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Special Treatment

10 years ago
I'm gonna give you guys a scenario, and feelf ree to tell me what you think about it after. Is it fair, unfair, or am I just a whiny bitch? Feel free to say so.

Alright, so my slight absence the last two days ago was due to a debate tournament at St. James (a private school about half an hour from here) which was a very fun two day tournament. Even though I'm complaining right now, I had a great time, the staff was very polite and helpful, and the campus was beautiful. I participate in the Lincoln Douglass form of debate, and because this is my first tournament I'm in the novice bracket. There were 17 Lincoln Douglass debators in the tournament, and 4 of those were from the Prattville team (my team). The topic of the debate was "Resolved: A just society requires the recognition of animal rights".

Now that you guys know the background, I'll move on with the actual scenario. The first day of tournament was alright, my first round I won, second round I got the BYE (which I later learned there was a reason for), and third round I got beaten pretty badly. So I go home, look up definitions for the next day, and go to sleep. The next day I go in, and I debate a really tough opponent from Vestavia (who's renowned for their LD team around here) and (barely) manage to win. So my last match of the normal rounds comes up, and this girl's from Jefferson County (who was where the only girl who I'm sure actually beat me was from) so I was kinda scared, but I had good time and managed to win. I even managed to get her to say that retards didn't have rights during cross-examination which was my second-favorire moment of the day.

So I get back to the performing arts building, which was where the teams were assigned to meet before their rounds, and at this point I'm pretty nervous because I know I'm either 3/2 or 4/1 (none of the judges disclosed who won and the guy from Vestavia was the only person I didn't know if I won or lost agianst) so I don't know if I'm gonna break or not. Well, after a while things start to get boring and so a lot of the Prattville members go out to the courtyard to see Fergie (who is a very close friend of mine) and his partner Matt perform their due interperatation because we weren't able to see them perform it at the competition, and we're all laughing and having a good time when Chris (a former member of the team and a current judge) comes running out of the Performing arts building screaming "someone from LD broke, someone from LD broke!". So then my debate coach is really excited because Prattville mostly judge has an acting team (technically it's the "forensics" team, so it's not just debate) and our Public Forum teams just started getting recognized in the last couple of years, so a Lincoln Douglass team would officially put our debate team on the map. Well, coach O finally gets Chris to calm down enough to tell everyone that I'm the one to have broken to the semi-finals.

So now I'm really excited because I know that not only had I gone 4/1 but I'm the first person from Prattville history to go into the semi-finals. When I go into the room that was set aside for the Semi-finals I found out that the girl I'm facing now is from Jefferson County, so I'm convinced that they have a very good debate team because I also so the girl that beat me earlier go into the semi-finals as well. Although I was very nervous at first, this match was by far the best I've ever had, practice or otherwise. so I beat her by unanimous decision (we have 3 judges in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals) and become the first person in Prattville history to go into LD finals as well as the first to break. I headed back to the to performing arts building, and after some basic congradulations and small talk, I notice the girl who beat me 3rd round go to her team and so I go over to both congradulate my opponent in the semi-finals on her good job and to see if the girl who beat me was moving ontto the finals as well. Unfortunately I learn that she was actually defeated and the her opponent moved on to face me in the finals, so my thought process at the moment was "Ooooooh crap", and not much else seeing as the girl who beat me got defeated.

Finally it's called that we're supposed to go to the room and begin our rounds immediately. Well, contrary to my belief my opponent was actually a pretty big pushover. Her Neg's value premise was "Justice", which was normal for tihs topic, but her Criterion was "Maximizing Happiness" due to the fact that the point of justice is apparently to " make sure as many people are happy as possible", which is INCREDIBLY easy to negate. She also had two contentions in her neg, which would normally make her slightly harder, but her 1st contention was "Animal rights are harmful to animals" and her second contention was "Animal rights are harmful to humans" with barely any proof to back those statements up. Plus, her arguments against my case had practically no weight because I got her to agree to my definition of laws during cross-ex, and most of her arguments had to do with the fact that protection laws and animal rights are different. So at the end of the debate, both of her contentions, and her VC and VP are destroyed by my arguments (the VC and VP alone would normally mean I win anyway because without those two you have no case) and all 3 of my contentions are still intact and she never even questioned my VP or VC, so I definately should have won. However, when we go and go onstage to recieve our awards, they said that my opponent won by "unanimous decision". If you say the look on her face, you would have seen that she didn't think she would have won either.

