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St. Mark’s College Preview Flyer!

Posted on October 15th, by Sarah Spring in Fun, General, Team Information. Comments Off



Honors Policy Debate team argue merits of fracking – The Daily Cougar

Posted on October 2nd, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Debate Pedagogy, Team Information. Comments Off

Jenny Reiss

Fracking is neither sustainable nor will it bridge the way towards renewable energy

Any environmental risk is reason enough to calm enthusiasm for natural gas, especially the process of hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking requires pumping toxic fluid into the ground at a pressure high enough to fracture shale rocks and release the natural gas inside. This process can cause water pollution, earthquakes, the destruction of aquifers and the elimination of natural landscapes.

Eric Lanning -

Hydraulic fracking will promote sustainability by bridging fossil fuels and alternative energy

One of the dilemmas of the debates about energy in the United States is the reality that no solution is perfect. There are upsides and downsides to any decision, and both traditional — fossil fuels — and alternative — renewable fuels — involve tradeoffs between cost and impact. With this in mind, … Read More »


And we’re off!

Posted on September 19th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition. Comments Off

The team has departed, with Nader, for GSU. #GoCoogs


High School Debate Cases

Posted on September 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, High School Debate. Comments Off

Stay up to date with the latest in high school debate! 

 


HUDL Seminar

Posted on September 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition. Comments Off


The Best Web Tools for Debate Work — Policy Debate — Medium

Posted on August 20th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Debate Competition, Debate Pedagogy, General, Research, Team Information. Comments Off

The Best Web Tools for Debate Work — Policy Debate — Medium.

I love the internet and I love the ways it can make debate work more efficient and easier. Thus, I am constantly experimenting with different web tools to make debate work better.

Read more over at Medium!



Tips for rising seniors from college debate directors | HS Impact

Posted on August 19th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, General, High School Debate, Team Information. Comments Off

A lot of good advice here, but this first tip strikes me as right on!

You don’t need to be a top level debater in high school to be successful in college debate. If you have any interest in trying college debate, try it. Many very successful college debaters had very limited high school careers.

via 10 tips for rising seniors from college debate directors | HS Impact.


There will be a quiz tomorrow

Posted on August 19th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Fun, General, Team Information. Comments Off

Prizes will be awarded

Name these people -


Time Lapse Debate Work

Posted on August 19th, by Sarah Spring in Fun, General, Team Information. Comments Off

[gn_media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzAhVWX2QYA" width="600" height="400"]

[gn_media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK7-wvcq6Ik&feature=youtu.be" width="600" height="400"]


Latin America Affs – Visualized

Posted on August 14th, by Sarah Spring in General, High School Debate, Research. Comments Off

H/T – the new #HSdebate blog HSimpact

Data seems to be from the Michigan Debate Workshops – the authors seem to be “marc” and “danny” – check it out here. 

 

 

 


Known Unknowns – Preseason Anxiety and Debate

Posted on August 12th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics, High School Debate, Research. Comments Off

This post is brought to you in collaboration with the good peeps over at DebateCentral! 

Also posted at Medium.com

PreSeason Anxiety? 

Preseason Anxiety can strike at any time. This sufferer has not yet recovered.

August is a tough time for debaters, in both high school and college. Debate camp is over. “Real” school is about to start again. But what causes us to lose the most sleep, more than even what to wear on the first day of class, is the total uncertainty of predicting what this season’s debate topic will bring.

The blank slate of the impending season can be daunting in contrast to the predictable routine of the regular debate season. We’re used to being able to plan and prepare for our opponent’s moves ahead of time. And while the resolution does provide a starting point, anyone who has done any thinking about … Read More »



Nick Brown Montage

Posted on August 8th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Fun, Team Information. Comments Off

Found this gem of coach Nick Brown, while searching for pictures of debate tubs on Google.

I love the internet.


