Western Washington University Kind of Kicks Ass

When I look up from writing this blog, I see a massive panoramic view which includes the ocean on the left, and a bunch of mountains on the right. Bottom line: this is the best college cafeteria ever.

Anyway, we’re here, at the 2012 national tournament, in astonishingly scenic Bellingham, Washington, and things are going pretty well. There were some very minor misadventures in getting here–we arrived a few minutes after registration ended, and then Konrad Hack referred to our strikes as a “dumpster fire” (what does that even mean?), but otherwise logistics have gone smoothly, to the great surprise of everyone here.

We all awoke early this morning, drove over to the tournament, paid for parking (ugh), and then proceeded to our prep room (shared with  Azuza Pacific University–we’ve been helping each other prepare thus far, and it’s worked out quite well). Then, pairings happened.

Cal and Justin were Opp against a Whitman team, while Graham and David prepared to engage in mortal combat with a bye. The resolution: The United States Federal Government should implement the Community College to Career Fund program. (It’s a program requiring $8 billion in funding, which funds education and career internships).

Cal and Justin developed a very circuit-y strategy: T, F-Spec (funding specification), a China-relations DA (they hate new spending, and hate us trying to overtake their workforce, and so they won’t talk to us this weekend about North Korea, and NoKo won’t get food aid, and lotsa people will doe), and an offsets counterplan (do the plan, but take the funding from the V-22 Osprey program). The Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft being built for the Marines–it’s been in development for about 25 years, it’s hugely expensive, and the things crash all the frigging time, so we figured nobody would miss the money.

The opposing team ran the resolution as their plan, and had two advantages: Competitiveness being key to hegemony being key to solve resource wars being key to stop nuking the coral reefs being key to stopping extinction, and then another complicated impact scenario. Carleton’s strat was run, and then they responded to it–rather a lot.

Justin…kinda got spread in the MOC. That, combined with not having engaged in a serious theory debate since high school, meant that the second opposition speech was pretty sub-par. Cal nearly saved it, and the judge apparently almost went for us on F-spec (he wanted us to go for it and it alone in the block), but there were just too many drops. It was a legit decision, and we think Whitman was impressed with this random team they’d never heard of before.

David and Graham accomplished the impossible and lost the bye, somehow. This would eventually be corrected, but it meant that they hit an 0-1 team in round two.

The round two resolution: The United States Federal Government should significantly increase its support for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics programs in higher education.

Both Carleton teams were to be in favor of STEM education (meaning we were Gov), so we prepped out our devastating case collaboratively. The plan: complete student debt forgiveness for people pursuing STEM-type subjects who also work in the United States. The advantages: Hegemony (we need more science education for economic competitiveness, and we need smart people to develop better weapons and stuff (like, uh…the V-22 Osprey?) so that our military remains the baddest-ass. This is key to solve all war, and all kinds of other stuff) and the Economy (econ recovery super fragile now, will eventually burn out unless we invest in high-tech sectors, which have way more growth potential and are way more profitable. This solves for poverty and all that stuff).

Justin and Cal hit a team who had never debated before, in front of a judge who had almost never judged before. They went slow, were not jerks, and were clear, and they won. (The judge did enjoy letting us know after the round that we should have made an argument, even though we did make that argument for several minutes. She also said that the opp wasn’t allowed to read a counterplan and respond to the case at the same time. Whatever, she picked us up).

David and Graham had a somewhat closer round, but still won. The team they hit just wasn’t particularly good. Also, somebody noticed that they had somehow lost the bye, and told the tab room, who (we hope) corrected it. So, we have a 1-1 team and a 2-0 team (only three more wins, guys!). Pairings are out for round three, so we’ve got to get on that.

Carleton debate out.


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