Author Topic: Scott Deatherage  (Read 122013 times)

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2009, 02:36:27 PM »
From Sean McCaffity (NU '96)

Peace be with you, Duck. I love and miss you more than you'd ever imagine. You were always there for me and will always be in my heart and mind. Thank you so very very much for being one of the most influential forces in my life.

Love you Duck

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2009, 03:01:27 PM »
Dinner Plans 3 from LaTonya Starks

Hi All,

Thanks so much to everyone for your emails and I'm so happy that some of you all will be able to attend this evening. 

We are all set for this evening(12-26) at 7:30pm at:
Yoshi's Cafe
3257 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60657-3419
(773) 248-6160 -- Yoshi's Cafe's number

I plan on arriving about 5-10 minutes early to be sure that our tables are all set-up for us.  It's not too late to RSVP but please do so soon -- it's a pretty small place and we are trying to give them our final numbers as soon as possible.

I look forward to seeing those of you who can attend tonight so we can get together and celebrate Scott Deatherage, a man we all knew and loved.

Please feel free to email me at latonyastarks at gmail.com or call my cell at 312.316.6102 if you have any questions.

See you soon and travel safely,
LaTonya

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2009, 05:46:24 PM »
From Kevin Sargent:

Scott personified all that was best about intercollegiate debate. But I actrually owe Scott more than I can express for giving me the chance to step away from the activity. I was able to enter Northwestern's PhD program in large part because of the opportunity to be a terribly underqualified member of Duck's coaching staff. But when I wanted the chance to step away from debate and focus on academics for the first time in a decade, not only did Scott fail to object, he was entirely supportive. And even though I was a member of Duck's coaching staff for only two brief semesters he has made me feel like a member of the Northwestern Debate family ever since. I know I will never forget him. Thanks Duck.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2009, 06:02:16 PM »
From James Hamraie

rest in peace sir, legend, and teacher

lynoleum

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #64 on: December 26, 2009, 06:30:40 PM »
Those of us who knew Scott before he was Coach of The Century, before he was The Duck, also mourn his loss.  We Baylor folks are so grateful that he found such a cloud of friends and admirers in these last 20 years in the North, and I have taken great comfort from reading so many of your comments here.  Scott personified for all of us kindness, dedication, generosity, and belief in the power and indescribable value of debate. 

Lyn Robbins

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #65 on: December 27, 2009, 01:16:26 AM »
From: Mark David McPherson

I am a different -- hopefully, better -- person because of Duck. Judging from the number of members of this group, there are at least 402 other people who can say that (and counting). That's a good life, Duck. But I wish you had more years to add to those numbers.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2009, 01:17:32 AM »
From Bruce Najor
 
Very Sad. I'll never forget when I was looking at a round 5 + 6 pairing at the Texas tournament, and seeing Deatherage and Perkins as the ajudicators. Having never debated in front of these men before I was so nervous. But Scott's comments after the round were so thoughtful and helpful, I was actually angry at myself for getting so worked up over something I should have been thrilled to do. Anyone who can have the type of influence he did on people they knew so little about is truly a very special kind of person. Prayers for his family and friends.

Jolie

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #67 on: December 27, 2009, 07:29:24 AM »
I'd been away from my computer and just found out from Jairus last night. I'm deeply anguished by this, and I will miss my friend so much.  Scott and I taught at our first debate camp together.   Sherry and I debated Scott likely 25 times... as he liked to say, "Joey, those days of cutting our teeth on the I-35 circuit, yes, it was 13-12 or 12-13, or something mighty close, with that odd round most likely going my way, but oh yes, there was that Neil Phillips round..."   I'll likely never hear anyone call me Joey again... please trade a few "war stories" with your friends today... Scott and I would still argue about the issues in rounds that happened over 25 years ago.  It is what we did, and what we do, and it was one of the things we loved about debate. For us, debate gave two odd kids a way of expressing ourselves and forging lasting friendships.

I will sorely miss huddling loquac(K)ious with you, my dear dear friend...

Joel


SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2009, 08:25:39 AM »
From Tim Anderson

For the Message Board

I have not seen or heard a debate in over 20 years, but I do know Scott Deatherage.   I went to high school with Scott and first met him early in my Freshman year of High School.  Scott was a Junior and recruiting for the Friendswood High School debate team as the club President.    His sales pitch was “I hear you are sort of smart…you should give it a try.”    I suspect he may have refined his approach a bit over the years, but he was right about the “sort of “ part.

