Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Debate: Say it isn't so!

So the question becomes, what do the gods have against Bump? There was early dismissal today, and therefore no meeting (which had already been postponed from yesterday, and which of course was cancelled last week). No final planning for Bump. No impressing on the Speecho-Americans the importance of the event. No going over the topics with the debaters. No nothing. At least the forecast for the weekend is clear and a little warmer. Assuming there’s no surprise earthquakes (and, given that we don’t use Italian forecasters, any local earthquakes wouldn’t be a surprise), we should be okay.


There are still people just down the street from me without electricity. I’m wondering if we’ll lose ours again. I was only beginning to appreciate heat and light. I don’t want to live without it again.

Aside from the Bump issues, I really miss early-season meetings. Starting friction being strong, you need to jam in a whole lot of stuff into the novitiate mind as quickly as possible. I’ve got plebes who haven’t even debated yet, much less learned what an argument is, or a turn, or what to do during prep time, or how to cross examine. So much information to impart, so little time to do it. Of course, much of this is written up, but does the average student ever read any of it? Unlikely. Superstars do, and potential superstars, but the average student just sort of looks at you funny when you suggest that they read something. I expect that, and see it as part of my job to overcome it, but I can’t do that if I’m not there at the meetings. And meanwhile my stockpile of crappy prizes is growing exponentially, what with the small team and the aborted meetings and no one to give them to. I’m going to have to get another closet! At least I got some of the Sailors to sign up for future debates. Impressing on them that, if they don’t debate much in December, they might as well join the knitting club, is another thing that’s hard to do long-distance.

This is turning out to be a very frustrating week. We may have Bump patched up, but the damage to the team as a whole is something else altogether. And this holds not just for me but everyone else in the reason struggling with lost days and lost rounds.


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