College Policy Debate Forums

DISCUSSION => Open Topic -- Any issue => Topic started by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:06:08 PM



Title: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:06:08 PM
From Kirby Chin:

It is with much sadness I inform you that Richard Sodikow -- my teacher, mentor and, most importantly, friend -- passed away last evening. I know to many of you that Richard was that and so much more and will be remembered as someone who positively influenced all of our lives.

I will share memorial and other information at a later time.

The Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team Alumni of the Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:08:57 PM
From: Adrienne Brovero


Rest in peace, Richard Sodikow. Your passion for debate and speech was unparalleled, and ignited a spark in my life and many others' lives. Generations of us owe you a debt we can only begin to repay by igniting similar sparks. Thank you for challenging me, for inspiring me, and for calling me your debater. I am both lucky and proud to have been your student. Thanks, Coach. ‪#‎RBS‬


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:12:20 PM
From: Jon Cruz

It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of Richard Sodikow, the founder of The Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team and a man I was fortunate to call my great friend and my great mentor. For those of my friends who are past or present members of the world of Speech & Debate, you know that no words can express the loss our community has suffered with his passing. For those of my friends who are not, I will simply say this: you know that I have often said I feel like the luckiest person on Earth. I have an incredible job where I get to work with incredible students day in and day out and direct a program full of history and tradition. I have that incredible job, with all that incredible history and tradition, thanks to Richard. His thirty years of leadership at Bronx Science, and the tradition carried on by Kirby Chin and Joseph Gazzola after his retirement, set the stage for the past nine unbelievable years at Bronx Science for me. I will work hard for the rest of my career at Bronx Science to honor his legacy of excellence as a teacher, a coach, and a leader. And I will always remember his great friendship. Richard, I love you and miss you.

I will share memorial and other information at a later time.

Our team page has a memorial here:

https://www.facebook.com/bxspeechdebate/posts/626595480760897?stream_ref=10


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:13:26 PM
From: Chris McDonald

Sad to hear of Richard's passing. He was truly a great coach and a genuinely kind man.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:14:06 PM
From: Brit McCabe

Well, damn. I'm sorry Jon.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:14:38 PM
From: Michael Gentile

Damn...RIP Mr. Sodikow


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:15:04 PM
From: Tony Figliola

very very sad. great man he was. always so kind to me. my condolences


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:15:38 PM
From: Brian Bock

Rip. Mr Sodikow (koh!). You taught us all not just forensics but life! And we each owe some aspects of our various successes to you sir. Also some of our high blood pressure problems too.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:16:07 PM
From: Tara Tate Carr

Oh, Jon. This breaks my heart. I am so sorry for your loss and the loss being felt by the Bronx Science forensics family and the national debate family at large. I know there is not much I can say except you and those close to him are in my thoughts an prayers.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:16:44 PM
From: Lisa Miller

So many memories. All my condolences to Bronx, Kirby, Robert and you, Jon


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:17:09 PM
From: Michael Tidd

Richard was a towering figure of my competition years, and a kind, fatherly mentor when I started coaching. Another of the great men of our activity has passed from the stage. May he rest in peace.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 09:17:46 PM
From: Jonathan Peele

Though opposite of his traditional signal to begin the tournament, a hearty "open the doors" seems more appropriate for him tonight. Our thoughts are with his family and the Bronx family, Jon.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:07:44 PM
From: Les Phillips

was shocked to learn, just now, of the passing of Richard Sodikow, perhaps my very best friend in the national debate community. I knew him for more than 30 years; taught with him; learned from him. We had scores of students in common. No one who knew him will ever forget him. ("There is no one I would rather honor.") Rest in peace dear beloved great friend


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:08:27 PM
From: Alice Twombly

This is sad news indeed, for everyone who knew him and was influenced by him and who was pummeled into an arena of thinking, and sparring, and clarifying, and supporting and challenging and rebutting and--you know the rest. So sad.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:08:58 PM
From: Steven Dolley

This is very sad news. One of the most influential coaches in decades.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:09:34 PM
From: Ted Tyson

He was a presence for sure. Very sorry to hear that. Of all the debate quotes I'll never forget, "prick your finger and bleed on the flow" is right up at the top. It's an understatement to mention that he ran a top-flight tournament as well. Sad day.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:11:50 PM
From: Cyndy Woodhouse

My condolences to his family and the forensics family that loved him and meant so much to him. Though I haven't had the pleasure of seeing him in many years, I was always touched that he remembered my name and he was such a joy to share a joke with.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:12:35 PM
From: Seth Andrew

