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 on: August 18, 2017, 10:54:55 PM 
Started by profroebuck - Last post by profroebuck

I was wondering if anyone could put me in touch with the policy coach at OU.  I am in charge of IE's and Parli, and I have a student who is also interested in policy.  I can probably figure this out on Monday, but maybe someone can throw me a bone before then.  If you can, email me at  Thanks!


 on: August 16, 2017, 08:59:50 PM 
Started by jkeeton - Last post by jkeeton
I didn't want to keep waiting for someone else to post.  If you hadn't heard Kenny Hanson, who debated for South Carolina and coached at various east coast locals died last week.  May he also be honored here.  I knew him for close to two decades and worked as an assistant coach on his staff.  I believe he's on more than one short list for the  most likable member of the debate community.  He was also way more insightful than he sometimes let on. RIP

 on: August 16, 2017, 09:55:23 AM 
Started by DevenC - Last post by DevenC
Calling for Hired Judges for Jack Howe @ California State University, Long Beach Sept 30- Oct 1 in the California Area
Public Forum
Must be willing to judge most of these events especially Congress and Policy ! Have a account and judging philosophy
Email with title "Jack Howe Judging"

 on: August 16, 2017, 09:05:57 AM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Tim Alderete

A beautiful service today to say goodbye to Chuck Ballingall, surrounded by thousands of Damien alums, students, colleagues and families, as well as debate coaches from all over the country. In the homily, the Father recognized that, when faced with the death of a loved one, it is sometimes difficult to understand God's plan. But then he said "Look around this room - all of the people's lives who he has touched. That is God's plan - God's plan for Chuck." I found that very comforting. Rest in Peace.

 on: August 15, 2017, 09:31:57 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

Chuck Ballingall, longtime voice of Damien High sports, died after collapsing at school
Chuck Ballingall, longtime voice of Damien sports, died suddenly on Wednesday.
Chuck Ballingall, longtime voice of Damien sports, died suddenly on Wednesday.

By Aram Tolegian, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Posted: 08/10/17, 2:37 PM PDT | Updated: 4 days ago

Chuck Ballingall, the longtime voice of Damien High School baseball and basketball, and veteran teacher at the school, died Wednesday after collapsing at the school. No age was given.

Ballingall’s voice was very familiar to those who attended Spartans basketball games in the winter and baseball games in the spring. He was entering his 36th year as a teacher at the school and also produced the school’s master schedule. Ballingall taught advanced placement statistics and geography.

“He was very involved in everything,” Damien principal Dr. Merritt Hemenway said. “I called him a Damien treasure. He had a great sense of humor. He and I shared a love of statistics and every morning we talked about the Dodgers.

“It’s a huge blow. We have a very veteran faculty. Many of them have worked with him for 25 years. And those who are the younger ones who haven’t, we have 50 percent alumni teaching here, they were all taught by him. So, he’s just well-known and the fabric of this school.”

In addition to calling Damien sports events, Hemenway said that Ballingall was a back-up announcer for the Los Angeles Clippers and USC baseball team. Ballingall also was formerly the public address announcer at CIF Southern Section basketball finals.

“It is with profound sadness to learn of Chuck’s passing,” CIF assistant commissioner Thom Simmons said Thursday. “Chuck served as the longtime public address voice of CIF Southern Section basketball and will be truly missed.

“Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to Chuck’s immediate family, and his Damien family as well.”

Hemenway said the school plans to host the funeral on Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 12:30 p.m. Fittingly, it will take place in the athletic center.

 on: August 15, 2017, 08:59:21 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Dan Shalmon
August 10 at 3:21am ·

