I Flew Back Downstate

Trying to defend your ideas on cold medicine should be added to the graduate curriculum. I wish i was feeling a bit better, but i was called by my colleague to defend a lot of the critiques i make about debating. I should have recorded it.  Not because it's good or worth preserving,  bit could be a good thing to examine for some later critique. The audience was a great one: someone who is into debate but did not come up in it, and who is really impressed with debate's transformative power. The missing element is always rhetorical dimensions to the education of "good argument." I wonder if nascent composition and writing across the curriculum programs also faced this similar problem. Just because you agree with something doesn't mean it's a good argument on universal or overarching standards. Just because the smartest people in the room think it's a good argument doesn't mean it's a good one. A good argument reaches other people; most debate arguments are designed to perform exclusion, thereby making the participants think and feel they are exceptional people. Not the sort of art you want to practice in the service of a functioning, representative social model.

Also why are people misconstruing dissertations as "life work?" It's 2017 people. I can accept that sort of read from someone embedded in the mindset that being a professor is all about "respect" and "disrespect" like some of the idiots around my place. It should rather be about craft and service, and practicing an art that is meant to provide encounters with difficult ideas to those who may not be ready to meet those ideas. A dissertation is a test, like any test, that then authorizes you to go work on what you value and be able to connect it to the standards of your field. That's it. Proof that you can conduct a good research project. 

Anyway, it was a good chat in the car, then I flew back to NYC. Much, much better than Campus 2 Campus the Cornell bus. Might have taken my last Cornell bus trip! End of an era, but it was a good one. I am one of few people who can say that I have brewed a cup of Keurig coffee in the back of a 50 foot coach.

 I am very happy to be sitting in the Syracuse airport about to fly home to Queens. I can go to be office and work a bit as well as attend my own debate club meeting, which I often have to skip when I come up here. 

The meeting was great, and the debate was great. Lots of good, smart, young expressive people tonight. The debate was energizing and interesting. The take away for me tonight was: Don't be satisfied with the first thing you discover you can argue on the motion, go 2 or 3 layers deeper. Try to narrow it down to the specifics of the charge provided by the motion. Ironically, this will provide a better, deeper debate. 

Wish I could type more, or be more substantive but after two days in a row that were over 14 hours of being up and doing stuff, I'm pretty spent. The flight was only 30 minutes so I spent it reading and resting my voice. Tomorrow is a day to play catch-up before it's off to the airport again on Thursday. I'm wondering if I have the prioritization of this exercise right - instead of energizing me and getting me thinking fluidly, I feel like I'm obligated to type to meet a deadline before midnight. Not what I was hoping for at all. Instead of the blog working for me, I feel like I work for the blog. I think I'll start with a morning post and then see how the day goes tomorrow. Might be able to get a few of these longer stories out of my head and notebook and posted here.

Is it cheating to write ahead? What if I type up something and have it post tomorrow or the next day? I think this might meet the demand of obligation to the deadline, but be absent the commitment to write daily. But If I am working on content daily, but it doesn't post on the same day, that could work. . . .