Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Carver Elects to Spend his Summers at UT Tyler

Finals of the TSDC
end of camp tournament
Summer is an exciting time for students.  School lets out, and all obligations are abandoned.  Most college
students take some time to get caught up on sleep or start getting caught up on TV shows and books that they have been putting off because of school work.  Me? I go and work at Debate Camps across East Texas. While the hours are often long and grueling, the reward is invaluable.

My journey began on Wednesdy, July the 3rd, as I drove to Paris, Texas teach at a camp held at my Alma Mater, North Lamar high school. The camp ran from the 7th of July to the 11th.  I was in charge of teaching the Varsity Policy Debaters.  For an entire week, I lectured and lead them in structured practice rounds to help develop skills crucial to succeed in Policy Debate. We started at 9 AM every morning and went until 5 PM, with a 45 minute break to eat lunch, which was provided by the debaters every day at noon.

From North Lamar, I came home to Tyler for one day, and then on Sunday morning around 9 AM I left for the Texas Speech and Debate Camp held at East Texas Baptist University. This second camp was a little more grueling, as our days started with breakfast at 8 AM and ended with practice debate rounds in the evening until 9 or 9:30 PM. This camp ran from July 13th until July 19th and was the home of almost 30 policy debaters this year.

As I mentioned above, our days began with breakfast at 8 AM until 9 AM.  From 9 until lunch, which was served at noon, we would work in our individual groups, or our lab groups.  There were 3 different groups in the Varsity Policy Debate division - Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.  I helped to run the intermediate lab group.  We usually spent our morning sessions lecturing about topics that the students wanted to learn more about.  Later in the week, we would spend the morning sessions doing practice drills that would help the students learn about the concepts we had taught earlier in the week.

From noon until 1, lunch was served by the ETBU cafeteria.  Ater lunch, the policy labs went into pre determined lectures.  There were two set lectures time slates: one from 1 to 2:30, and the second from 2:45 to 4:15.  During each of these two time slates, two separate lectures would be taught, so the students had the choice of four different lectures, of which they would attend two. At the end of the week, there was a practice tournament with four preliminary rounds and even a breaking to quarterfinals for the top 8 teams from the prelim rounds.

I had an absolute blast doing both of these camps, and it really helps me know that I am making the right decision with what I want to do in life.  For those of you who do not know, which might be a lot of you, after graduating college, I plan to teach high school and coach high school debate.  Confucious once said that "If you choose a job you love, you will never have to work a day in your life." This has never made more sense to me than with working with high school debaters.  I love doing it, and I cannot wait to start my career in that field.


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