Sad to hear we lost Chuck Ballingall today. This was a surprise, not a shock, but it feels like having a rug pulled out from under my life nonetheless. He taught me lessons that became increasingly important as I grew up, became a coach, a cancer patient, survivor and father.
He stood out in a community full of loud, aggressive personalities by speaking quietly. Chuck was a steady, stubborn, competent presence who could end a raucous argument with a softly-voiced opinion backed by the big stick of a formidable mind. He quieted loud mouths because he was a thoughtful listener with good ideas he would not deign to scream.
I can't count the number of times I saw him react to an awe-inspiring tirade--my coach was notorious for them--with a pause, a smile, a disarming quip, and a viable solution. It was like watching a great jiu-jitsu fighter. In one fluid gesture, he could deflect, redirect and resolve a threat. As I have mellowed in my old age, I try to fight more like Chuck and less like (old) me.
I think that this might be why the Glenbrook North Debate family was so close with Chuck and Damien Debate. Our directors were like two sides of the sort of coin they should flip to determine sides in a Debate Olympics--forceful and brash on the one side, quietly, stubbornly determined on the other but hardworking and brilliant throughout.
For a variety of reasons, our social time at tournaments was restricted--but exceptions were made for Chuck and Damien. Dozens--if not hundreds--of GBN students were routed into his summer programs for decades. Chuck was family.
He was a quiet, kind and supportive presence in my life for more than 20 years. We met when I was 14; well before I was 'somebody' in debate. He was friendly, helpful and supportive on general principle. He was so accessible and personable to novice me that I took a good long time to realize that Chuck was a great* debate coach with a very crowded dance card--in addition to his own team, he ran huge tournaments (for zero $), summer debate institutes, and coached sports teams.

Some lessons learned c/o the man we lovingly called 'Chuckles'--largely through thoughtless imitation rather than deliberate practice:

(1) Kindness is free, and appreciated by all non-sociopaths--and even total bastards can learn the benefits of reciprocity. Friendships have to start somewhere, and that place is always one defined by mutual understanding and kindness. Kindness should not be conditioned on shared ideology or social status. My wife and I are very different people from very dissimilar debate backgrounds who met Chuck at different times--and we both found him to be kind and supportive.
Everyone needs mentors and friends as they make their way in the world, so when you have an opportunity to provide a helping hand, do so. Sometimes the kindness of mentorship is reciprocated over time and these benefits advance our selfish individual interests. But that doesn't always happen, and that doesn't matter--we should help on principle as members of a community. It's a thing good people do.

(2) When volume, aggression or intensity won't get you the attention or influence you seek, play a long, quiet game.
Be patient.
Listen. Understand your audience.
Be competent. Prove your voice and judgment indispensable.
If, after unmistakably establishing your bona fides, you don't get the ears you deserve, you know you're dealing with the wrong people. Jerks. If you can't prove yourself, be humble and gain skills--then, try again.

(3) Sometimes caring for others is easier than self-care.
We live in a world where narcissism and naked self-interest are ubiquitous. So many of us--especially those with power and resources--could stand to think long and hard about Others. But for some of us, it's easier to work with others, to serve a community or an organization than it is to care for ourselves.
By 'self care,' I do not mean 'self-indulgence.' I mean 'work on the self.' Chuck--and I--would probably consider any kind of education enjoyable self-improvement (indulgence). Exercise, on the other hand, not so much.
Chuck faced difficult decisions about his lifestyle and habits and could not bring himself to make costly changes. We all face such choices, and we struggle with them to varying degrees of success. Ever since I began chemotherapy, I've had to think carefully about the risks and benefits in my diet, lifestyle, activities, career, etc., and I think of watching Chuck as an object lesson in humility and coping.
A) Humility: Chuck was a brilliant man. He could not think his way through his health problems, and that is not a failure of the intellect. It is a psychological, emotional, and social war, and there is no shame in losing battles from time to time--even the very best and smartest strategists do so.
B) Coping: minds live in bodies, and when bodies change or weaken, minds must adapt.
[Anecdote commences]

