Sunday, March 30, 2014

Idaho State Debate Doty and Ivanovic Finish 4-4 at the NDT; Reflections on One Debater's Experience with Rupp Debate. --Written by Roger Copenhaver

Doty and Ivanovic Prepare to Debate Round Seven at the National Debate Tournament. Instagram by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Idaho State DI just finished their NDT/CEDA run. They finished the NDT 4-4 with 14 ballots. They were 6-2 at CEDA, the 13th seed, and finished in the top 32. Matea and Kendra are some of the most fabulous people that I know. They had one of the most amazing years and deserve everything that they have accomplished and more. They are role models and examples of what it means to win humbly and to loose gracefully. Scott Odekirk once told me that your identity is not a debater but who you are as a debater should be defined by your identity. This is exactly what Matea and Kendra embody in every debate. I know that even though their careers as debaters are over, that they will go on to do amazing things and I look forward to watching their lives unfold.

This was also the last NDT/tournament for Idaho State’s involvement in policy debate for now. I could not be prouder to be a part of the ISU debate legacy as both a coach and a debater. Idaho State Debate has taught me so much. My experience on the team has helped me develop the skills necessary to express myself in new ways and to be comfortable being who I am.

Since I am staring an MA program at a school without debate next year, I am not sure where my place will be in the debate community after this year. However, I am so thankful for the experience I have been given. Debate means the world to me and I would not trade the last 8 years of my life for anything.

There are a few important people that I feel have been crucial in my collegiate debate experience so far.

Sarah has inspired me. She truly embodies what a good leader should be. She cares about her students. However, while she cares about competition and competitive success, she cares about more. She cares about how her students are doing and wants to make sure that they are thriving in their personal lives. She cares about how her students are doing academically and never hesitates to extend a helping hand. Working under the direction of Sarah this year has been an amazing experience and one day, and I one day hope to be as good of a leader as she is.


Sarah Patlow Lefevre Selfie on Instagram.
Scott has motivated me. Scott taught me how to think. He has motivated me to seek out knowledge. He has motivated me to be innovative. I would not have the academic goals and aspirations that I now have if it was not for Scott. He never let me be comfortable being average. Instead, Scott pushed me in new ways that inspired me to be excellent. 

Photo: Not at the NDT selfie
Scott Odekrik, Selfie.
Jim has taught me what a real competitor and what a real coach looks like. Jim always said that all you can do is beat the next team on the next pairing. Debate is about approaching each debate as a new space to achieve greatness and to work your hardest. When you let other things get in the way and become too worried about external things that you can not control, you loose your ability to reach greatness. Jim taught me the importance of this balance. 

Lindsay Vanluvanee, Jim Schultz, and Willie Johnson Panel Selfie, Round 4 at the NDT.
Lindsay has been an example of what true dedication looks like. She loves this community and is always willing to reach out to new people and to build community. Competitively, Lindsay was always researching and producing new evidence. I know that Lindsay will continue to be a great coach to all of her future debaters. 

Lindsay Vanluvanee at the NDT.  Photo by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.
Kendra has been so awesome this year. She really stepped up to the plate and proved that she would be able to keep up with some of the best teams in the nation. As only a 3rd year at Idaho State, Kendra accomplished a lot as a debater on the ISU squad. She is incredibly talented and passionate about what she does in debate and I think it reflects who she is as a person. 

Kendra Doty and Roger Copenhaver Prepping for Round 3.  Instagram by Sarah T Partlow Lefevre.

Lastly, Matea has been foundational to my success as a debater and a coach. I am not sure I have ever been able to express to her in words how important debating with her last year was. She helped me gain the skills and knowledge about debate and important theories leading to the success I was able to have and to who I now am as a coach. Matea helped transform me from a detached and boring debater into someone passionate about what I was doing. Matea pushed me to be better then I ever could be. We won and lost together. We beat some of the best teams in the country and lost to others. I can not thank her enough for the experience that she gave me. 

Matea Ivanovic Prepping for Round 3 at the NDT.  Instagram by Sarah T, Partlow Lefevre.
Now time it's to watch and maybe judge elims at the NDT. Good luck to everyone that is still in!

Roger Copenhaver and Lindsay Vanluvanee Coach Kendra Doty Prior to Round 7 at the NDT.  Instagram by Sarah T. Partlow Lefevre.