Author Topic: Scott Deatherage  (Read 121982 times)

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2009, 02:27:58 PM »
From Hajir Ardebili:

is grateful to Duck for tirelessly coaching his debaters to kick my butt while regularly offering me advice with a sincere desire to help me hone my craft. I still have your UK final round ballot, on which you scrawled your vote: "Aff -- Kansas (again)." Be at peace, Duck, knowing that your love for this activity and its members will forever be cherished.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2009, 02:29:02 PM »
From Michael Klinger:

Hard to feel merry this Christmas. Duck was not just a friend, but also a mentor who taught me as much as any of my actual coaches. I think toward the end of the 13 secrets to success speech he said, "Never settle for less than greatness." As long as I knew him, he never did.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2009, 02:42:01 PM »
From Brittany Blair:

mourns the loss of Duck on this cold grey Christmas.The debate world will never be the same without him...

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2009, 02:47:44 PM »
From Geoffrey "Goof" Garen

Missing the Duck.

I'll never forget the time the Duck unwittingly violated his own "no audible music" rule when, on the bus ride back from the NDT, he blared "we are the champions" into his headphones so loudly that you could hear it in the back of the bus. On repeat. For hours. With singing.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2009, 03:08:21 PM »
From Christopher Mair:

Can't really describe how grateful I am to have had those few encounters with one of the best coaches the debate community has ever seen. Hearing his speech as a HS freshman had such an impact on how I approached debate as a whole. The conversation we had about how excited I was to be an incoming freshman at NFLs and the advice he gave me thereafter I will remember forever. Thank you Scott Deatherage. Go U, NU.

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2009, 03:20:39 PM »
From Stephanie Spies:

 "I will fly you out to meet alumni. I will do whatever it takes to convince you that you should debate in college, and that it should be here at NU." -- Duck (summer '07 to me as a debate-wary GBN grad). Words cannot describe the impact you've had on my life and the NU debate team. Thank you for everything. You will be greatly missed.

MasonMiller

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2009, 03:36:57 PM »
Seventeen years ago I wandered out of a small high school in the middle of Kentucky and found my way to Northwestern, much to Duck's initial chagrin.  I think there were 16 other freshmen at the Hardy House that Fall, of which I believe 15 were ahead of me on the totem pole (I am happy to know I was ahead of the guy I remember only as "Bhutan Man").

Four years later, I was sitting in a conference room at the National Debate Tournament being handed the Copeland Award (with a wee bit of assistance from McCaffity), the last big accomplishment my father would see me reach in life before cancer took him from me. As much thanks as I owe my teammates for my success, I owe Duck twice as much.  

Just this past month I received a letter from Duck which, as usual, was written in his borderline indecipherable duckscratch that often requires a few drinks to translate.  I've still got it in my bag as I was waiting for the right time to pull it out, pour a little bourbon and scribble a response back.  I guess this will have to serve as my belated response:

Duck - I can only assume you are reading this from somewhere up above, rocking out with your headphones on, giving that big 2AR in the sky. I always said it would take an act of God and/or divine intervention for you to be able to cover; I guess you've shown me now. 

We'll all miss you down here, and don't worry - we'll all make sure we're not the last group of young folks who's lives are changed for the better by debate.

Mason Miller


lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2009, 04:50:07 PM »
From Annie Kastanek:

As the clock turns to Christmas, I say farewell to my coach, my mentor and a dear friend. It's impossible to put into words how much he meant to me. He gave me opportunities I never imagined, was an unwavering support during the worst of times, my champion during the best of them. I am grateful that I was able to say goodbye to him, and can only hope that he knows how loved he was. He will forever be in my heart.

DoyleSrader

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2009, 05:21:56 PM »
I worked one summer for Scott as he wrapped up his dissertation while directing the Baylor workshop. I was judged by him and judged alongside him. He encouraged me, gave me good advice, poked fun at me, and I was always happy to see him.

I'm ten years out of the activity this year, but he was still on the short list of people whose latest doings I always wanted to hear about.

Well done, Scott. Well lived. Wish we'd kept you longer.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2009, 06:44:23 PM »
From Scott's Family:

Greetings friends,

As most of you know by now, Scott passed away very early this morning.  In his last two days, he was surrounded by friends and loved ones.  Scott's family is still working to deal with the immediate practical challenges of this tragedy, and has not yet set a time or place for a funeral or memorial service.  Plans for those events, however, are in the works for the near future, and we will make sure you are all informed as soon as they are finalized.  Thank you all for your continued patience and support -- it has meant the world to Scott's family.