During National #ThankATeacherWeek There was no one as profoundly impactful on my becoming a teacher, principal, and leader as Mr. Sodikow. His inspiration lives on in all of us who he influenced, challenged, and supported. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:13:11 PM
From: Zack Elias

 I never met the man, but I always felt his legacy pervading the team and driving it forward. I'm sure he passed knowing that the team he built provides hundreds of kids the opportunity to grow as individuals to this day. It takes a great man to build a great institution like the BXDT. It is with this thought that I realize that I am forever in his debt.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:13:39 PM
From: Jonathan Reiner

My heart is breaking this evening, but I am comforted by this man's HUGE legacy and lasting impression on my life and so many others.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:14:14 PM
From: Michael W Burton

He was a true friend and a leader of high standards and ethics. I will always remember, "Close the doors!" at the beginning of the Bronx tournament. Richard was a true gentleman. My prayers to all his friends and students.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:21:12 PM
From: Bill Russell

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Richard Sodikow. I had the good fortune of having some time to speak with him during the Barkley Forum when I was still a student at Emory, and then a few other times as a new coach/teacher of debate. Even twenty plus years later when I saw that he had"endorsed" me on LinkedIn I was genuinely flattered. He was a powerful educator and a class act.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:26:41 PM
From: Virginia Raymond
 
So very sad to hear about the death of Richard Sodikow. He was the coach of Lakeland's best friend-rivals at Bronx Science. So many happy memories, and probably none of it possible without Mr. Sodikow. A brilliant man characterized by his wit, charm, courtesy, and integrity. A great teacher. His memory will be for a blessing.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:27:28 PM
From: Paul Derby
 
Really sorry to hear about the passing of Richard Sodikow. Certainly someone who will not soon be forgotten.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:28:47 PM
From: Aracelis Biel

Richard Sodikow wasn't just a legend; here in the Northeast he was, is, and will remain THE legend. My condolences go out to all Bronx Debate alumni who graduated under his leadership, his colleagues, and most especially to you, Jon. I will be sure to share this information with John Beall here at Collegiate, who remembers Richard well. We also intend to prominently display the Richard Sodikow Cup at our Team Dinner next week; I will be sure to explain the man behind the trophy to our team then. Richard's impact will live on.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:29:31 PM
From: Adam Frylick

I will never forget meeting the legend himself, and his inexplicable capability to assess a teams attire in the blink of an eye. To a founder that has definitively changed the lives of many who have walked through our high school, Rest in Peace.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:30:13 PM
From: Robert Thomas

Rest in Peace, Richard. Richard was one of the true characters of the debate world and someone who obviously took great joy in the activity as a whole and the development of young people in that activity. I always enjoyed my interactions with Richard, no matter how tetchy he was being at the time.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:31:21 PM
From: Jonathan Reiner
 
I just received devastating news. My high school speech/debate mentor, Richard Sodikow, has passed away. To call him a legend is an understatement. This man believed in me when no one else did, and he changed my life. Please say a prayer for him and his family... and if you have a favorite teacher from your school days, reach out to them... just to say hello and thank you.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 05, 2014, 10:32:56 PM
From: Robert Samuels
 
I've been shaken up for a few hours about what precisely I should say about how grateful I am to have had Richard Sodikow in my life. I just wanted to scribble a few notes about the things this man taught me: how to tie a tie, how to use chopsticks, how to present yourself at a formal event (one hand in the pockets, not two), how to bully someone and how to stand up to bullies. I had to learn that lesson quickly because he was my biggest bully. He wasn't a perfect man, but in my first months in Florida, he was the closest friend I had. I knew I had finally become a good interviewer when he'd answer questions about his life that all of the team wanted to know, and then went, "I have no idea why I'm telling you all this!" I'll write something more eloquent later, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to publicly thank him for so much; for the trip to South Africa that he persuaded my parents to allow me to go on, and the trip through Asia before college; for the time he bullied the man at customs into stamping my passport even though we were traveling to Guam; for teaching me not to shy away from conflict and how to help resolve them; for bestowing on me phrases like "put the tears in the princess glass" that only make sense if said in his British-New York accent; for a network of friends around the world who I met through his debate team; for the unusual lesson in discerning films that I shant discuss on facebook (you had to be there); for teaching me to love Shakespeare, Sondheim and Mongolian BBQ; and for inducting me in the elite club of students gently tapped by his cane, which may or may not be named R. Sodikow. Some of you wonder how I got the nickname "Smooth." It stuck after I learned how easily I could go from a soft-spoken, scrawny kid to a guy whose voice could fill up a room. Mr. Sodikow taught me that trick: "Just look at the person the back of the room...and just talk to them." I never understood why he spent so much time doing what you did until I got a mentee myself, and taught him how to use chopsticks and how to tie a tie. It's been so fulfilling to impart those lessons to one person; but he did it for hundreds. Richard, you old owl, what a full life you had. I miss you so much already. Thank you.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:27:54 AM
From: Alice Hill Errett
 