In high school he was not “Duck” but “Exec” short for “Executive.”   He is still the only high school kid that I can remember that carried a brief case around campus.  In high school Scott loved to be organized and prepared.  For example, one of the debate teams duties at our high school, was to read the morning announcements over the campus PA system.  Most of us just winged the announcements the best we could, but Scott would take the announcements folder home the night before and practice (for hours according to legend).

Several years later, Scott and I met again at Baylor.  I had no plans to debate in college, but Scott managed to convince me to show up at the first team meeting and give it a try “just for the fun of it.”    My sophomore year Scott was one of my 3 roommates.   On several occasions we managed to get Scott to play Football, Basketball, and even racquetball once.   That was always fun and most of the time pretty funny.     

There were many, many good times and good friends during the years at Baylor.  Scott will be missed and fondly remembered.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2009, 09:19:18 AM »
From Aimi Hamraie:

 in my old room, at my parents' house, i found a bunch of quotes from the duck's speech that i had put on the wall for motivation when i was a rising sophomore. they had been there for nearly a decade. when i graduated, james moved into my old room. he used to read the quotes every day. years later, the duck was his lab... leader, too. neither of us would have ever been who we were without him.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2009, 09:22:39 AM »
From Ede Warner:

I, as the Director of the University of Louisville Malcolm X Debate Society, spent many of the last ten years searching for our differences. Scott, as the Director of Northwestern University, spent most of that time balancing those differences with our similarities. While I still believe both are important, upon reflection, Scott's view of the world was more productive because he brought the ability for us to better understand and appreciate each other in spite of my efforts which often created divisiveness.

Our professional relationship was defined early when he beat me several times during my sophomore season at Augustana College. Scott "won" early and often in our competitive relationship and that never changed as our roles in the activity evolved.

But I always respected how "he" won, how "he" engaged me personally even when we disagreed on issues, and was very intriqued how my "different" debaters built a relationship with his "words" in the 2004 debate documentary, although never with him directly. "Don't ask, argue" got more run in our squad room for a couple of years than "By any means necessary."

Scott and I didn't have an extremely social relationship, but we had mutual respect and admiration for one another at many levels. I liked the way he engaged me, the way he listened to me, and the way he didn't allow my "venting" to hinder his appreciation for what I was trying to do.

Someone earlier suggested they looked forward to what Scott would teach the UDL, but I looked forward to both what he would learn, as well as what he would teach. He was always eager to share those thoughts with me as our paths crossed over the years and our challenge of differenced impacted his thinking, his strategy, and his actions. He had a term I learned recently, "revolutionary patience" as I searched to better understand who I was and what meaning that had for how we both learn and teach.

And btw, he was one of the best I've ever met at "learning," that's one of the things I respected most about him, and likely an important attribute in the creation of the most competitively successful NDT/CEDA debate coach of our time. In search of our differences, I have not always given Scott the credit he deserves for his competitive success, and sadly, I will never have the chance to tell him that personally.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2009, 11:32:37 AM »
From Perry Green:

11 months ago I was with the Duck and some of you in DC at the NAUDL
reception during the inauguration. It seems like yesterday. I had the
distinct pleasure and privilege of starting my debate career in the Chicago
Debate League, and Duck's fingerprints are all over the CDL. At the end of
the CDL's annual summer institute before the camp tournament the Duck always
gave his lecture on winning, the only summer I got tired of it was when I
was at the Coon-Hardy and the CDL institute, and heard it twice. Or I'll
never forget Ede and the Duck dialoguing with a bunch of amazing kids from
all over the Midwest at the Midwest Urban Debate League Championship, it was
like watching a presidential debate. However even after all those NDT
Championships, it was the Duck's leadership at the National Association of
Urban Debate Leagues that has had the most profound impact on me, because
there was no better cheerleader for debate than the Duck, and over the past
two years I saw him in a variety of settings sharing the joy, cheer,
competitive spirit and passion for debate and expanding access to debate to
students across the country.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2009, 11:35:17 AM »
From Clinton McClure:

I enjoyed the stirring lectures that he gives at the end of Coon-Hardy. He taught me that, "It's all about the link."

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2009, 12:06:40 PM »
From Tripp Rebrovik:

“All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story.” – Hannah Arendt, quoting Isak Dinesen.

I’ve tried for a few days now to put into words the meaning of Duck’s life for me. I can’t say that I’ve succeeded in any sense of that word, but this is the best I can do.