Dr. English Returns to Houston

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in Alumni, HUDL, UH Debate History. Comments Off

 



HISD Feature on HUDL and UH Debate

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition, Debate Pedagogy, High School Debate, HUDL. Comments Off

Very cool video & write up from the HISD about last week’s HUDL institute featuring a cameo from UH Senior policy debater Eric Lanning

“I’m passionate about debate, and I’m just really happy about the knowledge and skills I got from some of the best mentors in the country,” said Rachelle Spann, 12th grade camp participant. “HUDL is a phenomenal program. I would recommend it to anyone.”

[gn_media url="http://vimeo.com/71822018" width="600" height="400"]

via HISD, Houston Urban Debate League Host Summer Debate Camp | News Blog.



12 new photos on Houston Debate Flickr!

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

Take a look http://www.flickr.com/photos/84082254@N05/



Coming Attractions

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition, Debate Pedagogy, High School Debate. Comments Off

[gn_media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oihk0SGCizY&feature=youtu.be" width="600" height="400"]



The Real Risks – By David Rothkopf | Foreign Policy

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in College Debate, Debate Competition, Debate Topics. Comments Off

Interesting piece on Foreign Policy about Risk that has a lot of potential for thinking about this year’s debate topic.

The Real Risks – By David Rothkopf

With each passing day, it becomes even clearer that despite what appears to be a very serious current terrorist threat, the greatest risks facing America come from our own misplaced priorities and mistaken assumptions.

As recently as late last week, I spoke with a very senior administration official — one of the White House’s best and brightest — who forcefully described the significance of America’s successful destruction of “core” al Qaeda. White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated this point in comments to the press on Monday. But two errors in that assessment have now become abundantly apparent. The first is obvious given that the current alert is reportedly due in part to communications between a still-active … Read More »


Policy Debate @ the HUDL!

Posted on August 7th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition, Debate Pedagogy, High School Debate, HUDL. Comments Off



Upcoming Team Events

Posted on August 6th, by Sarah Spring in General, Team Information. Comments Off

[gn_feed url="https://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/jd5t9n9p8t51ovenld9q3jn68s%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic" limit="7"]


Latin America Topic News

Posted on August 6th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics, High School Debate, Research. Comments Off

[gn_feed url="http://getpocket.com/users/spring.sarah/feed/all" limit="7"]



What Games Are: The Win Imperative | TechCrunch

Posted on August 4th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

UH Debate knows a little about the win imperative..

In short, it’s about winning. All games are played to win.

via What Games Are: The Win Imperative | TechCrunch.


Slate Series on the Value of Competition

Posted on August 1st, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

Tech giants, bone wars, and sports franchises: a special series on the greatest rivalries. – Slate Magazine.

“As Shakespeare once told us, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” And some, he might have added, rise to greatness because of the presence—and the provocations—of a worthy rival. In a series of articles over the next few weeks, Slate will explore how competition makes the best even better, driving creativity, innovation, and sheer bloody-mindedness in a race to the top.”

Reminds me of my earlier point about gamification and debate.


View from the HUDL Institute

Posted on August 1st, by Sarah Spring in High School Debate. Comments Off

HUDL Summer Institute

Posted on July 26th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Competition, Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics, High School Debate. Comments Off

We’re getting excited and ready for the Houston Urban Debate League (HUDL) Summer workshop coming up next week (7/29-8/2)!

Check out some of the resources we’ve put together for the institute:

 

 

Learning Tools -

Memrise Course – Available Here

Evidence -
Mexico Ports of Entry Aff - Improves infrastructure at US-Mexico border ports, advantage: Economy
Mexico Ports of Entry Neg - Answers aff, includes maquiladora turn
China Disadvantage - China is increasing their economic influence with Mexico, US engagement crowds them out, Destroys the Chinese Economy, War

Advanced Evidence-
Relations Advantage Aff/Neg - An additional advantage for the ports aff

States Counterplan - The 50 states (or perhaps the border states) improve border infrastructure, which actually has some evidentiary support.

