Archives for november 2014

Debatteren er scholieren in het noorden?

Door Joost Kooiman

‘Er woont echt niemand ten noorden van Almere,’ ‘ik versta niks van die Groningers.’ De vooroordelen over het noorden vliegen door de lucht wanneer de niet-Groningers uit het CA-team in de hoofdstad van het noorden zijn aangekomen. Maar tot hun verbazing en vreugde wordt ook in dit deel van het land volop gedebatteerd door scholieren. Tegen de veertig van hen kwamen op zaterdag 15 november bij elkaar op het Willem Lodewijk Gymnasium in Groningen om te strijden op de tweede editie van het Noord-Nederlands Scholieren Kampioenschap (NNSK) debatteren.
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International Debate Academy Slovenia 2014

The 12th International Debate Academy Slovenia will be held in Kranjska Gora and Ljubljana, Slovenia between 22-30 November 2014. The program is aimed at university students, uses the WUDC/BP format, and will be conducted in English. There are over 100 participants from four continents

The board of Wageningen Debating is joining this event and shares this report of her website (wageningendebating.com) with you on SevenTwenty.

Saturday 22 November

Where a travel begins is no questions, when it begins a whole other one. Having announced it now for quite some time, our travels began Friday night somewhere between 11 and 2. Trains never work as you want them to work and so we stayed over at Schiphol airport. With none or barely an hour of sleep we took two short flights to a very foggy Zurich and eventually a bit less foggy Ljubljana. Joined by two Kazachs and two Finnish we are brought to Hotel Spik in Kranskja Gora. We are greeted most welcoming by Za in proti and after all formalities we enjoy a nice quiet lunch after which we try to do all kind of things, all endingu p with falling aspeel. Dinner proves the diversity of nationalities again. One of our roommates, a Chines girl, invites us to have breakfast together the next morning and frineds from Zagreb and Venezuela come say hi. No more time for chitchat, it’s time for action!

Alfred ‘Tuna’ Snider from the World Debate Institute officially opens IDAS 2014 with an inspriring speech on the use and value of debating. What can contribute more than a critical mind? Bojana Skrt, of Za in Proti, does the logistics. In short; in the morning you are assigned to a lecture and an exercise round after which there is a full debatte with feedback. Then lunch and a really short break, two rounds of electives you can choose yourself where to go and another debate and feedback. Dinner and no way you are done after that, for what is debating without some extra fun, so each night has a social. To show what we do of what we should be doing for the coming days a show debate is done with speakers from Malaysia, Venezuela, the USA, Slovenia and Serbia on the motion: THW welcome large numbers of robots in the work force.

So 120 enthusiastic students, over 15 countries represented and the best trainers; let’s get this party started!

Sunday 23 November

Sleep makes everything so much nicer. Up and running around 7 to make sure all the assignments for uni are done in the mean time as well. Fortunately the restaurant has good food and an amazing view, so there is hardly anything to complain. At 8:45 we start with some logistical announcements and the final people are paired up for the 10 practice debates to come in the following days. All participants are divided in three groups in which they follow a one-hour elective by one of the faculty members, after which they are subdivided in 6 groups to practice that what they have just learned in excercise rounds.

The motion for the first practice debate reads: THBT reparations should be payed for slavery.

After feedback and lunch we have barely an hour left to catch up with our personal needs before two rounds of electives start. Today the chosing is from the following:

  • Political Economy: CRISIS OF CAPITALISM – CAPITALISM AS CRISIS (Case against Capitalism)
  • HOW JUDGES LOOK AT DEBATES
  • Empathy – the gateway to analysis
  • LANGUAGE CHOICE IN DEBATE AND ENGLISH SPEAKING STRATEGIES
  • “How to build economic arguments”
  • THE POWER OF DEFINITION
  • Style Mechanics and Persuasion
  • Political Philosophy: IDEOLOGY and MODERN POLITICAL DISCOURSES
  • INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN A NUTSHELL
  • What’s wrong with the social contract
  • Listening awareness
  • WAGES, WORK AND WOMEN (feminist political economy 101)
  • “Where do money comes from? (the limits to debts)”
  • “Scrabble” – Motion analysis

The motion for the second practice debate reads: THBT parents should not tell their adopted children that they are adopted.

