Its time. Time to jump back on the treadmill that is Debate in the Spring semester. ‘Tis the season of pushing hard to finish state qualifications, prepare for NSDA District, compete in region and state meets, continue to prep new topics, prep for the TOC, and the constant search for fresh responses to evolving topics. Every other extracurricular seems to have a season and an off-season. Football in the Fall; Basketball in the Winter; Track in the Spring. But Debate (and yes, I’m going to spell it with a capital D) seems to be truly seasonless. It firmly maintains “Calendar Dominance” or “Year-round Imperialism” or perhaps we should call it “Debate Hegemony.” For those of us not just dabbling in this activity, we have come to learn the Seasons of Debate. Debaters are not governed by those months that other people speak of that originated with the names of various Roman gods and tyrants, or by those days named after some Norse deities. Our calendar is ruled by New Topic Announcements, District, Region, State, Nationals, and that sunny season when school does not interfere with our prep, Debate Camp. Every first of the month is a time for all the PF folks to go briefly nuts, every two months, the LDers have periods of alternating panic and depression and the poor policy kids ride their own crazy rollercoaster of uniqueness through the year. Each debate season or occasion has its charms, but common to them all is a certain unceasing grind of topic reading, anticipating of arguments, case writing, block writing, and card cutting. It really never end and we need to sometimes be proactive in keeping it fresh, keeping it exciting and not allowing the thing we love to do become stale. With that perspective in mind, I’d like to offer some advice for getting through the long, dark nights of winter and not going stir-crazy.
I’ll conclude now, as I huddle for warmth in this very frigid January evening, and wish you the best as we trundle through winter and hope for what e.e.cummings called the “mud-lucious” Spring.
Wishing you a fresh start to your Spring semester,
The Old Coach