So I spend a good amount of time beating myself up because I'm sure that there's that one argument that broke my argument that I either didn't address or couldn't properly refute, but I couldn't think of anything at all. I didn't find out why I actually lost untill we were heading back to the bus (after a while I attributed to typical anti-Prattville biase, but I was wrong). As it turns out, Whitehouse (the name of the school she was from) is actually in Tennessee, and St. James specifically asked them to come down and compete. After some asking around, I find out that people from Whitehouse won every competition in the tournament that they competed in, whether they deserved it or not. Apparently St. James felt obligated, which struck me as odd. Even when I asked Anakin about it (a guy on the LD team with me, and yes that's the name he picked when he came to America) on the way home, he just shrugged and said that it sounded about right. I asked him why and he just shrugged again and said that's what happened when the Prattville show choir was invited to Boston and the Prattville team dominated.

So my question to you is simple: do you agree with the special treatment given to those who are invited? And what do you think about the fact that people seem to have accepted this as normal?

Special Treatment

10 years ago
So many errors in that statement...

Special Treatment

10 years ago

I have to say, Bo, what you just heard and got cheated by sounds like total Sh** to me. I mean, Dear GOD, they are Invited. the Invitee should be honored, and respected, but in know way should they get preferential treatment purely for this fact. on the other hand, as a child, if I went to a friends house, I could(at first) get away with more than my friend. BUT, I still was on my best behaviour, and did not expect any extra treatment for, say, spitting out thier food or scuffing the floor with tons of dirt. in the same way, the Tennessee team should not be able to get away with anything or losing, as in this situation winning is "good behaviour". so NO, I do not agree with this, and say that you should really talk to your coach about this

PS: the only expection would be for a totally new team, or a very small or weak team, in whixh case they should be thrown the occasional bone(win). but only one close one, not like in finals or anything.

Thank you for listening to this semi-rant

Special Treatment

10 years ago
There's corruption in the world?

Well now, I am shocked.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Obviously no one's going to reply and say: "Oh yeah, it's totally okay that the losing competitor is given the unanimous victory because they're not from the same state."

I get the feeling that this post is more about venting than actually asking for opinions. It was a cool story though.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Precisely, I just thought it seemed less ass-holish if it looked like I cared about the reader's opinion :P (no offense to the readers, but I am an asshole from time to time)

Special Treatment

10 years ago
You should do a robert's favorite rants about this.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Good idea, but I'm just staying off Wattpad as a whole for a while. this site is way better and I havn't had as much time as I used to so I'll have to go with the better of the two sites.

Special Treatment

10 years ago

Damn.  You know, when I did Mock Trial my senior year, we pushed in some mad shit (a good thing).  Unfortunately, 2 of the three judges worked for the firm that the opposing team's coach owned.  So, essentially, they're coach's employees were judging Round 3 of the 4 round competition.  When we found out that we had to go up against a pretty mediocre team in R4, we knew we'd somehow lost R3, which completely threw us off.  When we get the score cards, the 2 judges who worked for their coach had given us 6-7 points less each than the other one, and gave the other team much higher scores than they gave us.  And where the one judge had us winning by about 10 points, the other two had us losing.  That match loss cost us the competition, even though we destroyed the last round too.