If not for Richard Sodikow , I would not have debated, would not have learned how to push my own limits and believe. Mr. Sodkiow was loud and demanding and tough. He was impatient with me often, making me redo, rework, try again. Over and over and over.My brief time with him as my teacher was one of the major forks in my life. He pushed me as no one has ever pushed me to succeed - to challenge myself - first as a teacher, later as a mentor, finally, as a friend. As tough as he was, he seemed to have a soft spot for kids on the edge. I can not imagine what my life would have been without him. I owe him so much. And I was just one of a very long line of people who's lives were changed - so dramatically - for the better by him. Rest in Peace, Mr. Sodikow. I miss you already.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:28:36 AM
From: David Rhaesa
 
Very sorry to hear that Richard Sodikow passed away. I knew him when he was a legendary teacher and debate coach at Bronx Science High school. I was fortunate to work with several of his former students. I understand he was quite the Shakespeare teacher as well. Godspeed, Richard,.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:29:34 AM
From: Tim Averill

"Close the doors" on a major chapter of debate history. Mary Peart and all the debaters and parents who were hosted at Bronx will mourn his loss.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:32:46 AM
Craig Albert
 
"Sodikow" was a form of tzadik -- a righteous man. Richard was a great man. He was tough, to be sure, but to me there was no greater teacher and, above all, a loyal, caring friend. I owe him so much. Rest in peace, Richard.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:38:22 AM
From: Tim Alderete
 
I'm very sorry to hear of the passing of Richard Sodikow. He was a Thundering voice and a Commanding presence in the debate community. (And a Commanding voice and a Thundering presence. He was loud.) One of the truly Legendary people in the activity. My favorite Sodikow legend involves a Cathedral, a Christmas tree, and The Gar...


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:39:54 AM
Chris Owens (Director of Youth Diversion and Reentry Programs-Brooklyn DAs Office)

This is a truly sad moment ... Richard Sodikow was someone who built character in his students and disciples. I am one of many who owe him so much. Rest in peace, great man.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:57:18 AM
From: Adam J. Jacobi
 
The National Speech & Debate Association and entire speech and debate community lost a legend, Richard Sodikow. I am grateful to Jon Cruz for introducing me to this kind man. Seeing him speak at the 2013 Barkley Forum for High Schools was a treat, and certainly an education. I have included a link to that video here, for anyone who may not have seen it. Rest in peace, Richard! — feeling sad.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 06:58:16 AM
From: Aracelis Biel
 
Today is truly a very sad day for debate. Richard B. Sodikow, founder of the Bronx High School of Science Forensics Program, wasn't just a legend; he was, is, and will remain THE legend for many generations of debaters, both here in the Northeast and nationally.

Team Collegiate will honor his memory next week, at our team dinner, by prominently displaying the Richard B. Sodikow Cup (Lincoln-Douglas championship traveling trophy.)

On a personal level, it feels almost uncanny that Richard should have died the year the New York City Invitational's LD championship came home to NYC, through the brilliant career of his successor's (Jon Cruz ) student's (Me, Aracelis Biel ) student (AOD.) I'd like to think that makes Richard a sort of Great Great Uncle to our team, in terms of Debate Genealogy.

So, for the final time: CLOSE THE DOORS, at least here on Earth: Our national Forensics Family has lost one of its greatest.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 07:00:03 AM
From: Carol Feinman

I am in total shock. Mr. Sodikow played an important role in my life, encouraging me in debate and speech and making me believe that I could open my mouth in front of people. He will always be remembered and I hope he took with him the memories of hundreds of not thousands of lives on which he left a positive imprint and of whom he improved greatly.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 07:00:58 AM
From: Patrick A. Woods

"If you want to be on this team, at the end of every competition you need to be able to answer three questions in the affirmative: (1) did I try my best, (2) did I have fun, (3) did I learn something." It wasn't until a few years later that I realized just how important the absence of "did I win" from the list in Mr. Sodikow's novice meeting speech was.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 07:01:25 AM
From: Peter W. Beadle