Warmest regards and a Merry Christmas to all those celebrating,

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #40 on: December 25, 2009, 07:17:08 PM »
From Dave Arnett:

Duck was a Berkeley hack. He was incredibly giving of advice on how to build a program and our ranting sessions at the bar are among my favorite memories in debate. His love for debate and his students will always be a source of inspiration. I feel very lucky we became such good friends and miss him greatly.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2009, 08:50:39 PM »
From Corey Stoughton:

the Duck showed me that I was talented when I didn't know it, and he wasn't even "my" coach. I hardly knew him in any real sense, but he made an enormous impact on my life. I wish I had done something while he was with us to let him know how grateful I am.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #42 on: December 25, 2009, 08:51:58 PM »
From Lindsay Harrison:

LH is toasting to the Duck, who always made me feel better and smarter than I was, even when he voted against me.

SherryHall

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #43 on: December 25, 2009, 08:54:08 PM »
From Heather Walters:

“win or lose, you will never regret working hard, making sacrifices, being disciplined, or focusing too much. Success is measured by what we have done to prepare for competition”

lukephill

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Re: Scott Deatherage
« Reply #44 on: December 25, 2009, 08:54:17 PM »
From Caitlin Bruce:

Subject: Situational Awareness

Four moments.  First, as a terrified pre-frosh at my first one on one meeting with the duck as an official Northwestern student.  Carefully studying the giant bottle of Maker's Mark, wondering what the hell it is, I received a lecture not about debate strategy but about formatting-- margin spaces for the institute packet had to be exactly one inch to the sides, 1.5 inches on top and bottom, with an undefined number of spaces between institute header and text.  The meeting ended with him offering his regret that my partner-to-be had chosen another school-- I was shocked he remembered a talk we had had nine months earlier for about six minutes at the Emory tournament.  I went through about ten drafts of the institute packet-- "Don't be afraid to interrupt me if I am in a meeting-- we need to get this right!"  I had no idea Duck cared so deeply, and passionately, about Times New Roman calibration.

Second, four years later in a hotel room with LT, highlighting the last of my new affirmatives before day one of my first, and only NDT, Jason Rickard stopped by to drop off a flat-- and I mean a flat, fifty or so, of diet red bulls.  "Duck didn't want to get you any initially" he said "What the fuck?!" was my immediate response "He said he knows that you and LT only drink redbull with vodka."


Third, Day two at the NDT-- Jason gives Rob and I each a pack of cigarettes "Duck told me to keep them in my back pack-- otherwise you would smoke them all at once."  The rest of the tournament camel lights were distributed carefully, and lasted through the prelims.

None of these are particularly unique instances, in fact, they are really banal.  Duck and I rarely talked about things beyond the logistics of debate, with a dash of reference to boy issues and New York being sweet.  My respect and love for him is indelibly based in his total passion, commitment, and drive for excellence in the smallest of things, from recognizing his debater's smoking habits and trying to moderate them, to being concerned with the aesthetics high schoolers (and potential recruits) are met with on their first day of institute, and being involved in the most mundane tournament planning details.  He knew that when in the heat of battle most debaters frankly don't know their ass from their elbow and cannot find their way from the ground floor of a university building to the bathroom.  And I am profoundly grateful for that.

Banal interactions comprise the majority of most relationships, and they coagulate to create an experience, a memory and a bond.  When I first met the Duck he was a larger than life figure: he made debate magical.  I can honestly say that since the summer of 2003 his words created an umbrella, a framework for my work habits and a sort of horizon that I never reached but always burned in front of me (for better or worse).

I wish I understood earlier how much all of these practices, that sometimes appeared to border on the obsessive, the tyrannical, and the insane, were based out of a love, not of merely winning itself, but for our (his students') growth.

A final vignette.  The day before the NDT my senior year.  His last year coaching at Northwestern.  "Do not try and win this for me, do it for yourselves, do it for your teammates..." and "Nothing worth having ever comes easy."

 The ability to be an astounding figure of inspiration while still stepping back to leave room for us debaters to take responsibility for our losses and victories is a tough balancing act.  It is an admirable one, and it is a brilliant example for teaching in a general sense.  He was eminently human: flawed, contradictory, and enigmatic.  He cared so deeply about all of us, I always said he has a "good heart" and that doesn't seem to begin to cover it....and is ironic in the worst way.  His injunction, that we should debate for each other explains in a basic sense what he accomplished-- he brought about the conditions that made it possible for us to want to debate FOR each other, and ultimately, to be for each other-- as friends and as debate family.  That nothing worth having ever comes easy is not a lesson for debate-- it is a framework to understand most meaningful relations-- or rather, most meaningful friendships contain an element of antagonism, and these are generative, creative, and beautiful.  The past two days have been awful, and I cannot even begin to imagine what they have held for his family, and those closer to him than I.  But they also have produced-- and the material evidence for this  is all over the tubes-- a reinvigorated sense of community.  They have reminded me that community is not based on a specific space or even requiring of continual assertions of belonging.  It endures through memories, through  a sense of shared loss and empathy, and these practices of shared grief.

As a teacher, a friend, a mentor, a hero, and a special kind of debate family, I love and miss you so much Duck.  Thank you for inspiring me, for bringing me to my Northwestern debate family.
The Hardy House will never be the same.

Love,
Caitlin