Cliff Gardner

Saturday, July 15, 2006

This one time, at debate camp...

I just finished the last debate tournament I will attend for over two years.

Matt and Logan won the camp tournament, dropping only one (bizarre) ballot in the process. They beat Shannon and Elizabeth (rockstars), another Willamette team, in finals. The 3rd and 5th place teams were also from Willamette, so the season looks bright for my alma mater!

I helped prep Hoda Illias, a really awesome girl from Lewis and Clark whom I've always respected a great deal, and her partner, a debater from Azusa Pacific, for most of the tournament...along with a revolving door of other random, coach-less teams who heard I was willing to help. Hoda and her partner ended up going 4-3, so they were happy considering that they got some fairly odd losses in the process.

Helping Hoda reinforced a few things for me. First, I love coaching. I have yet to experience anything like the thrill of coaching a team to victory--I think it is more exciting than being in the round as a debater myself. Second, most of the good debaters on the circuit now would make better coaches and fairer critics than many of the folks who currently occupy those roles. I say this after judging and coaching for a year. I would trust Matt, Logan, Shannon and Elizabeth to coach teams and judge rounds before I would let some of these folks in the building. There really isn't a lot to being a good coach; you just have to love the activity and not be a jackass.

Tomorrow Matt, Logan and I are going to catch a minor league baseball game in Portland. Nothing says America like eating nachos and drinking a Mike's from the beer gardens of Civic Stadium! :-)


  • Baseball. That's how ordinary American's unwind.

    By Blogger truax, at 9:19 PM  

  • You are kind of right about being a coach -- just not being a jackass is hard for some folks, no??

    The other thing you need to have to be a coach is a really high level of patience.... and a high tolerance for having debaters disapoint you. I suppose it goes without saying that you have to be able to drive a van, live from a suitcase and tolerate the Super 8.

    By Blogger Inside the Philosophy Factory, at 3:28 PM  

  • Maybe you will have the energy to start up a debate team in Ukraine...?

    By Blogger Laura, at 6:17 PM  

  • You will be a phenomenal teacher, my friend. I'm sure, however, that your current students, already know that you are!

    How awesome that you worked with Hoda! I enjoy Hoda! She worked with me on my thesis!

    By Anonymous sharl, at 1:19 AM  

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