another activity that would be difficult to multitask with— i.e., helping one of my students with an emergency, napping, etc. You can also feel free to email me at [firstname.lastname@example.org]
IMPROMPTU SPEAKING-- In Congress, I STRONGLY prefer a crappy impromptu speech on an under-debated side over a perfect prepared speech that rehashes the last several speeches we just listened to. In other words-- please don't make me listen to more than 2 speeches on the same side in a row. I'll have MASSIVE respect for anyone who switches sides at the last minute for the purposes of keeping debate interesting. I've ranked students up for this before, and I'll do it again. Impromptu speaking is a lifelong skill....get that experience!
Sitting or standing for speech and cross-ex is fine with me. Whatever makes you comfortable.
Sometimes it’s necessary for me to eat during rounds-- I try very hard to avoid it, but if I have no choice but to eat during your round, I’ll do so in a way that is minimally disruptive. Virtual tournament note-- if I do eat during your (virtual) round, I will likely turn my camera off, or you can feel free to request that I do so.
I’m young, so not a lot of people immediately realize that I’m a judge and not a competitor who hasn’t advanced. Just as a general rule, act respectfully out of round too. I hear things, and I pick up on falseness very easily. More than anything, be nice and fair to your opponent before, during, and after the round; or I guarantee I’ll lose a lot of respect for you.
Along those lines— I’m your judge. I know I’m young, I’m still learning, and I may not know as much about your event as you do, but I’m still your judge. Please be respectful of the fact that I’m not perfect; I’m human. I do my best to be a fair judge and give every competitor their best experience possible, but that said, not every call I make will make everyone happy. At the end of the day, even if I miss something or am more enthralled by one argument over another, remember that it’s your responsibility as the debater to convince all kinds of judges. It’s not my fault if you lose, and I promise that I took my decision in your round very seriously.
1-- Aggression. I know, this is a competitive activity. It’s literally formal arguing. But there’s a difference between smart and impactful debating and straight-up aggression. I understand that there’s a certain amount of aggressiveness required to be an effective debater, but there’s a line. Therefore, any excessive aggression will not be tolerated in my rounds. I know you’re here to win, but you’re also here to learn, and it’s hard to learn or have any sort of effective discourse when your opponent, judge, or audience is uncomfortable. I don’t care how good of a debater you are, if you are unnecessarily aggressive, I will vote you down.
2-- Racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, hate of ANY KIND will not be tolerated. Again, there is no reason to make your opponent, judge, or audience uncomfortable or unsafe in what is supposed to be a safe, educational environment. Leave the hate at home...or better yet, re-evaluate it.
3-- Remember that your audience can be anyone, and sometimes members of your round may be part of the very communities you are insulting or judging. When it comes to talking about issues that impact minorities, don't speak for them. Use your platform to elevate the voices of those who are directly impacted by the topic at hand. You don't decide what's best for a group that you're not a member of!
4-- (Mainly for Congress, but elsewhere if it applies:) If I hear anything resembling COERCION in my Congress chamber, I will rank you lower or not at all. Do NOT pressure other competitors to "let" you PO or "let" you speak before them. Let recency and the rules fall where they may. This is a competition, I get it, but be fair and be mature. In all events, fairness is the supreme goal of each round.
ABOVE ALL, I am a true believer in the power of Forensics as an activity. It changed my life, and it has the ability to do a lot of good. Therefore, the integrity of each round and the experience of each participant is very important to me. Not everyone will leave with a trophy, but everyone has the opportunity to leave with valuable life experience, great ideas, and unique friendships.
TL;DR, I’m cool with whatever you want to do in round as long as it doesn’t jeopardize those components of Forensics competition.