WUDC Botswana - Briefings and Opening Ceremony

Today was a day of briefings and orientation here at WUDC. The speaker briefing I missed, mainly because I showed up a bit late and the venue was full. I figured they needed to hear it more than me so I just waited until the 10AM judges briefing, which I tweeted (@stevellano). I will be returning to the more frequent blogging format tomorrow with round 1 which should be announced around 9AM local time. 

The briefing for judges was good but basic. Very casual. I really like the focus on hollistic judging that Logan kept driving home. There are no automatic placements in any debate, and something really terrible one debate might not be so bad in another room. I think it was well pointed out and well explained. Richard added when discussing the adjudication test that both whips did something bad, but what would be worse would be to assume one bad thing was in every case worse than the other. It's situational judging, and quite nice. Although I totally botched the results, but I figured I would. I make a lot of use of the panel to help me formulate my ideas about rankings, and that's not really available to me in a video test. 

The opening ceremony was quite nice. There was a group of traditional dancers in native attire who really wowed the crowd. Then KK and the No-Name Babies took the stage and reminded me of C-Lo Green in many ways (all of them awesome). But that set was cut short as dinner was announced at 9:20PM and everyone flocked to the buffet lines. The food was tasty and the night was really nice. 

The speeches were really good as well - one of the University administrators gave a great speech about debate and the role it can have in the future. The Minister of Education for Botswana spoke and had some amazing lines about debating that I put on my twitter. Justice, the Convener, in his speech, made an appeal to her to include debate in the curriculum of all schools in Botswana, which received great acclimation from the audience.

As for me, I spent most of the day exploring Botswana's health care system. Yes I am quite sick, lost my voice and have great pain. But I have medicines now and I hope they will do the trick in the next 24 hours. As for now, the cough syrup is kicking in so it's time to end this post.

Feel free to comment or ask me anything you'd like to know about WUDC this year and what's going on. I was unable to attend pre-council due to the doctor visit, but I heard both bid presentations were well received.  There's a lot of discussion about the two bids piping up here and there. All of it is positive that I've heard.