In such a busy schedule, food is one of the most important elements of the program. So dinner is welcomed with a lot of enthusiasm. And the fun continues during the country exhibition in the ‘vinoteka’. With some help from a Dutch faculty member we spend the night handing out stroopwafels, kruidnoten, taaitaai and especially Jenever. To top it of we are bringing polonaise into the international surroundings we currently find ourselves in. Everyone worked very hard to share their foods, drinks and/or traditions with the other participants. No idea how long that party went on, but it did.

 

Monday 24 November

New insights in debating rose today: the routine in activities puts our focus on the content. The environment of fanatic, but friendly debaters encourages progress.

The morning lectures were of the same topics as yesterday, but these were taught to another group. The topics are argumentation, presentation and motion analysis. After an hour the theory is turned into practice. Intensive exercise in small groups made us fill the empty words with experience. After training the basics it is time for the first motion of the day:

“THW eliminate the veto power of the permanent members of the UN security council”.

A challenging motion: it requires both technical knowledge about the United Nations, as well as an insight in international relations. It brought all of us into heated debates.

Peace returns in lunchtime. The left-over questions and thoughts about the debate are shared during lunch, then some personal time remains. This is used for contact with our allies at home, the necessary work for university and a run through the lovely white-topped mountains.

The electives, free choice lectures, were enjoyed a lot. Teun got himself some structure in a 101-notetaking session, Lara was impressed by the explanation of shortcomings that democracy turns out to have. Nany and Teun got “partnership therapy”, that gave them tips and tricks to build their collaboration to a successful debating team. And since all we do here is in service of the debate, try to put that into practice with the typical Wageningen motion:

“THW impose an additional tax on unhealthy food.”

The social activity of tonight was a quiz, testing the debaters’ knowledge of random facts. Our enthusiasm in answering the question by running to the catheter made Nany rush through a set of chairs, scaring the people around. However, all debaters turned out to be quiz fanatics so they did not win.

In a walk through the surroundings of the hotel, our board revised a great day in terms of progress in debating, but joy above all.

Tuesday 24 November

This event is not only about getting better in debating, but also about making friends. Having so many people with which you interact throughout the day, that should not be too difficult. Pretty sure we will have places to sleep all over the world from this moment on.

Today was a little different from earlier days. We started again with lectures, excercise rounds and a debate on the motion: THBT the EU should pay Ukraines gas bill. After which we had lunch. And then the luxury of free time.

Where some of us needed desperately to catch up with school stuff, others went to Italy or Switzerland which is literally just at the end of the road or over the mountain. Teun and Nany decided to explore the surroundings on food with some friends from South Africa and Venezuela. No idea where and how they got separated but let’s say that one had a way longer walk than the other – letting on you to guess who.

Free time here means action some other time. At 17:00h we started again with the electives, at 18:00h another one. And to name another specific element that makes IDAS so incredible, the trainers. First of all the level and skill of their knowledge and teaching is incredible but also their enthusiasm is hard to let go by unnoticed. It won’t be a surprise that when we get back, there is so much to discuss and to give to our members. And then dinner during which we had just enough time to catch up with experiences and adventures. No idea why but this particular evening seemed particularly fit to have our dinner accompanied by wine and beer, not taking into account we actually have to say something intellectual in the debate afterwards. Being tired is no excuse here and so the debate on the motion THW make union membership obligatory for every worker.

New impressions take time to sink in. We’re gonna dream of the UN Security Council, the Middle East and Women’s rights tonight. Oh joyful debate training!

Wednesday 26 November

The good thing about debaters is that even when no social is organised, they feel some obligation to do so anyway. The early birds were in bed around  o’clock, there has been no record made of those who closed the door. What was recorded were the persons who came into breakfast first – as in before 7.30AM, exactly the same as the ones that went to bed late. Debaters are diehards, so no reason to delay and off to the lectures, excercise rounds and the morning debate on the motion: THBT climate change denial should be treated the same as holocaust denial.

During lunch we used the hour of free time to have our weekly board meeting. Even though the year is drawing to an end, there is no reason to think we have nothing up our sleeve. The program for the coming two months has been decided upon and some nice socials and workshops have been planned. Of course the Wageningen Open was a topic of discussion. The lack of a break did make the afternoon rounds of electives and the debate on the motion: THW require population control policies by poor countries as a condition for financial aid. The conversations during dinner get more technical and the feedback of the debates is more critically reviewed, so progress is going on. Curious how that is going to pay of in the tournament.

