Debate Class

Yes. I’m just on my way to work to teach a class in debate. To one student. That’s actually less absurd than it seems, given the circumstances.

These kids’ mothers think, “Oooh, debate! He’ll learn to speak eloquently and fluently! And then he can go to Harvard!” But really? I have to start with the basics. Things like having an opinion. Never mind expressing it. We’ll get there. We’ve got to find out what you think. What’s that? You don’t know what you think? We’d better fix that. Here’s some stuff to read. Then we’ll talk about what it means. Then we’ll see if you’re beginning to think something about it.

Later on, we’ll get to the actual argument. We’ve got to learn to back it up with support, not leave it hanging out there in its underwear. And then we’ll work on putting it all together.

So, while I only have one kid in the class, it’s really good for him, because he’s learning how to think for himself. It’s just not going to get him into Harvard.

6 Comments to “Debate Class”

  1. By rachel, July 15, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

    You can lead a kid to debate class, but you can’t make him think.
    Wow, I’m just spouting aphorisms these days, ain’t I?

  2. By Liz, July 15, 2008 @ 9:59 pm

    Aha, but I CAN make him think. I can make most of them think, anyhow. And you’re aphorism-tastic!

  3. By Arwen, July 16, 2008 @ 10:04 pm

    Liz can make him think. Liz makes everyone think. I believe it’s something in the way she uses her eyebrows. You shut up for a second and think about what you just said.

    Also, the Captcha says 2,588 gifted.

  4. By Liz, July 16, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

    2,588 gifted with my brain? Hm. It’s actually a pheromone I secrete, Arwen. THAT makes people think.

  5. By rachel, July 17, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

    Liz makes everyone STINK??

  6. By Liz, July 17, 2008 @ 6:22 pm


    Hunh. Doesn’t quite have the ring of zealotry I had hoped.

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