So I’m a debate coach again, which is funny, since that’s where I began with this whole mess about 15 years ago now. Which is great, since I missed this facet of forensics, and it’s fun to teach kids what overviews and claims and warrants are.
On the other hand it does mean that I have students coming to Little Lex and Big Lex and the other debate only tournaments that I’ve gone to for a little while now. I enjoyed them partly because I don’t have any horses in the race, kids to take care of, reasons not to swear in public, and the like. It’s kind of fun to be the only guy in the room who speaks debater language, and that’s probably going to end at some point soon on my team. Ah well, I guess I have to rejoin society.
But the latest PF topic is somewhat interesting to me. I seriously wonder if the topic can be handled by a typical debate team well. It’s seated around Keynesian economics, and asks students to weigh the relative merits of different approaches to public finance. That’s a rather esoteric argument, and far from the usual run of the mill LD social contract disputes. It’s also a pretty complex and second-order topic to attack for only a month. I wonder if in the end folks will just oversimplify it a bunch, and debate the wrong resolution. That’s something debaters in particular are careful not to do, usually, but with this topic, something much more familiar to extempers, it might just happen.
I like Public Forum so far, though part of me still misses the established routine of LD, that PF has yet to acquire. But I do find myself disliking this new topic per month deal; just as the kids start to sink their teeth into a topic and see how things are really working, boom! Next topic. I also am curious as to how the topics are formed; I don’t know if they do the whole LD write & vote thing; I suspect they do. If so I have to figure out how to get a ballot.