Topicality - Economic Engagement isn’t Commerical Engagement, the plan is just facilitating Commerce
Trade Promotion Authority Politics Disad - Politics disadvantage at its best. Obama needs political capital to get trade promotion authority (“fast-track”) that’s key to the WTO. … Read More »



Debate is a Game

Posted on July 25th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. 1 Comment

Re-post from HoustonDebate on medium.com:

I’ve recently been putting together curriculum for next week’s Houston Urban Debate League (HUDL) summer workshop and I’ve been looking for new ways to teach debate to students who are encountering debate for the first time.

The amazing part of debate, even to outsiders, is the passion and enthusiasm it creates in students for even the most arcane and complex topics. High school students spending hours researching the history of US foreign policy towards Latin America? Yes, it happens. Competitive debate somehow motivates students to learn even the most impenetrable subjects. How? Competition. The thrill of the game creates highly engaged students because they want to win.

But the impenetrability of the material is also the problem.Novices are often overwhelmed by the amount and complexity of debate jargon in addition to the difficult content of the topic that they are … Read More »


Upcoming Team Events

Posted on July 23rd, by Sarah Spring in Team Information. Comments Off

[gn_feed url="https://www.google.com/calendar/feeds/jd5t9n9p8t51ovenld9q3jn68s%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic" limit="7"]


2013-2014 Topic

Posted on July 19th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Topics, Team Information. Comments Off

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase statutory and/or judicial restrictions on the war powers authority of the President of the United States in one or more of the following areas: targeted killing; indefinite detention; offensive cyber operations; or introducing United States Armed Forces into hostilities.


Presidential Powers Resolutions – What do you think?

Posted on July 15th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Topics. Comments Off

Survey here


Camp Evidence Gathered | GSQ @ MGW

Posted on July 8th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics, High School Debate. Comments Off

Camp Evidence Gathered | GSQ @ MGW.

 Cal National Debate Institute:
Affs
(Lots of other stuff here too) - including ”goat cans”

 Cuba - End Embargo, Leadership Adv
Mexico Energy - Renewables, China
Venezuela - Russia, Latin American Instability, Relations (China Crowd out)

Emory National Debate Institute
Affs

Cuba – Both pre-camp and post-camp (much like the term “pre-fiat“)

 UTNIF
 Affs - All zipped here.

Cuba – End Embargo
Mexico – Oil (Transboundary Agreement)

Northwestern Debate institute
Aff – (pre-camp)

Cuba - All impacts (China, Relations, Russia, Drugs, Aliens)

Michigan

Evidence from the MNDI/Classic/7-weeks it not available on the new-fangled “internets”

Affs -
Border Infrastructure Mexico

Text: The United States federal government should substantially increase its United States – Mexico North American Development Bank border transportation infrastructure investment

Text: The United States federal government should substantially increase its investment in United States – Mexico North American Development Bank transportation infrastructure projects

Text: The United States federal government should substantially increase its border transportation infrastructure projects with Mexico

Test: The United States federal government should substantially increase aid to funding … Read More »


Flow Along | GSQ @ MGW

Posted on July 8th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

Flow Along | GSQ @ MGW.


What do you think

Posted on June 26th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

Dewhurst declares abortion bill dead, blames ‘unruly mob’

Really liking Branch – hoping it will catch on…


Dallas Urban Debate Alliance

Posted on June 26th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, High School Debate. Comments Off

Josh Gonzalez and I just got back from a fantastic week at the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance summer workshop. It was fantastic! The students were amazing (many future Coogs, I hope)! 

The workshop and the enthusiasm of the students and staff were a great reminder of the value of debate and why it is so valuable! Here’s a video we put together about the camp!

[gn_media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfi8VQj8aZU" width="600" height="400"]

And here’s a link to another video about our lab rivalries!


You Cant Throw A Stick….

Posted on June 6th, by Sarah Spring in Alumni, Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

And not hit a debater at the Harris County courthouse…

The title of this post was inspired by a 2007 Houston Chronicle Op-Ed by two UH Debate Alums, Ron Bankston & Barbara Radnofsky.

Debate is preparation for life. Not much more evidence is needed than this 1971 UH policy debate yearbook photo. Check out the interactive version here.

While debate does prepare many undergraduates for law school, the reach of its metaphorical “stick” goes much further.

