Month: May 2014 Page 1 of 4

Site News: 2014 NSDA National Tournament Extemp Topic Analysis Now Available!

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Extemp Central’s analysis of the 2014 National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA) National Tournament International and United States Extemp topic areas is now available.  This analysis is written by Carolyn Evans (2014 NFA Collegiate Extemp National Champion; 2013 NFL USX 9th place) and Logan Scisco (Extemp Central; 2003 NFL USX Final Round Winner).  The analysis highlights the big concepts in each topic area, discusses strategies for the tournament, and provides sample practice questions for each topic area.

Those who have a season subscription on the website can access the NSDA topic area analysis by going to the premium content page and clicking on the necessary link.  If you are not a premium subscriber, you can obtain the analysis for $20 via SpeechGeek Market or you can purchase a 2013-2014 premium subscription via SpeechGeek Market, which will give you access to the topic area analysis and all of this season’s briefs and strategy articles for an additional $5.

Not sure whether you want to buy?  A sample from each brief is included below.

2014 NSDA Extemp Topic Area Analysis

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To access the 2014 NSDA Extemp topic area analysis by Carolyn Evans and Logan Scisco, please click on the link below.  The link is a .pdf document.

2014 NSDA Extemp Topic Area Analysis Book

2014 NFL/NSDA Nationals: Qualification Board Update (5/30)

NFL Overland Park

We have added some new districts to our 2014 NFL/NSDA National Tournament qualification boards.  The new district results added include those from the Northern Illinois (IX), Rocky Mountain South (CO – IX), South Peach (GA), and Southern Wisconsin districts.

You can access the qualification board by clicking on “Quals 14” on the right hand menu on the main page, or by clicking “Quals 14″ on the top menu if you have clicked on a content post.  You can also place your cursor over the Quals 14 label and this will allow you to click on sub-menus for the International and United States Extemp qualifiers.

If you know the qualifiers from your NFL District from previous weeks or after this week’s district tournaments conclude, please e-mail the following information to [email protected]:

  • The name of the NFL District and the state that is located in
  • The names of those who will be ATTENDING nationals in IX and USX. Please do not send us the names of those who technically qualified, but opted to go in another event. We only want the names of those who will be going in the categories to avoid confusion.
  • The schools those competitors attend.
  • IF your district has an automatic qualifier from last year’s NFL Tournament (a competitor that reached finals or semi-finals in IX and USX) and that person will be going back to NFL in that event, please let us know.

R&D from Prepd: The Mexican Economy

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D covers the Mexican economy.  The Mexican economy is Latin America’s second largest economy, but there are signs that its economic growth rate is slowing.  President Enrique Nieto has proposed several reforms to make the Mexican economy more efficient and he secured the privatization of Pemex, the state-owned oil company, in December.  The United States has an interest in ensuring that the Mexican economy is successful, as the lack of economic prospects in Mexico has caused an influx of illegal immigrants from the country for the last several decades.

 

R&D from Prepd: The National School Lunch Program

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D covers the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which is administered through the Department of Agriculture.  The program was created under President Harry Truman in 1946 and serves more than thirty-one million schoolchildren each day.  First lady Michelle Obama pushed for, and secured, stricter nutrition guidelines on school lunches during her husband’s first term, but those guidelines are now under attack by Republicans, who argue that a “one size fits all” approach to school lunch policy is not in the best interest of children.  Opponents of the first lady’s guidelines also point out that over a million students avoided daily participation in the NSLP last year and that children are throwing away or refusing to eat healthier meals, thereby wasting taxpayer money.

 

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 26th-June 1st, 2014

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quiz-01Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

To access a list of all our old quizzes, click here.

The Veterans Affairs Scandal

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Since the war on terrorism began in 2001, questions about veterans’ issues have played a role in military and national defense rounds.  The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added thousands of injured veterans to the list of those receiving care at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals throughout the country.  The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) current provides cares to nearly 10,000,000 American veterans across 1,700 sites.  The VHA has been heralded as a healthcare success among other elements of bureaucratic dysfunction that are sometimes associated with the federal government, but a recent scandal has called into question the care that veterans are receiving.  Allegations from a Phoenix VA facility that medical professionals there “cooked the books” to hide long waiting times for veterans in need of care have placed Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki under fire and Republicans and Democrats are calling for answers from the Obama administration.

This topic brief will give some background on the Department of Veterans Affairs and its functions, detail what is behind the current scandal, and note some issues that extempers should follow as the VA scandal unfolds in the coming weeks and months.

Readers are also encouraged to use the links below and in the related R&D to bolster their files about this topic.

R&D: The Veterans Affairs Scandal

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Here is today’s premium R&D to accompany today’s premium topic brief on the Veterans Affairs scandal.

