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Dear Norm's Friend,

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you probably noticed that I was in Tennessee last week with a group of college kids. I was so excited to join the Whitworth University Forensics team to the International Public Debate Association National tournament at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN! 

When you hangout with college kids (who are really smart, and KNOW how to debate) you are reminded of how far away from rules and sanity we can get in business. As I judged 17 debates in 3 days, I learned a lot about how we argue, and how we can do it better. So here are 3 things I learned from college debaters:

  1. "It's Not Fair" is a bad argument. Life isn't fair kids, and the sooner you learn it, the better. As resolutions were presented, I saw way too many times that "it's not fair" was a reason I should vote for a debater. Sure it's not FAIR, but a lot of things we do aren't fair. It's not FAIR I have to sit in traffic because someone else had an accident. It's not FAIR that I can't sleep till noon every day. Stop complaining, and tell me why your side is correct and the best option. 
  2. Debate the Resolution Not the Rules. During the Debate tournament I had a few kids who decided instead of making arguments for why their side was correct, they claimed "abuse" by the other party. Nothing annoys me more than someone who decides to whine about the opponent. I know the rules, I know they did something wrong. Trust that I also know the rules, and get on with your arguments and prove you're the better debater.
  3. Be on Time. The tournament ran on a very tight schedule. Everyone knows when they are supposed to be somewhere, and if you're 10 minutes late the debate is off. I had 2 close calls with 7 & 9 minutes late. Everyone else was on time, you're disrespectful! I was grateful that one of the grading criteria was "courtesy" you can guess late students got a D fro me there. In business, be there on time. Call or text if you're going to be more than 5 minutes late to a meeting, be respectful, we're all waiting for you.
I had a great time in Tennessee and can't wait to join these kids in Boise next year for Nationals!
Elizabeth & Hank
How Cute is Hank?

Hank's Turning 8!

Hank's 8th Birthday is coming up on April 26th. We don't have big birthday plans, he continues to be a cranky old man trapped in a yellow lab body. He's doing great, and loves a good walk. There will be lots of cheese and bully sticks for him I am sure!

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