With only one full day left in Kransjka Gora, the moment of returning to Wageningen is also closing in on us. So while enthusiastic debates take part in a game I do not remember the name of but has something to do with depicting movie scenes with certain attributes (that probably sounds way less fun than it actually was), Wageningen Debating is working on theses and other university related stuff. Which by the way is an excellent way to trigger exhaustion. Sweet dreams.

Thursday 27 November

Another regular day here at the hotel. Sadly it is our last full day here. But there is no time to cry about this with our tight schedule.  The two practice debates of today were:

THW create a state supported citizen militias to police crime in area with high levels of organized crime.

THBT Vladimir Poetin is a serious treat to global security.

Our last night has to be celebrated properly. Being Thanksgiving and having the anual Kitsch party, everybody was busy making plans over dinner.  Nathania even got to celebrate Thanksgiving with the American students at a local restaurant right before the Kitsch party. We have already seen man dressed as women, coulourfull hairdo’s and some cow dresses. The night might get crazier but since its our last night; Lets have some fun!

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How to judge well

By Srdjan Miletic*

Knowing how to judge is important. It’s important if you judge as you need to give fair calls and concise, useful feedback. It’s also useful when speaking because you only win by convincing the judges and knowing how they think helps. The issue with judging at the moment is that, while we have a general consensus on how debates should be judged, there remain a significant number of often unnoticed yet important differences. Differences which, if left unreconciled, will lead to inconsistent judging and unfair calls. In this article my aim is to tackle a few of the most common issues I have seen on the circuit and to propose solutions to them. Since most of the solutions come together nicely in my own judging model I’ll present that model first and then go about explaining how it resolves said issues. Note that the solutions I propose are based on a conception of what debating should be that is very much personal to me. That conception is that debating should be as rational, interesting, fair and strategically rich as possible, I realize that many of the people reading this may well have a different conception or disagree with my views on more practical grounds. Weather you agree with me or not, if you are organizing or hosting an debating tournament I urge you to take a stance on these issues and make that stance clear to both debaters and jugs attending your tournament. Only then can fairness be ensured.

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Europen: day three and the outrounds

Day 3

Today it will become clear which teams will write history by breaking to the octo finals. All the teams are excited, especially Netherlands 1 and 2 since they are up against Canada east and west. The results of the closed rounds will also be published today

Round 5:

Netherlands 1 – Czech white 3-0
Netherlands 2 – USA red 0-3
Netherlands 3 – Turkey KEL 3-0

Round 6:

Netherlands 1 – Romania Argo 3-0
Netherlands 2 – Germany black 3-0
Netherlands 3 – Friedrich abels 3-0

Round 7:

Netherlands 1 – Canada east 1-2
Netherlands 2 – Canada west 3-0
Netherlands 3 – westside 2-1

Round 8:

Netherlands 1 – Slovenia A 1-2
Netherlands 2 – Lithuania 3-0
Netherlands 3 – Denmark 3-0

Update: the break has been announced! All the teams have broken to the octo finals. Team the Netherlands 3 breaks second, team the Netherlands 2 breaks ninth and team the Netherlands 1 breaks eleventh. An amazing result for the Dutch delegation, especially team the Netherlands 3 who are the best ESL team. Tomorrow the octo and quarter finals will be held and as always we will keep you up to date.

Day 4

The teams all feel confident but are still a bit nervous about their octo final. Team the Netherlands 1 is up against USA blue, team the Netherlands 2 is up against Romania Sava and team the Netherlands 3 is up against Germany red. Important to mention is that all our judges also broke as well!

The results of the Octo finals are as followed:

Netherlands 1 – USA blue 1-2
Netherlands 2 – Romania SAVA 2-1
Netherlands 3 – Germany red 2-1

Unfortunately team the Netherlands 1 is out of the tournament. We are all incredibly proud of their amazing performance! Commiserations to them.
In the quarter finals team the Netherlands 3 beat Slovenia A 4-1 and team the Netherlands 2 beat Canada west 5-0! They will be up against Canada east and Pakistan in the semis.

Day 5

Unfortunately both teams didn’t progress to the finals. Netherlands 2 lost on a 4-1 split against Pakistan and Netherlands 3 lost 5-0 against Canada east. The final was won by Pakistan in a 4-1 split. At the award ceremony the Dutch teams got showered with awards from multiple categories.

Netherlands 2 was awarded the trophy for best EFl team. Simon Martina-perez from Netherlands 3 was recognised as the best speaker in the ESL category. Floris Holstege was awarded the best speaker prize in the EFL category and seventh best speaker overall. Urmi Pahladsingh from team the Netherlands 2 was awarded third best speaker in the EFL category. Congratulations to all speakers and teams for their tremendous performance!

