Wednesday, September 5, 2007

the effects of cigarettes on the brain by RAY(mund) PINIOCO

Applying for UPDS has been one of the biggest emotional roller coaster rides of my life. Whether the reason for this is that I just live a really boring life or that the application process is really hard I’m not sure, I’m just sure that it made me experience some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my life. Why exactly did it make me experience some of my lowest lows? It did so because at first (and up to now) I feel like there are a many applicants who are way better than me in debating. Sometimes when I watch them debate, I can’t help but feel that I don’t deserve to be in the same league with them. To be more particular, at the start of the application period I won one or two debates but after those debates it all went downhill. I lost almost every debate and had mostly below average debates. My ideas were called underdeveloped, my contextualization very poor, my views myopic, my rebuttals weak and untargetive and the structure to my speeches, -non-existent. I really felt like I was the dumbest applicant of UPDS and the slowest learner in my batch. However even before I applied for UPDS I already told myself that if I’m not going to make it, the only reason for my rejection would be my lack of talent and not my lack of effort and enthusiasm. And so, even though I was losing almost every debate, I continued on debating and debating and I never stopped bugging my buddy (who is one of the most competent, caring and patient buddies in the world) about possible cases for certain motions and so on. In the end I believe that I have improved. The reason that I can say this is that recently my partner and I have recently had very good debates although we also just recently had a poor one. I feel that this is an indicator that I have the potential to be a good debater some day with even more training and hard work.

One of the things that I believe helped me a lot in the application process is the MAC. They are very friendly patient towards the apps. They break the traditional stereotypes of UPDS people as snobs who look down on people who are not as good as they are. For instance Pluto was always checking if we were ok and if we were having any problems with out application process. They befriended us and made us feel like we belong to the society. Their joking around and sometimes even flirting with the apps made it easier for us apps to feel at home. Not only that, they were patient with us as well. In particular I really appreciate how Yang tries to find something good in a person’s speech no matter how much it sucked. He is one of those adjudicators who can really help a debater improve because he is patient towards those who still have a lot to improve. He criticizes but the way he criticizes doesn’t leave the debater disheartened.

BJ is also one of the members who the apps feel closest too. It might be because of his fatherly or motherly touch that the applicants just simply like him. When I first saw him during the apps orientation I thought that he was big tough guy perhaps because of the way he looks but the moment he started talking I immediately knew that it was going to be fun having him as our sort of “daddy” or “mommy.” And with that I believe that BJ stands for Big Joy just because he is really a fun person to be around with. But let me not confuse the reader by making it seem that BJ is just this funny gay guy who likes to have fun. BJ is a funny gay guy who likes to have fun and is an excellent adjudicator. ( I haven’t seen him debate yet) His australs caliber adjudication really helps debaters improve and gives apps critical points as to where they can improve and what good things they should keep on doing.

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