Chuck was a great* administrator of complex tournaments and events. Not good, great.
I, on the other hand, approach such events as a force of destruction--quintessential incompetence lying in wait to wreak maximal havoc. When I worked with Chuck at my first Glenbrooks tournament, I was given the minimally-demanding assignment of stapling together the pages of little booklets that would go into the folders teams received upon confirming their registration.
Rather than stapling the folded pages together at the 'spine'--turning 'paper' into 'booklets,' I stapled them shut. In my defense, I was just told to "staple these," which I did. And I did the work thoroughly: using two staples at the top and bottom of each booklet (as directed), and did it hundreds of times.
When I was almost 'done,' I watched someone attempt to read one, get confused, rip it open, and then have it separate into badly-torn, incoherently-ordered pages.
Chuck said some kind words to me after the well-deserved tirade that inevitably followed the report of my incompetence to our director. The most complimentary thing he called me that day was 'f---ing worthless.'
You can imagine that I was pretty reluctant to mess with the administration of a Glenbrooks ever after, and would only do so via Chuck.
Fast forward 4 years: I was a year out of high school and coaching. I noticed that a good team from Caddo Magnet HS that won 5 of 7 debates was not scheduled to debate in elimination rounds (or rather, I noticed that Nermin Ghali was really* upset about this and wondered what was going on).
I came to see Chuck, pretty much assuming that a mistake had occurred literally anywhere else in the chain of command. He immediately sent people to confirm and identify the mistake. Turns out, it was on him.
He didn't waste time on self-recrimination--he realized it had ripple effects on many debates and had me(!) run to stop the announcement of results and pairings for the first elimination debates.
I failed--I caught our director after said announcement just* as he was about to dismiss his (large, anxious) audience. I was so panicked that I didn't realize I was asking him to disrupt the entire competition on the basis of a sketchy report from a proven nincompoop with no actual role in running the damn thing until he gave me my second Glenbrooks Fuckup Death Stare. At least this time there was no tirade.
For Chuck, the self-recrimination began immediately after he fixed the glitch. He checked lots of other results, but he couldn't be sure he didn't mess up others earlier in the day. The man had to enter literally hundreds of results into a computer and he messed one up. It just happened to be an important one.
[Anecdote ends]

Chuck made a mistake because his health was failing. It happens. His focus wavered from a demanding task momentarily. It wasn't really his fault. He was heartbroken anyway.
Some years later, it was my turn to find my body in the way of my will and mind. My dexterity, memory, stamina and strength--all suddenly slipping away. Like Chuck, I was losing the capacity to do things that make me a capable, competent community member. Things that make me me. It was devastating. It is* devastating.
When thinking about coping, I consider the way Chuck did tournaments thereafter. He didn't run quite as many (at first), and he paid more attention to his body while working. He modified his processes to manage risk. He used technology strategically--electronic ballots FTW. He took the hit to his ego and accepted some losses. He was sad too--which gave me some permission to be sad as well.
Being a thoughtful and competent guy, he competently managed his disability. On that basis, he kept doing what he loved for the next 17 years. He didn't make all the 'smart' calls about his health--but he did the best he could and coped with the consequences.
Being somewhat less thoughtful and much less competent, that's an example I'll struggle to build on and learn from for the rest of my life.

When my wife Lesley and I consider a trek out to a tournament, we weigh costs--in time, effort and health (hundreds of teenagers in a confined space--not sanitary)--against seeing an ever-shrinking number of old friends.
Chuck was one of our few remaining links to high school debate. Even after we moved far away, seeing him was a compelling argument for a journey out to the Chicago suburbs for a Glenbrooks now and again. So many of my mentors and friends are gone now. Many retired, by far too many died on their feet in a game that can burn up the body to fuel the mind and voice.
He was a good, sweet man, a great teacher, mentor and friend, and he will be sorely missed. We were lucky to have him, and lost him too soon.
RIP, Chuck.

 on: August 15, 2017, 08:56:34 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
J Lane Bearden‎

Oh no! What a loss! Chuck was a friend and competitor when he was at Fountain Valley HS, and we were teammates at U of R. He was one of the first ones to welcome me back to the activity after my hiatus of 20+ years. What a great career coach - how many thousands of students did he help over the years?

 on: August 15, 2017, 08:54:09 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Ron Kincaid

Ah dammit Chuck. Here's to that first time you posted about being the stadium announcer for the (hated) Dodgers. As an old-timer like yourself, you know I loved the Reds-Dodgers rivalry from the days when pitchin' was pitchin' when Tommy John was throwing, not a surgery, and Hal King was hitting a game tying grand salami for my Reds. You were a class act in a debate round and a class act as a human being. At least, the next game in heaven, the fans will take their seats and hear, "And on the mound, number 53, Don Dry---sdale!" Godspeed.

 on: August 15, 2017, 08:53:14 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Chris Nolan‎

The debate team kept high school fun for me, Mr. B. So many memories and friends I still know thanks to your hard work. Damien won't be the same without you.

 on: August 15, 2017, 08:51:41 PM 
Started by SherryHall - Last post by SherryHall
Ruben Mark Serrato‎

Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for who you were and for what you did. It is not possible for me to imagine my life without the program you dedicated your life to building. A mentor of grand intellect and even greater class and decency. I was honored to call you a friend. You dedicated yourself to helping create generations of capable and thoughtful young people. Across the country your loss is broadly and deeply felt and your impact will endure as long as we do. Thank you, Mr. B.

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