The adventures of team the Netherlands at the Europen

Written and updated by Floris Holstege

The very day before team the Netherlands would leave for Stuttgart to debate at the Europen, German train drivers decided to strike and turn our trip into an adventure like no other. The rail strike will be the first of our many adventures in Germany, and this blog will do it’s best to keep track of all of them. Tomorrow we will leave our homes for six days of intense debating and cultural exchange. Our big adventure began approximately five months ago when we were selected from the Roosevelt World Schools Academy. After two months of trials our group was formed and slimmed down to nine individuals, and the practice for the European schools debating championships could begin. After hours and hours of debating, researching and writing, the time has come to show what we have learned in the past months at a world class tournament. In this blog I will keep you updated with both the results of all the teams as well as a general report on our adventures in Stuttgart.

 

Who is the Netherlands actually sending to the Europen? The teams are, in no particular order:

  • Team the Netherlands red: David Metz, Jeroen Wijnen, en Jeanice Koorndijk
  • Team the Netherlands white: Victor Schippers, Sam Melief, en Simon Martina-Perez
  • Team the Netherlands blue: Max Kosian, Urmi Pahladsingh, en Floris Holstege

 

What is the Europen exactly? the formal name is the European schools debating championships, but It’s called Europen in short.  It is an open international high school debating tournament, organized in the world schools format. Because it’s open there are teams participating from all around the world, such as China and Nigeria, but at the same time a few German high schools will attend the tournament. Speeches are eight minutes long. The motions are partly prepared and partly impromptu. Our very own coach Roel Becker is a CA for this years edition, so it also promises to have some great motions. There are eight rounds and a break to the octo-finals. If you want to read more about the Europen check out the following link: http://www.schoolsdebate.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=243:europen-2014&catid=83:europen&Itemid=788&lang=en

There are two prepared motions for this year edition:

 

Motion A:
THBT national central banks should set limits on governmental spending

Motion B:
THBT the USA should enter a military alliance with Assad to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

Teams will debate both these motions from proposition as well as opposition, which means that half of the rounds are impromptu and the other half are prepared. If you want to find out which teams we will face in Stuttgart, check out the following link: http://www.schoolsdebate.org/images/EurOpen/2014/EurOpen%202014%20Draw.pdf

Your reporter will post results and muses about the tournament here daily. If you want to know what’s going on at the Europen and especially how team the Netherlands is doing, this is the place to be

The team just arrived after what has been a very smooth trip, and is in full swing to prepare for the opening of tomorrow. Team the Netherlands 1 will face Denmark, team the Netherlands 2 will face Romania, and team the Netherlands 3 will face the Czech Republic. After a long day of preparation, good foot and much excitement all the teams seem ready to put up a stellar performance.

Day 1:

Sorry for the late update; but your reporter brings good news! Team the Netherlands 1, 2, and 3 have won all their debates with 3-0 scores with is the maximum score! The results can be found below. Overall the first day has been really exciting, the morning was spent on preparing cases and the afternoon was reserved for debating. The first motion was: TH would ban striking in essential services. The second round motion was a prepared motion: TH would let central banks set a limit on government spending.

Round 1

Netherlands 1 – Mixed team 3-0
Netherlands 2 – Romania ARGO 3-0
Netherlands 3 – Czech white 3-0

Round 2

Netherlands 1 – Denmark 3-0
Netherlands 2 – Romania SAVA 3-0
Netherlands 3 – Romania@British 3-0

Day 2

After an exhausting day all the teams woke up early to prepare themselves for what will be an important day. There are three rounds today of which two will be impromptu and one prepared. Results will be posted below after the debates.

Round 3:

Team Netherlands 1 – Karls gymnasium 2-1
Team Netherlands 2 – Hamburg 3-0
Team Netherlands 3 – Max born gymnasium 3-0

Round 4:

Team Netherlands 1 – Turkey ALCI 3-0
Team Netherlands 2 – Westside 3-0
Team Netherlands 3 – Germany red 3-0

Round five was closed and all the teams have mixed opinions on their results. The results will be posted here after tomorrow. If the teams secure can secure five wins they will all break. Out of the next three rounds the teams have therefore secure one win to all break. Our days are spent eating pizza, preparing motions and debating, in short a debaters dream.