Friday, NSDeep responses here based on your submissions, thank you!

  1. How do I force myself to focus on school and stop doing debate/How do I manage my time between debate and school?

I will note that I did not work on debate outside of prepping for tournaments because I was busy with other extra-curriculars and schoolwork. However, I managed my time between debate and school by doing a few things:

  1. I maximized my time during school so that I got as much work done instead of talking to my friends or being on my phone for more than 5 minutes. This was really helpful because it decreased the amount of work I had to take home and sometimes I completed my actual homework in school so when I got home I could do what I wanted, including work on debate.
  2. If there are tournaments on the weekend, knock out school assignments in the earlier part of the week so that Thursday and Friday can have more time towards debate prep.
  3. I often reminded myself that debate is not that deep, and that it is just an extracurricular activity, but school comes first. Also, my coach maintained that our grades had to be good in order for us to be eligible to compete so I always kept that in mind.

The honest answer is that you have to prioritize school, so maybe schedule in debate work after your homework or use debate work as a break from school work (e.g. do speed drills in between homework assignments).


  1. Is it fair to call out debaters who are problematic in their actions, outside of rounds? If so, how does one do it in a productive manner? It’s frustrating because a lot of people read arguments about solving for various forms of oppression in the real world, but some of those very same people act in really disgusting manners towards other debaters.

Personally, I am very big on checking people and/or holding them accountable for the problematic things they do/say because at the beginning and end of the day debate is a public speaking activity and people should be held responsible. I am critical and honestly concerned about how detached people get from their arguments to the point where they don’t even realize what they are saying. For example, a white person getting up and saying “the Black body is socially dead and there is no redemption within civil society because slavery so we should never do anything ever. ONTOLOGY! ABSOLUTE DERILICTION! SLAVE!” is just racist. If the same person casually said that outside of debate rounds, we would call them racist. The reason why it is anti-black to be reading afro-pessimism as a white or non-black person is really really simple: it is anti-black to say those things about a Black person if you are not Black.

For me, it is imperative to remind people that the effects of their words can have a separate impact even if it was not their intent. It is important to be kind and inclusive in an activity that people come to to learn and have fun. Debate should be fun!

If you come into contact with someone who is problematic outside of round, explain to them why you think something they specifically said or did was bad, why it hurt you or someone close to you (if you’re supporting a friend), and just be honest without being extraneously rude or condescending. As bell hooks would say, we should speak from a place of love, not anger… that’s the only way people won’t tune out the conversation.

  1. aff Side bias really be keeping me up at night 😞😞😳😳

How I sleep knowing that both sides have bias and some of my students might have to weigh side bias in their responses: