Thursday, June 25, 2015

Debating & Frisbee (What's New?)

Today in class, Debate and Rhetoric students were able to experience a spectacle of debating performances.  Instead of students from the class participating in a debate, Dr. Sharkey got together coaches and current Cornell students, who hosted their very own debate.  Not only did this allow the class to see what the best debate team in the world in action, we were able to witness a different format of debate, as well as the proper way to perform.  It was a treat to witness some of the best young debaters in the world in action.

Witnessing the world's best
There were six students and two coaches from the Cornell debate team, who split up into four teams.  Two teams represented the opposition and two teams represented the proposition.  All teams went up against each other in order to win the motion, even though two teams were on each side.  One team on both sides featured only students and one team on both sides featured one student and one coach.  The motion that either needed to be defended nor attacked was the "U.S. government should sponsor Twitter to liberalize oppressed societies."  What that essentially means is that the government should give Twitter however much money it needs to connect with oppressed societies to help them break away from their current form of government.

Each team had 15 minutes to prepare, then the ball got rolling.  In short, both teams debated beautifully.  As the arguments unfolded, it was easy to see why Cornell and the best debate team in the world.  The students were confident in what they said and, oftentimes, attacked their opponents by refuting their arguments.  I was astonished by how these students were able to create such beautiful arguments in such a short amount of time, especially considering that not only does the information need to be planned out, but the process by which it is presented needs to be planned out.  I was inspired by their superb level of speech and it set a standard that I wanted to one day achieve in this class.  Following the debate, the jurors, considering of Dr. Sharkey and two students, adjudicated outside and came up with the verdict that the student/teacher combination on the opposing side won, although it was by a margin of two to one.  After the verdict, the entire class discussed the debate until the end of class.

I passed the time doing reading until 6:00, when the Ultimate Frisbee club began.  I went with my friend Reese and when we arrived, we started tossing around the frisbee with strangers, all who were, you guessed it, very friendly and humorous.

The calm before the storm
There were about 30 students who were divided up among four teams.  The entire experience was crazy fun!  Not only was it a great way to interact with other students outside of the lunchroom and class, the only two places I seem to go these days, it was classic outdoor fun.  Not to brag, but I would like to say that I did incredibly well.  I was a pest on offense and all that practice over the past couple of days really paid off when I whizzed the frisbee from one side of the field to the other without missing a beat.  Players on the other team started to notice and would often say "Cover Justice!" or "Dang it how did Justice get the frisbee?"  It also helped that my team was tall so it made it easy to fling the frisbee up in the air and know that someone on my team was going to come down with it.

Unfortunately, at the end of the day, I came out a little banged up and incredibly fatigued.  During the course of the game, I got a frisbee to my left eye and the back of my head and my left arm smacked.  My knees also started to hurt a lot, making it difficult to run later in the game.  I walked back to my dorm as if I went twelve rounds in the boxing ring.  I'll try to grind through a little bit of reading, but at the moment, it is looking like I might fall asleep at any moment...

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like this debate is like a lot of family gatherings where everyone has an opinion and pretty much talks at the same time.

    Back just a short time after Frisbee’s were invented, we played our own version while at Cal. The hallways in the dorms were very long and we would have two teams with one member of each team at each end of the hallway (four players). The idea was to be able to throw the Frisbee all the way down the hall (well over 100 feet) with your partner catching it. The catch was that the Frisbee could not touch the walls, floor or ceiling. Add to that the ten doors on each side of the hallways that were open so there were unknown gusts of wind to distract the Frisbee as it flew down the hallway.

    It was a real game of finesse.

    It’s a lot tougher than you might think to throw the Frisbee that far and that straight.

    Oh, did I mention that some of the competitors might have been under the influence of something or the other?

    Yeah--college was tough back then.