I think we both got thoroughly boned.  Congrats on your success.  My only question is, what was the reason for your BYE?  I'm not sure if you mentioned it

Special Treatment

10 years ago
The competition should always be fair without conflicts of interest. Of course, this world isn't perfect. If the local paper gives a shit about that kin of thing in your area, try to bring it up to them. It would make for an interesting story.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
That's a pretty good idea, if I'm still POd in the morning, I'll try it.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
There are 4 people in the Prattville High School Lincoln Douglass team, and 5 rounds in the competition. Because there was an odd number of people in the debate, someone had to get the BYE each round, which was unavoidable. However, in 4 out of the 5 rounds, a a Prattville debator got the BYE. Normally that would be a good thing due to the free win, but you don't get any speaker points that way, and when you have to base who goes on to semifinals on the amount of wins, you're going to have a lot of ties and speaker points are used to break those ties. Because of the BYES, each Prattville player had 20-30 less speaker points than the other debaters. Because of this, should a Prattville debater be eligable for the semi or quarter-finals (we had to skip quarters due to a lack of time) he/she would most likely lose the tie-breaker and not be eligable, which is what happened to my friend/teammate Anthony. Fortunately I was still able to get a trophy for the 4th total amount of speaker points, but I would love to see what I would have gotten without the BYE.

I dunno if this is due to bias or not, but the PHS debate team gets a lot of hate because we are mainly an acting (IE) team and we havn't even had a debate portion of the team untill about 8 years ago. Because of that, most people don't think that Prattville should be debating in the first place. We also get a bunch of hate for dominating the IE awards every year. An example of that hate would be my semi-final judge (who happened to be wearing an awesome green top hat at the time) had previously stated to another judge (who he didn't realize was FROM Prattville) that he hted the PHS debate team. One of my favorite moments was watching his face when he had to admit I won, but I noticed he gave me a way lower score than the other judges.

But yeah, at least here they don't allow people to judge if they have an association (that they know of) with one of the players. You got ripped off big time. Which kind of debate were you doing?

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Congrats on a job well done. It's fantastic news to hear you did so well.

Special Treatment

10 years ago

Wow, there should be an appeals process for that kind of thing.  If not for the douche judge, the at least for the 4/5 BYEs your team had to take.  And yeah, congrats on the asskickery once again.

My school also got a lot of hate...  Since we were one of the poorest schools, with some of the lowest test scores, everyone saw (and continues to see) us as the "will never amount to anything academic, so don't bother" school.  In that round, we were actually going against the "rich" school, who happened to get first.  It also didn't help that our attourney coach was a defense attourney, and most of the judges had been DA's (who hated our coach for obvious reasons).  He didn't even like showing up, 'cause he figured the judges would gimp our scores if they knew he was our coach, and he often wore a large coat and sat in the back where he couldn't be seen.  No joke.

Anyway, I wrote and gave the pretrial motions for the both prosecution and defense in the 2009/2010 case.  And it was my first year on the team, so that was cool

Special Treatment

10 years ago
My school is new so we don't even have a debate team. So I am SOL in this category.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Well Cool, if you're interested, you could bring it up to your principal or Dean. Newer schools need people who are interested in having leaders who will help them develop the school's extracurricular program. I remember helping start an improv team in junior high and high school. Not only was Improv easily the most fun I had in high school (at school that is), but it felt good knowing I was one of the original people in the club. Food for thought :D

Special Treatment

10 years ago
Also look for a teacher (preferably an English teacher but I'm sure a speech or public speaking teacher would be fine) who would be willing to coach. Of course, one person does not a team make, so look for some future lawyers or public speakers or politicians or something like that to make the debate portion and if your school has a drama department you could check there to get candidates for the IE department. If you have enough people willing to join and a possible coach, maybe your principle would be willing to contact the National Forensics League to see about creating a branch whereever your school is located.

Special Treatment

10 years ago

Honestly, something like this is kinda common ground to me, at least, by now. Sometimes in life, it doesn't matter whose speech is better, but rather, who is better at making it so that their speech is heard. You can be Hitler or you can be Gandhi, it wouldn't matter. So do me a favor, hurt a couple of feelings for what you know is rightfully yours, because if you don't care enough to do something about it, why should they?

Remember, people are selfish. They care about what benefits them rather than what benefit others. In this case, the other team winning helps their camp whether in resources or in reputation. Thus, you must make it so that they'll acknowledge you and your well-being.

Special Treatment

10 years ago
I can easily make my speech heard. When drop something like "So by your own argument, the mentally handicapped are animals" or "if we don't recognize laws, there's gonna be a whole lotta sheep-rapin going on", people tend to listen :P