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gailryder17
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20 Feb 2012, 5:39 pm

When I started debate, I was really interested (I do Lincoln-Douglas, which is philosophy). There are only seven people in our Speech and Debate class and most people did Speech, so I got a bit more attention from the teacher to write my cases and learning about the different philosophies was engaging. Now, since the teacher is making Debate a CLASS thing and all of the speech people are forced to learn about it, my teacher has to explain it to a bunch of kids, one who is more interested in reading the packaging of LeanCuisine. As a result, I get incredibly bored. Also, I don't enjoy doing the tournaments. I'm horrible at speaking impromptu and I dread each upcoming round. Now that the learning process has become uninteresting, I feel like I'm wasting my time. Also, the teacher is somewhat laissez-faire. He never really got the Speech kids to work when he let them "work" independently, so he can't expect them to at least feign interest.


Should I quit or should I continue debate in hopes that it gets better?


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DC
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20 Feb 2012, 5:53 pm

Try learning the art of giving speeches & debating from sources other than your teacher.

The internet is a wonderful educational resource.

Do you find this a more inspiring use of 18 minutes than listening to your teacher?

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_duarte_t ... talks.html



gailryder17
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20 Feb 2012, 6:42 pm

DC wrote:
Try learning the art of giving speeches & debating from sources other than your teacher.

The internet is a wonderful educational resource.

Do you find this a more inspiring use of 18 minutes than listening to your teacher?

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_duarte_t ... talks.html


I started watching three minutes of it, but I'm not sure how it's relevant to my issue.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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20 Feb 2012, 6:53 pm

If it were the case where you didn't like the class but liked the tournaments, maybe an interesting side step. But I hear you saying the tournaments are net negative, too.

And it is a real issue, you already know the material, the teacher's going at a snail's pace, and the other kids aren't really trying. Yes, would bother almost anyone.

Maybe more of a process of how. Maybe the strategic move of saying to the teacher, ' . . not getting a whole lot out of it, beginning to think maybe a new class for me . . ' And see how that would be kind of understating it and hopefully the teacher will take the next step and make a positive suggestion? And if you're on good terms with your parents about school, maybe get them on board, too, or even talk with them first before you talk with the teacher.



DC
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20 Feb 2012, 11:05 pm

gailryder17 wrote:
DC wrote:
Try learning the art of giving speeches & debating from sources other than your teacher.

The internet is a wonderful educational resource.

Do you find this a more inspiring use of 18 minutes than listening to your teacher?

http://www.ted.com/talks/nancy_duarte_t ... talks.html


I started watching three minutes of it, but I'm not sure how it's relevant to my issue.


It is relevant because you said this:

' I'm horrible at speaking impromptu and I dread each upcoming round.'

If you spend a lot of time learning how to structure your communication in a formal setting like a speech or debate you will become less horrible at it. This does involve actually putting in the time to learning how to do it and putting those new ideas into practice. If you are studying a subject for months on end only to still be horrible at it and filled with dread you need to change the way you are learning the subject.

It is generally said that it takes about 10,000 hours practice at anything for a normal person to become truly skilled in something, if you give up on things after 3 minutes you will hard pressed to ever develop skills in any area.



gailryder17
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21 Feb 2012, 7:44 pm

We're finally working on the cases and I'm able to work alone, but now he's pretty much making all the kids write the same cases and I'm supposed to take things from each of their cases (when we're all done) and add it to my own.

Question: how am I supposed to do that when ALL THEIR CASES ARE THE SAME??????

They are later going to scrimmage against me (that just means we have a practice round) but none, except one person (less experienced than me) have ANY experience in Debate, so how am I supposed to get any better?

And, yet again, I despise tournaments.


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evidenceorgtfo
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23 Feb 2012, 11:22 am

First, let me introduce myself as both an aspie and a three-year participant in debate. I started off essentially where you are now, especially when it came to speaking with limited preparation.
To address the question you posed in your topic title, please don't quit. The first year or so is full of dread. I remembera round from my first tournament where I blanked out so badly that I had to leave the room to stop from fainting. But it got better, and I got more used to speaking off-the-cuff, because (and this will sound crazy) I figured out that you can prepare responses to just about everything. At my last tournament, I picked up four rounds in a row by using the same evidence to respond to the other case, because, despite the fact they were totally different, they all said basically the same thing.

Most of all, this is some difficult stuff. But after some decent practice, you'll get better. I went from shaking in my boots as a 15 year old to qualifying to nationals as a senior. I have faith (lots of it), that this activity will bring you success. It's the safest, most structured way to learn to communicate.

Regards,
Scott