Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Public Forum Part Deux

I judged at Public Forum Nat Quals tonight, and I tested out my not-flowing suggestion. I liked it.

But apparently my desire for clarity of argument over quantity of arguments isn't shared by fellow judges. The round I judged (which, if I am not mistaken, sent a team to Nationals), had two very LD-centric fast-talking kids thinking that their damn cards were important in this round. Mom would not be impressed, and neither would ESPN.

I don't think either would have won if I'd gotten to them earlier. But given the paucity of lay judges on a Wednesday night, I think the CX-heads didn't go along with me. Fair enough.

But when I put away my flow paper (I just jotted down a sentence or two after each speech, writing "Main idea:" and then what I remembered as central and/or important), I was FREED. I didn't have to keep track of everything. I didn't have to trust my flow: I just had to trust my eyes, ears, and mind.

One of the teams used historical examples and clarifying analogies for their side. The other leaned on a card by some economist who said something bad might happen one day if we believed the other side.

I remembered the logical, backed, sensible stuff. Everything else faded into the background almost as soon as it was said.

I'll continue to flow LD forever. But I'm so happy with this experiment of not taking notes in Public Forum.

I hope others will join me. I think it will result in better PF Debate, and over the long haul better debates than the one I saw. Our sharp kids will hone their skills to communicate, rather than to laud silly cards like anybody cared.


tommyspoon said...

Interesting. Didn't you and I have this conversation in Philadelphia a couple of years ago? ;-)

TeacherRefPoet said...

We did, and the event is NOT going the direction I would like it to go. Why doesn't everybody listen to me for their own good?????????

tommyspoon said...

Well, you can always write a book and go on "Oprah." Just a suggestion... ;-)