“...must force choice and provide an on balance reason to reject the plan…”

My first encounter with Duck was in the summer of 2002, when he, dressed to the nines with those massive headphones on, marched into a room of young, scared high school sophomores in order to teach what liked to call “Net Benefits 101.” The sheer power of his intellect – and his physical presence – was on display, not to be questioned, but to be absorbed, experienced. That first impression has never left me. Years later, when I myself taught the sophomore lab at Northwestern, I’d try to get Duck to come back and give the lecture for Net Benefits 101. Sometimes he could make it; others I had to take his place. What Duck could accomplish, and teach, within an hour or so, would take me several; I lack the expressive power that seemed to constitute his essence, that he embodied seemingly effortlessly – though I would come to know quite well that nothing Duck ever did was without effort. The amount of effort he put into everything was evident, most clearly perhaps, at the end of the day, at the bar, where you could palpably sense the turmoil his body went through, but it could not stand in the way of his acute sense of observation, his masterful ability to put into a succinct phrase what you had been thinking all along, but could not draw together into appropriate words. Duck could never cover, we all know that. But at times he didn’t have to; with just a few words, he could accomplish what none of the rest of us ever could, even with entire pages at our disposal.

“A prominent member of this staff is a gay man.”

I returned to Northwestern before my junior year of high school. Sometime during the camp, someone, who is now a friend, but at the time not so much, pasted a sign onto my door that simply said “FAG!” Some chaos ensued (at least from my perspective), but the next day, the lab was gathered and the Duck began to lecture us about this incident. If I had to date my consciousness of what it means to be gay man, of being aware of an exclusion from ‘regular’ social bonds, it would be at this moment. Duck’s words, his speech, opened my eyes, revealing to me the world that I now experience and know intimately. It was later that summer that I came out to my parents. Years passed, and when I got to know Duck as a colleague and friend, not as a student, our bond would grow strong because of our shared experience, and much of it through remembrance of this very moment in the summer of 2003. Sharing a Makers on the rocks, we would reminisce about our experiences; share our stories; I even brought a boy or two to meet Duck, knowing that his approval or disapproval would be pivotal. I think he knew that too – he knew, tangibly, what it meant for me to have a gay mentor in my life. Many, many times – at tournaments, at the camp – he would seek me out, and we would talk about boys. Often during the summer, the rest of the members of the staff would be talking about actresses, female models, etc, but we would be sitting there, leaning close, just a little bit off to the side, snickering at the others, trading our own opinions of actors – even other debaters. When I debated, or when he judged, one of these unknowing objects of our gossip, we would share a secret smile, a mischievous nod or wink, and my day would be better simply because of that experience. It was during these moments, over the far-too-few years that we could share them, that I first became comfortable with myself, that I was finally able to embrace who I am. I was never able to thank Duck in life for what he did for me – that he was willing to share simple, everyday stories and experiences with me revolutionized my world. I shudder to think of what my life would be like if it weren’t for these cherished and memorable moments.

“I think you could be a great young teacher.”

Those words started it all for me. I had just finished my first year of college and was looking for a job – preferably at a debate camp. I sent Duck an email, asking if he would hire me. Duck responded, in less than 24 hours (something that would never happen again), and with those kind words he swung wide open a door, one already unlocked and cracked open by my first debate coach, and I have never looked back. I’ll be back at the camp for my fifth summer, and even today I coach debate for a job. As many have already said, Duck loved to say that “debate saved him.” Debate saved me too; Duck saved me. Nothing brings me as much joy, happiness, and content as being able to share debate with the young minds that I come across at my summers in Evanston. Again, I shudder to think what my life would be like had Duck not enabled me to join his Northwestern debate family. Not just the students, but the friends I have made during those summers – some of the closest I have – would not be in my life if it weren’t for Duck.

“You can be a real fuckin' bitch sometimes, you know!”

Duck judged me relatively often over the years. I naively believed that because of our friendship, he would vote for me no matter what. Oh was I wrong! And oh did I let him know it! He never let it faze him, though. He would stand there, towering above me, arms flailing, rubbing his head and face, and he would let me have it – critiquing, praising, yelling, teaching, enlightening. “You should have said it this way.” “Dude!! They did make that argument.” “Look…why don’t you do it this way from now on.” I would argue back, but rarely prevail. Eventually, I’d be reduced to “Yeah, OK, you’re right, BUT…” And then I’d make a joke, we’d laugh, move on, and order another drink. All was well. The debates mattered, but our friendship mattered more. I only wish I had learned that lesson earlier.