Very sorry to hear this. I debated for Lakeland in the late 80's and Mr. Sodikow was a great coach, a huge figure on the circuit who worked tirelessly to make the circuit function as it should and helped expand it by supporting other teams and tournaments. His teams were great, good people and it was always a great challenge to compete against them. My condolences to his family and the Bronx Speech & Debate Team.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 07:07:47 AM
From: Mary Gormley

Billy Tate and Richard are dining in style in the gourmet section of heaven.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 07:08:28 AM
From: Barrington Lopez

Richard impacted so many young lives, including my own. The thousands of us (Bronx Science Speech and Debate students and competitors alike) who learned some amazing life skills under his tutelage are incredibly fortunate. A sad passing indeed.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 08:54:23 PM
From: Ron Bratt


Such sad news today for the Debate Community. Our community lost a great legend today. Attending Bronx Science Debate Tournament all 4 years of High School, I had the tremendous honor of hearing Richard Sodikow bellow out to the audience CLOSE THE DOORS. But more than that, I learned as a kid that there were adults that were very passionate about debate and that there were educators that would defend this activity against all naysayers and detractors. Bronx Science Debate Tournament was a place so many young debaters in the Northeast called home because of Richard Sodikow. There was a power and majesty he brought to this tournament. And his team also - we all can remember from that generation getting a pairing and debating Bronx DD (yes, there 30th team and they were good!). It was fitting that at the steps walking into the doors at Bronx Science my Senior Year I would meet a George Mason University Debate Team coach Joe Willmore who recruited me to debate there and that fate would carry me through the next 8 years (no not all of them as a debater!). Every future encounter with Richard was like walking back in time as he could remember and keep me up to date on every debater I competed against from Bronx - what a memory that man had. I am so thankful that Jon Cruz took over Bronx and has returned the tournament back to what it was. Capitol Debate will honor Richard this year by sending everyone we have to the Bronx in October 2014. Rest in Peace Richard.
Like · · Share


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 08:56:05 PM
From: Gloria Cabada-Leman

Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Richard Sodikow, my first debate coach and a formidable teacher who knew how to motivate, inspire, challenge and push one to never settle for less than their best. Sure, you terrified me at times, but also surprised me with unexpected (and much appreciated) sensitivity, concern and encouragement when I needed it most. RIP...


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 08:56:33 PM
From: Allegra Jordan

Very sorry to hear about the loss of Mr Sodikow. And so grateful for all he did for students and debate.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 08:59:32 PM
From: Christopher Wheatley

Can't stop thinking of Richard stories....love how he gave the Bronx Science logo a female by drawing in 1 hair flip line....and the only person I have ever known to do the NYT Sunday crossword in under an hour.... who gave me such good advice when I was a new coach....and who could raise his voice above 100's--"Close the Doors"....an amazing man. VERY lucky to have known him and called him friend. Goodbye Richard....


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 08:59:58 PM
From: Jane Boyd

He was one of the smartest men I have ever known. Told me once that he wrote questions for Jeopardy. Multitalented, kind, bigger than life itself.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:09:15 PM
From: Sarah Sheila Birnbachposted

For the many of you who are want to do something to honor the legacy of Richard Sodikow (my beloved uncle), donations can be made to the Richard B. Sodikow Policy Debate Endowment Fund at the National Speech and Debate Association. It is a fund that was set up by the association to honor my uncle and he had the good fortune to see it established before he died.

Thank you to so many of you for the amazing FB posts in his memory. They are a comfort to us.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:13:33 PM
From: Erik Branch

Saddened to hear of the death, on Sunday, of Mr. Richard Sodikow who was one of my most beloved teachers at the Bronx High School of Science, a brilliant teacher of English literature, especially Shakespeare, and a peerless debate coach, who had the most lasting influence on me. I still remember his lessons detailing the history of the English monarchy (we were studying Henry IV, Part I) as if it were yesterday — I even still know the succession of the kings of England from William the Conqueror to the present (although I get a little lost in the 13th century!). Ave atque vale...


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:14:32 PM
From: Sarah Sheila Birnbach

Dear friends of my Uncle Richard,

My family and I are overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and affection for my beloved uncle. It is a source of consolation to know how deeply he was cared about.

His memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 25, at 10:00 am at
Beth Israel Memorial Chapel
11115 Jog Road
Boynton Beach, FL 33437

If anyone wishes to say a few words at his service, please be in touch with me directly.

