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Starbursts And Bubbles
Tanuja, 15, Atlanta
Beware: Multifandom Territory

The most beautiful ballot in the world 

The captain of my debate team just mass emailed everyone this: 

Scott Harris, Coach of Kansas, start of his NDT 2013 Final Round Ballot:

This ballot will make me no friends.  This ballot is not intended to make friends.  This ballot is about my experience judging a debate.  It was an unusual debate and this will be an unusual ballot.  Many things will be read into the meaning of my vote in this debate, more so than in most debates, because it decided a debate about debate.  Identities will be ascribed to this ballot that I have no control over.  A ballot, once cast takes on a life of its own.  This ballot will be read by some as playing a part in a historic revolution.  This ballot will be read by some as a signal of where I belong or don’t belong on their pref sheets.  This ballot will be read by some as a sign of incompetence by a crazy old man.  This ballot will elicit disagreement from those who saw the debate differently.  This ballot will frustrate both teams and probably make them both mad.    This ballot will be seen as a sell out by people from both sides of the ideological divide in debate.  This ballot will lead debaters to say “but I said that.”  This ballot will make somebody angry.  This ballot made somebody cry.  This ballot may raise more questions than it answers.  Unlike my preferred form of post round ballot this ballot is presented as a monologue and not a dialogue so those questions will hang in the air without answers.  This ballot will take me hours to produce because I can’t type.  This ballot may be the most unusual thing I have ever written.  This ballot will be filled with non sequiturs. This ballot will switch tenses randomly.  This ballot will meander.  This ballot is about my voyage to and through this debate.  Like any debater who has ridden in a van with me there is a good chance that you will get lost several times on the voyage.  This ballot may be so long that no one will actually read it.  This ballot says too much.  This ballot says too little.  This ballot will leave most people including me unsatisfied.  This ballot is about a debate.  This ballot is about debate.  This ballot is about me and my relationship to this debate.  This ballot was cast for the affirmative from Emporia.

(for you non-debaters, NDT is the National Debate Tournament and is arguably the most important tournament of any debater’s career, aside from the TOC (the Tournament of Champions))

either way, this was one hell of a ballot

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