Priuses are awful. Oh, and tenure is good…

So, what Laura alluded to–with me not being able to work a Prius–ended up being more of a headache than it had any right to be. Last night, I couldn’t figure out how to make the damn thing move. So, Raghav had to save this old luddite by driving down to the parking lot, fiddling with the car for a few minutes, then finally getting it going. Maybe this is why they’re so eco-friendly: they’ll only drive after 15-odd minutes of effort. That 15 minutes is probably enough to get most people to give up.

This morning, though, absolutely nobody could figure out how to start the damn things. We sat in the parking lot, delaying the tournament, while everybody made suggestions of how to work these. The manual, lacking a “make the damn car move under its own power” section, was not immediately helpful. Raghav figured out how to pop the hood, and I discovered how to put them in neutral. So, with our powers combined…we still had nothing. Ultimately, it was Chris who discovered the section of the manual which discusses starting the car. For future reference: hold down the brake pedal and the emergency brake and the ‘park’ button while inserting the key and then pressing the ‘power’ button. This will not actually turn the car on–you’ll have to press the power button a second time–but it does enable you to turn the car on later.

But we made it to the tournament, barely on time, while Laura made yet another last-second phone call to the tournament organizer and apologized for our probable lateness. She’s getting very practiced at those calls. The topic: Resolved: Minnesota should eliminate a seniority-based system for teacher layoffs. All Carleton teams were opp. So, tenure for the win?

Based on people’s post-round opinions, tenure was indeed a winning strategy. Cal and I (the team where average height is a meaningless statistic) went up against a team which wanted to institute yearly performance reviews of all teachers. Cal, bravely leading the opposition, presented a counterplan to increase teacher salary, and gave a number of reasons why putting teachers in the hot seat every damn year is bad (discourages innovation, encourages preferential firing of higher-paid teachers, makes teaching even less of an attractive job because you no longer have any job security at all…). The government reminded us that spending is bad, and that their method of evaluating teachers would be some happy wholesome holistic all-encompassing method of evaluation–it wouldn’t just rely on test scores. My speech was top-heavy, as usual, but probably got the job done–basically, spending money is really okay. Cal had a nice line about lemmings in his LOR, and we think we probably won (which means we surely lost).

Other rounds seemed to go fairly well also. The A-team, AKA the man-dance team, AKA David and Graham, hit a team that got rid of tenure. They counterplanned, with a CP that Graham describes as ‘very wordy’, and thought that the judge liked most of what they were saying. The PMR made a new permutation argument, David made a point of order, and evidently their judge spent about 45 seconds saying why the the gov was indeed being abusive, and shouldn’t do stuff like that. So, they probably won (hence, probably lost) as well.

Raghav and Miles ran an uncompetitive counterplan, but ‘it was okay because nobody noticed it’. The Gov said that counterplans in general were abusive, and some other stuff that I didn’t really follow happened. They’re not sure how they did, but their judge did tell them that he considers counterplans to be okay. Nice of him…

Laura and Chris also ran a counterplan which ‘ended up being very similar to the plan’, because they discovered late in the round that the gov plan didn’t actually get rid of seniority-based systems for layoffs. The CP involved five-year reviews of tenure. Laura also criticized Teach for America (you only stay in it for 2-3 years!), and Chris made some points about how teachers would go on strike if tenure went away. So, they also think they did okay.

Now, we’re sitting in an alcove in the second floor of the ‘Brushaber Commons’ (?), waiting for our next round to start at 11. David’s playing Text Twist, Miles is getting a bit too close to David, and Raghav is sleeping with his eyes open (which scares David quite a bit).

That is all.

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