Please share this message widely, as we know that he has reached many more lives than we could even begin to imagine.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:16:14 PM
From: Jim Menick

Richard Sodikow, debate god
My daughter asked if she could go home early from a tournament because a friend of hers had a car to drive her back. I was jealous. The car was a cute little sports convertible. “I remember one time,” Sodikow responded to this, “when I looked out the window at a tournament and saw a bunch of students driving around the parking lot in a convertible, none of them sitting in the seats, all of them standing up and acting like idiots. And then I realized, they were my idiots.”

*

Sodikow was one of the founders of the Mid-Hudson (now Metro-Hudson) League. He would always host the first-timers’ event. At the end of the day during the awards ceremony, he would ask the assembled novices if, A, they had enjoyed themselves, and B, if they had learned anything. If they could answer yes to both questions, they would be debaters for the next four years. During the awards ceremony now, I ask them the same questions, since those are the only two good reasons one ought to bother with debate, and if you can’t answer yes to both, what’s the point?

*

There was a point early in his career, he told me, when he had to decide between Stuyvesant and the Bronx. At the former, he probably would have gone more of a drama route, as compared to the debate route at the latter. And then he described with lust in his eyes to state-of-the-art theater complex Stuyvesant had later built in its new location. And then he shrugged. “I did manage to be New York Teacher of the Year, so I guess it worked out fine.”

*

I learned to tab, on index cards, at MHLs under Sodikow’s tutelage. He also tabbed Bump for me, back in the day, but not on index cards. When tabbing first went digital, it was on Macs only, and a testy program it was. While he would wait for the machine to calculate, he would slowly rub the chassis of his computer, presumably to relay to it warm and comfortable thoughts so that it wouldn’t crash, which it was prone to do more often than not. That’s my image of him in tab, staring off into space, massaging the rounds out of his laptop.

*

On the 6 hour bus ride home from Edison HS, below DC, in the wee hours, he would sit in the front seat on the right and sing opera just slightly above a whisper. 6 hours of opera.

*

Sister Raimonde, another debate god, ran the NYSFL with an iron hand. When she spoke, everyone listened. Back then, Soddie ran policy tab, in a building off by itself, running a bit late this particular year. While we were waiting for him and the results, the rest of the award ceremony was in full swing. The gym we were in was packed to the gills with forensicians, but as Sister Raimonde announced this and that, she commanded everyone’s complete attention. No one else would dare speak while she was on the podium. At the last possible moment, Soddie showed up with the results from policy and delivered them to Sister. She got to them a moment later, and said something to the effect that she especially wanted to thank Mr. Sodikow this year now that he was retiring. From somewhere in the gym, a shocked and stunned student’s voice immediately rang out into the otherwise respectful silence: “Sodikow’s retiring?”

The entire gymnasium broke out in hysterics. Then Sister Raimonde, who was not amused, raised an eyebrow. Silence returned immediately, and the awards ceremony concluded without further incident.

*

A student of mine was being dogged by a kid from another school who was totally infatuated with her, much to her dismay. At one tournament, he sidled up to her and gave her a little package with a necklace in it. She came to me asking what to do. “So this boy gave her a present,” I said to Sodikow. “She’s pregnant?” he immediately responded. “I hate when that happens.”

This particular incident, and this interchange, eventually worked their way into Nostrum.

*

Anyone reading Nostrum could tell that Manhattan Lodestone (“A Magnet School”) and its coach, Mr. Lo Pat, could only be Bronx Science (transported to midtown) and Sodikow. The Round Robin, the unique LD topic, the fearsome debate god—what else could it be? When Nostrum came back for a second series, after a long break, Sodikow had long been retired, and in the new series, Mr. Lo Pat was also no longer at Manhattan Lodestone, having been replaced by Halefoil Cumcut, who was loosely based on Jon Cruz. Art imitates life, and all that. Of course, in fiction, Mr. Lo Pat had been set upon by the unknown “Halibut Killer,” and one of the regrets I have about Nostrum is never explaining who, indeed, was the wielder of that deadly samurai sword. Anyhow, I am proud to say that, when I began putting together the final ultimate version earlier this year, I found among the correspondence of Jules O’Shaughnessy and the Vast Nostrumian Army fan mail I had forgotten from RBS himself.