Yes, UH alums are successful lawyers, honorable judges and mediators, but UH Debate alums, in particular, have excelled in fields outside of the law.  Debate coaches, professors, medical ethicists and on and on.

One goal of this blog is to showcase the accomplishments of these alumni, so stay tuned.

I’ll leave you with the wisdom of UH Debate Alum Linda Listrom – executive director of the National Association of Urban … Read More »


Presidential Powers Topic Choices

Posted on June 4th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics. Comments Off

“Selecting an official question is not all beer and skittles. It means a lot of work and requires a lot of machinery.” – The Forensic, 1938

So it seems the topic committee has again wrapped up its unenviable work on the upcoming NDT/CEDA topic. If you also have some time to burn, you can watch the deliberation in these videos. 

As a brief side note, the number and diversity of the resolutions I think is a good sign that the committee has begun to recognize the impossibility of resolutional perfection (for more on this, see this article I wrote a few years ago about the topic process).

For those out there who are unfamiliar with the process, CEDA will in the coming weeks release a ballot with these options and the vote will be due around the 3rd Saturday in July, with the … Read More »


Revenge of the Analog Evidence

Posted on June 3rd, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, Research. Comments Off

Today I got a big set of books from the wonderful UH library system for the upcoming War Powers college CEDA/NDT topic and I was reminded of the value of analog – i.e. “books” – in the process of debate research.

Now, this insight is not all that novel, in fact it perhaps dates me a bit. But I thought I’d post a few thoughts on why books are still relevant and useful, despite the overwhelming preference of debaters to find their evidence in electronic formats.

Uniqueness – Books have articles and chapters and writing that you can’t find elsewhere, often not even electronically. This fact is lost on those who do not read books that often. But I can’t emphasize enough that there are very good cards to be found in books that you won’t find on the interwebs (see below) .
Context – Books as a genre … Read More »


UH Honors – Smart Girl

Posted on June 2nd, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

Check out this great slam poetry by UH Honors student Mahnoor Samana featured on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls youtube channel.

[gn_media url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DjiRF1bmXA" width="600" height="400"]


Young America Speaks

Posted on May 20th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy. Comments Off

In the early 1960s, Sinclair Oil sponsored the innovative “Young America Speaks” debate show, on WFAA the Dallas NBC affiliate. The UH Archives have some amazing photos of UH on the show, featuring some very classy UH blazers.

While I’m still researching the show (hopefully I’ll be able to find some footage) I think the concept should be revived, it has to be better than insert your least favorite reality show here.

 

 

 

What I do know about the show comes from alums like Carmen (Stallings) Finn and Lance Funston who told my Advocacy class about their TV debate moment of fame.

Here’s a good snapshot of the event from the Abilene Optimist.

More later…


Latin America Topic

Posted on May 14th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Pedagogy, Debate Topics, High School Debate. Comments Off

The 2013-2014 High School National Forensics League topic has been out for some time, but we’re beginning to think and work on the topic – We’ll be posting resources, links, and the like on this blog as well as cross-posting from our GSQ lab blog at the UNT Mean Green workshop.

Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic engagement toward Cuba, Mexico, or Venezuela.

To kick it off, here’s a very cool word cloud that depicts US-Attitudes towards Mexico that is associated with a study from last year on the topic from the National Journal.

Perhaps debating this topic can change change these associations for the high school students who will be researching and discussing these questions in depth!


New Topic!

Posted on May 13th, by Sarah Spring in Debate Topics. Comments Off

Next year’s debate topic area was voted on and announced today! We’ll be debating the implications of Presidential War Powers.

The topic is important, timely and should be very interesting. I’ll be posting here about the topic (among other things) so stay tuned.

 





UH Policy Debate Blog

Honors Policy Debate team argue merits of fracking – The Daily Cougar
Jenny Reiss Fracking is neither sustainable nor will it bridge the way towards renewable energy

Any environmental risk is reason enough to calm enthusiasm for...

And we’re off!

The team has departed, with Nader, for GSU. #GoCoogs