National Symposium for Debate (NSD)

National Symposium for Debate (NSD)

Transcript

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i’m anusha valeri i’m a senior so i’m in 
12th grade i attended nsd which stands

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for national symposium for debate 
during the summers of 2018 and 2019.

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so nsd was a three-week really intensive 
debate camp i do lincoln douglas debates

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so that’s a philosophy-based debate and basically 
we would have classes and practice debates

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pretty much the entire day it was at on the campus 
of university of minnesota um so we would go to

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actual classrooms and we would also there was a 
lot of freedom at that camp which i wasn’t really

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expecting necessarily like we could just do 
whatever we wanted for lunch and dinner we

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could go into town and do whatever we wanted so 
it was really hard but it was also really fun

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so nsd the social life was amazing mostly though 
because we i went with other people from milburn

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and so we just were a big group and we kind 
of stuck together and obviously i made other

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friends but nsd the social group was really good 
food um the cafeteria food i was not a fan of so

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i would usually go into downtown with friends 
for lunch and we would order food for dinner

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most of the time but the housing was 
great because it was a college dorm

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um there were some issues with like air 
conditioning but other than that it was good

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with nsd the best part of the experience 
was probably the friendships um

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i really did make like a lot of friends and with 
the friends that i had already had from milburn

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i really strengthened my bonds with those people

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um the worst part of nsd was probably how intense 
the classes were there was a lot of homework and

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a lot of stress and pressure um like a lot of 
students had a lot of trouble with anxiety because

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there was such a toxic environment in terms of 
the classes i’d say it’s more just competitiveness

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among the campers themselves like the debaters um 
there were a lot of practice debates and i mean

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it was definitely challenging it was a little too 
much i’d say at some points but i think that’s

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necessary for the camp i just say the blame is 
more on the campers themselves there was a lot of

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clicks not in terms of the social life but 
in terms of oh like we’re a group of really

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great debaters um and those people aren’t good 
um so let’s like team up against them or like

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a lot of people going behind other people’s backs 
to share other people’s work just things like that

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i think i was expecting it to be like 
school where we would kind of sit and learn

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and then go home do some homework and then 
sleep and maybe have like an hour of free

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time or something like that but it was really not 
like that at all i’d probably liken it to college

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where yeah there are a couple of classes and it is 
difficult but you’re also just on your own and you

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can do whatever you want during the day um a lot 
of people chose to spend it on debate but i think

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it was an opportunity to really just be free and 
kind of like there we could rent bikes and bike

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into town and it was just a really freeing and 
fun environment which i wasn’t expecting at all

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so i actually did just like last week i qualified 
for gnats and then my sophomore year right after

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coming out of nsd i qualified for gnats then as 
well i think that specifically with ld there’s a

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debate that you can do before you go to camp 
it’s called lay debate and it’s very basic

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and then once you go to camp you learn about 
something called tech debate which i personally

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believe and everyone else i think believes to that 
for ld you can only understand tech debate if you

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go to camp if you go to some sort of a debate camp 
and so i mean there were huge tangible and like

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noticeable improvements i think in debate just 
that i became aware of a whole nother like

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aspect of ld debate that i didn’t know about 
before so yeah for sure i think it helped a lot

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in general summer programs are incredibly 
overpriced i would say nsd really is worth

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the money um just because the faculty 
makes themselves so available plus um

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the housing and the food is 
really high quality as well

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i think around march or maybe february

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i would say nsd is for people who are truly 
passionate about debate it’s not to learn to

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figure out if you’re passionate about debate i’d 
say you should commit to debate before you go

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because if you’re still on the fence about whether 
you like the activity it’s just going to be too

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much and it’s not going to be beneficial i’d 
also say that nsd is what you make of it there

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are a lot of office hours where you can choose to 
go and get help but you can also choose to just

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stay in your room and do nothing and so for a lot 
of people they come out of it and they’re like i

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didn’t learn that much but maybe the reason that 
people don’t learn as much is because they don’t

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put the onus on themselves to go out and learn you 
don’t have to write an essay or anything for nsd

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you