“It’s all about the link…Anticipate and know…Style and substance are fundamentally inseparable.”

Of all the points in The Speech, these three have outshone all the others, and shaped most fundamentally my views of debate. Anything that I do related to debate – speak, coach, research, judge, whatever – I feel these words coursing through my veins, electrifying my consciousness, oozing through my breath. I can’t say that they guaranteed me victory, because they didn’t, but his phrases made debate meaningful for me. The concepts he created made the effort worthwhile. And what else can we ask of a person? To translate the "melancholy haphazardness," the "startling unexpectedness" of the world into words and concepts that make experience understandable is a rare gift - one that should be cherished. Duck possessed it. The world aches for someone to fill his void.

One of the last times I was able to see Duck, and talk with him, was at Ross’ funeral. Despite days of trying, I can’t remember much of what we said, only that we shared our grief and our hopes. I can still see him, though, standing there, bent over, drink in his hand, swaying back and forth. I don’t remember the words we shared, but I do remember the silence. We looked at each other, shared a deep, resounding sigh, and embraced with a hug. And somehow, that was enough.

The last moment we shared was, fittingly, at a bar. The last night, or very near to the last night, of the camp. When I left, he gave me another hug. When I said goodbye to him, I didn’t know it would be the last. But I’m glad we departed with a hug. I wish there could be many more.

Duck opened worlds for everyone he met. I know few of his acquaintances whose lives he did not change radically for the better. The world needs more Ducks.

I miss you Duck, friend, confidant, colleague…teacher.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2009, 03:47:33 PM by SherryHall »

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2009, 02:02:58 PM »
Micheal Rolston's thoughts on the Duck can be found here  http://trueslant.com/level/2009/12/27/farewell-to-scott-deatherage-domineering-college-debate-coach-urban-debate-advocate-northwestern-naudl/

"Farewell to Scott Deatherage, domineering college debate coach, urban debate advocate
The happy hallmarks of the holidays have been offset by the sad news that Scott Deatherage is with us no more. Dr. Deatherage, known wide and far to many as ‘The Duck’, coached Northwestern University’s debate program as long as I was involved in the high school and college debate communities, and later moved on to direct the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues. I am so sad for his family, and especially, for debaters past, present, and future who will no longer have the opportunity to learn from, win big with, and reminisce alongside this sentinel of academic debate.

I was never a Wildcat, and never aspired to be one – NU in Evanston was too damn close to my native Rogers Park in Chicago to really be considered an option for college. But the well-managed program that Scott oversaw out of the Hardy House on NU’s campus was the glue of my high school and college debate experience. Green as I was, he helped shepherd my way into Northwestern’s high school debate camp where I decided at last that I was going to be a college policy debater on the NDT/CEDA-circuits. And once I was in college, no tournament ever felt more important to me personally than the yearly trip home for the late winter/early spring NU tournament, where twice I stayed up late into a Sunday night and watched my teammates lose close ones in the final round.

The Duck was the man who sat astride those happenings in my life, steadily making them happen without a hitch. He also gave me one of the best compliments I ever received in my life.

At the 2001 National Debate Tournament, my University of Iowa teammates Andy Peterson and Andy Ryan were confronted in the semi-finals with a clever Michigan State team who we really didn’t have a good strategy against. At the last moment, I suggested to Andy and Andy that they use a really bizarre and not-very-good argument I had written. Our team was too nervous to watch the debate so we went out to lunch, and when we came back, we learned that the debate had come down to that really ludicrous argument with which I had supplied the boys because MSU had mishandled it. This made us nervous, to say the least.

Stepping out into the hallway to ease some of the tension, I came upon The Duck, who was rooting for Andy and Andy, and just as anxious as we all were.

First, he looked me directly in the eye, which never happened.

Next, he said, “You scare the shit out of me.”

Then, he waddled off, just as quickly as he came upon me.

I still smile whenever I think about it.

(Andy and Andy won 4-1, and a number of hours later, sealed the deal to bring the NDT trophy home to Iowa City.)

But beyond all that, I can’t forget that Scott didn’t just run what is possibly the winningest college debate program in American history. He also lent such amazing support to the urban debate league in Chicago, in its pilot phase when I worked there, and in the years since I’ve focused on other pursuits. These good deeds were as much a measure of his character as the champions he nurtured at NU.

All I can say is, thank you Duck, and farewell."