It was the best note I ever got. I figured if Sodikow liked Nostrum, I had won over my most important audience.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:17:43 PM
From: Tarik Najeddine
 
When I was in high school I was told I needed to join a team or else I wouldn't get into college. Since I'm a skinny chap, it came down to Speech & Debate or Cross Country. Richard Sodikow, the coordinator of the Debate team convinced me in under an hour to tell track to go fuck itself. Over the next 3 years, he taught me how to wear a vest, hook my pocket watch properly, project my voice & speak clearly and passionately. His lieutenants taught me to cite my sources, research journalistic claims and construct coherent & compelling arguments. While I never made it to the "Worlds" or anything super impressive, I went to Nationals for Extemporaneous Speech twice, and placed in the finals at National Student Congress Championships my Senior Year of HS.

He passed away last night. I'm not really sure what to say besides thank you. Everyone who knows me as a clever storyteller or a passionate arguer, he's why. He will be missed, and he probably didn't even remember me. That's how many kids he helped. (Thanks Jon for carrying on his legacy, I know he was so proud of what you've built.)


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 06, 2014, 09:18:52 PM
From: Francisco Albert
 
Saddened to hear the news about Richard Sodikow. While I joined The Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team after he had left his legacy and vision for debate continued to fill the halls of our Forensics Department. He always struggled, often times sacrificing his own self, to make sure that students had the opportunity to debate. He paved the way for many future generations of Bronx Science students so they can learn the tools of advocacy and argumentation. My heart goes out to all of those that knew him closely and were directly influence by his brilliance. I can't be thankful enough for everything that all my debate mentors have taught me and I can only imagine what it would be like to lose any of them. Rest in peace Dr. Sodikow, your love for Bronx Science debate will continue to live on forever.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 07, 2014, 06:45:58 AM
From: Patrick Wheaton

I knew him from summer workshops. Every year we traveled to the Bronx tournament from Virginia -- my maternal grandparents lived in the Bronx. In 1981, my coach could not make the trip, so my father drove us the 8 hours from Virginia. I recall that Mr. Sodikow, in the midst of running a tournament, took my father under his wing -- my father was just learning to judge debates. He was indeed an icon of the debate community.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 07, 2014, 06:46:40 AM
From: Allan Louden

One of my very favorite colleagues, his contribution to generations across many decades is a legacy worth living. He made a difference . . .


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 07, 2014, 08:25:36 PM
From: Jonathan Alston

Rest in peace, Richard. You meant a great deal to the Newark Science Debate program. Richard Sodikow was the long-time debate coach at the Bronx High School of Science. Brent Farrand made sure that we never forget the special debts we owe to the people who believed in us and helped us from the start.


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 07, 2014, 08:29:34 PM
From: Jon Cruz

I can't begin to thank all of you for the many kind words you have shared about my great friend and mentor, the founder of The Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team, Richard Sodikow.

Richard's family is holding a memorial service on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at Beth Israel Boynton Chapel (11115 Jog Road, Boynton Beach, Florida) at 10:00 AM.
Additionally, the Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team is hosting a memorial for Richard on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Bronx High School of Science (75 West 205th Street, Bronx, New York) at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Richard B. Sodikow Memorial Fund for Speech & Debate established to formalize and encourage financial contributions from supporters of the Speech & Debate Team. Here is a link to more information: www.bxscience.edu/sodikow


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 08, 2014, 08:50:31 AM
From: Kim Liao
 
I'm still in disbelief and denial that we've lost one of the founders of present day high school forensics. Without him and his tenacious efforts to build this program, I don't know where or who I would be today. I'm so glad I had a chance to meet, learn from, travel with, laugh with, and share some amazing memories with him. Rest in peace Richard Sodikow. P.S. I still get a fright when I see a black cane anywhere...


Title: Re: Richard Sodikow
Post by: SherryHall on May 08, 2014, 08:51:43 AM
From: Robert Samuels

Here's some more information about memorial services for Mr. Richard Sodikow. Spread the word, and hopefully I'll see you all on June 7.
The entire team has been moved by the outpouring of love that has been expressed for Mr. Sodikow since his passing. The comments on this page, on Jon Cruz's page, on Kirby Chin's page, and on the pages of so many of Mr. Sodikow's former students and colleagues are truly overwhelming.

Mr. Sodikow's family is holding a memorial service on Sunday, May 25, 2014 at Beth Israel Boynton Chapel (11115 Jog Road, Boynton Beach, Florida) at 10:00 AM.

Additionally, the Bronx Science Speech & Debate Team is hosting a memorial for Mr. Sodikow on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Bronx High School of Science (75 West 205th Street, Bronx, New York) at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Richard B. Sodikow Memorial Fund for Speech & Debate established to formalize and encourage financial contributions from supporters of the Speech & Debate Team. Here is a link to more information: www.bxscience.edu/sodikow