I believe some of you have seen my rather depressive post on facebook after the first day of Oxford. So here is how it was for me in more details. Hopefully, others will post their reflections later.
Round 1. THW allow deaf couples to use medical technology to ensure they have deaf offsprings.
Wonderful motion. We are in the first opposition, which could be the best position for such a motion, and we were against Cambridge and Birmingham, which could be not the best opponents for the first round. Overall, the debate went quite good: we had our arguments, analysed them to a certain extent, were involved in a debate throughout all the round etc. However, natives are natives, thus by one speaker point we lost to Cambridge and by two to Birmingham. Third place, one point, but wonderful debate, looking for the next round. Lesson: wining natives is hard, but not impossible.
Round 2. THW welcome a European superstate.
This is something that is debated in the real world nowadays, but something that I’m not excited about at all. International relations were always the hardest debates for me, since I know nothing what’s happening in the world, neither have any interest in knowing it. I would rather read a book than latest news. Anyway, we are in the second proposition. The debate went not the way we initially thought it would. The first government argued about economic integration etc., which to my mind is quite irrelevant, since you don’t need superstate for that. Moreover, first opposition were refuting their stuff with some more economic bullshit (for instance that rich and old European countries are exploiting poor and small EU countries). Talking about economics seemed to be useless, since judges were quite readily buying the bullshit, so we tried to squeeze in some geopolitics, which we don’t really understand well. Result: we suck, last place, lost to ESL teams, dignity is lost. It was surprising that the first opposition with their arguments like “rich states don’t want poor states to take away their resources” or “rich states want to exploit the market in poor states for their our benefit” won the debate. Please note that it was unclear till the end of the debate who exactly (rich or poor states) loses from this policy.
Round 3. THW redirect all state art funding for reproduction of classic works of art into new works of art.
First government. What could be more awesome in the first government than such a motion!? This is a great economic motion where we could insert concepts of taxes, externalities etc. We were unbelievably happy with this motion! In fact, we were so happy that went to our room (which was in another building) without others and … got lost! When we came back to the Union, the round has already started and we were told that they have put a swing team (consisting of one speaker in fact) in our position. We were screwed and sad. Shit happens, but why exactly now. We got zero team and speaker points for this round. The results from Friday: 1 point in three rounds. The other team (Ervinas and Aurimas) did a better job and got 3 points during the first day.
Evening. I don’t want to talk about the social itself. To my mind opening a club like Purple Turtle is a crime against humanity, and one should be hung for this. Anyway, in addition to my bad experience from debating, I was stopped by a policeman. After the social, we went to McDonald’s. While others were buying junk food, me and Roberts had a smoke. A policeman approaches us and says he could smell weed. We ask what he is trying to say by that. He advised us to tell deliberately if we are doing something illegal 🙂 We told we are clean. So he told that he is going to search us. He searched us for 10 minutes, found nothing. I don’t know why, but he told that he has to fill in a blank about the search 🙂 F***! If you screwed up by accusing the innocent guys, why you need to tell it to your boss!? Moreover, why you need to waste our time. Anyway, now I have a police protocol as a souvenir 🙂 There are about 40 million taxpayers in the United Kingdom, so policemen should report that their money is spent efficiently 🙂
Round4. THW give the UN Secretary General the power to unilaterally send peacekeepers into regions that are beyond the effective control of their governments.
First government again. And again the debate is going to be in Lincoln Lecture Room (the place we had to have the third round). And again we didn’t have a debate there, since the room was taken by somebody else 🙂 So, we had a debate in a bar. Like in the second round, we knew essentially nothing about the motion in terms of concepts and facts, but it turned out that our opponents knew much less 🙂 The debate was definitely a torture to my ears, and I wanted to kill all the other speakers for it. We won the debate and were very very very surprised when we found out that it was not even the worse bin room. Our colleagues from SSE Riga got zero points, so we got ahead of them even with a missed round on Friday 🙂
Round 5. THW abolish patents and replace them with government funded awards in recognition of R&D.
Second opposition. Economic/business motion, we know a lot about it, we should win. The debate was not really good: we had one team from Paris and one from India. We won the round and were looking forward to the last round, which should have resolved whether we break or not. We have 7 points after 5 rounds and small chances of breaking.
Round 6. THBT universities should not license societies that define themselves by gender, race nationalhood or sexuality.
Great motion! We are in the second proposition. We got into a room against all natives: Scotland, England, USA. The debate was awesome, we tried our best not to screw it up, and I think we managed. We were involved with native speakers, providing some reasonable material and overall I was really satisfied with the round. We lost the debate, but by a very small margin, and it is great that we are able to reasonably debate against speakers.
The last ESL team that broke into semis had 7 points. Me and Roberts needed 52-55 speaker points more each in order to break. In everyday language this means, we could have came to the third round, puked on the table and then we would have broke. F***! Feeling of misery and a great missed opportunity.
Quarters, semis and finals:
We went to see main quarters and it was awesome. Then I went to see ESL finals, since Mihail and Olena were debating there, and it was terrible. Once again I felt misery for ESL speakers (including me and all our society). Finals were extremely awesome.
That’s it. On Sunday we had a nice tour around Oxford with Martins as a main guide. Then we went to eat some fish&chips and have traditional English ale. Then we bought some more ale and went to Martins’ place. At night I left the city and went home looking forward to some econometrics action the next week. Overall, feelings are mixed. On the one hand we had a decent practise, on the other I feel much misery about the missed real opportunity of breaking. Lessons learnt: don’t miss rounds, need to learn some international relations and politics if want to perform well on WUDC.
P.S. Million thanks to Martins and his friends for hospitality!