 

HotTopics: International Extemp Questions for the Week of May 26th-June 1st, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Why has Mexico struggled to build sizable export industries?
2. Is the National Front poised to become France’s main opposition party?
3. Will more international involvement in Nigeria’s struggle against Boko Haram make the conflict worse?
4. Can the Somali military handle al-Shabab?
5. Is military action or negotiation the best way for Pakistan to deal with the Pakistani Taliban?
6. Can the Chilean economy support Michelle Bachelet’s policy program?
7. How will Russia’s new energy agreement with China affect the international sanctions levied against it?
8. Does Libya need a strongman?
9. What does Narendra Modi’s election mean for the future of Indian-Pakistani relations?
10. Will the recent coup in Thailand resolve the country’s political deadlock?

HotTopics: United States Extemp Questions for the Week of May 26th-June 1st, 2014

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HOTtopics1. Would the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act improve job training programs?
2. Will “coal politics” drag down Democratic candidates in the 2014 midterms?
3. What should be done to resolve New York City’s housing crunch?
4. Will a recent WTO ruling against China worsen America’s relations with the People’s Republic?
5. Which “blue” state is most likely to turn “red” by the next presidential election cycle?
6. Should school districts opt out of the National School Lunch Program?
7. Will Tennessee’s reversion to the electric chair as a form of capital punishment pass constitutional muster?
8. Has Colorado’s marijuana legalization effort been successful?
9. Is President Obama too reluctant to fire people in his administration?
10. Why did the Tea Party fail to defeat Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky Republican Senate primary?

2014 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament: Coscia Wins New Jersey’s First CFL Extemp Title of the Century, Thwarts Nellans Grand Slam Bid

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ChicagoExtemporaneous speaking was the largest event at this year’s National Catholic Forensic League (NCFL) Grand National Tournament, with 246 extempers arriving in Chicago, Illinois to lay claim to the season’s first national championship. The late elimination rounds featured two national finalists, four state champions, and five Montgomery Bell Academy Extemp Round Robin participants, but it was Monica Coscia, a semi-finalist at this year’s Yale and Princeton tournaments, as well as a runner-up at this year’s New Jersey state tournament in United States Extemp, that took the title. Coscia thwarted Lily Nellans bid for a 2014 grand slam and a successful defense of her 2012 CFL national title (Nellans did not compete in last year’s tournament). Nellans, who competes for Des Moines Roosevelt High School (IA), tied Coscia at the end of eight rounds of competition, but lost the final round by one rank, which was the tournament tiebreaker. Coscia’s victory is the first CFL national championship for a New Jersey extemper since at least 1997 and her victory means that women have won two of the last three CFL national championships.

Josh Wartel of Lake Braddock Secondary School (VA) was the tournament’s highest placing underclassmen, coming in third and finishing only one rank behind Coscia and Nellans.

William Walker of Fullerton Joint Union High School (CA), a Glenbrooks finalist and 2014 MBA participant, was the only extemper to win two first place ranks in the final round, but two sixth place ranks weighed down his cumulative total and he finished fourth.

The topic area of the final round was U.S. economic policy.

All of the underclassmen who qualified for elimination rounds earned an automatic qualification to the 2015 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions (TOC) at Northwestern University. Seventeen extempers, not counting those underclassmen who had previously qualified through 2014 TOC outrounds and 2014 state finals, earned a qualification to the TOC through this route and are indicated in italics below.

Here are the results of the 2014 National Catholic Forensic League Grand National Tournament (Click here for tab sheet):

R&D from Prepd: Julian Castro

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides resources on San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who is reportedly President Barack Obama’s choice to become the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Castro is seen as a rising star in Democratic politics and a possible 2016 vice-presidential candidate.  He gave the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

 

R&D from Prepd: Territorial Claims in the Arctic

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l_2Today’s R&D is brought to you by Prepd, the only software built specifically for extemp. Prepd makes it easy to research, practice, and compete!  Visit www.prepd.in to learn more. Like Prepd on Facebook for special info and contests.

This R&D provides information on claims made to the Arctic region.  The region is thought to be rich in oil and natural gas deposits and nations that border the Arctic (the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway, and Denmark – via Greenland) are prohibited under international law from laying claim to the North Pole and its surrounding areas.  However, as it becomes easier to navigate some of the ice sheets in the region, some experts believe that the international truce over the area will not hold.  In 2007, a Russian submersible planted a Russian flag on the seabed of the North Pole.

 

 

Strategy: Answering Controversial Domestic Social Questions

by Logan Scisco

The main reason that extempers dislike domestic social rounds is that they cover sensitive issues that many judges have already made up their mind about.  Whereas judges rarely have preconceived notions or feelings about Thailand’s political crisis or Brazil’s ability to hold the 2016 Summer Olympics, they will have attitudes about the American education system, abortion, Title IX, affirmative action, gay rights, and illegal immigration.  This is one of the reasons why I argue that United States Extemp is harder than International Extemp because although the most capable extempers usually assemble in the International Extemp pool at NSDA Nationals, they do not have to walk through a minefield of hot button issues that could inhibit their ability to advance in the tournament.  This strategy piece will provide some tips for extempers on how to navigate controversial issues in domestic social rounds.

Extemp Central News Quiz for the Week of May 19th-May 25th, 2014

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quiz-01Here is this week’s Extemp Central news quiz.  Good luck!

To access a list of all our old quizzes, click here.

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