Oct 11, 2008

the lasting value of high school debate

Debate coaches everywhere: here's some free advertising, compliments of Eric E. Johnson of Prawfsblawg.
I feel kind of funny outing myself as a high school debater, but, as I’ve tried for years to convince my wife, being a debater actually was cool at my high school. Now, we weren’t as cool as the cheerleaders and football players, but we often hung out with them. (When I try to explain this to my wife, I can tell she doesn’t want to harsh on my reality, but her mouth just involuntarily screws up into an uneven grimace of dubiety. Hey, it’s not like we were mathletes.)

Honestly, I give credit to high school debate as being the single-most important intellectual training I’ve received. Not that the $100,000 I spent on law school didn’t come in a close second, of course. But in all seriousness, I think if I had Warren Buffet’s problem of having billions of dollars that I needed to give away, I’d cleave off a healthy chunk to seed high school debate programs, especially in disadvantaged school districts.
Hear, hear.

Of course, my unstated assumption is that teaching law is a valuable occupation. But I can warrant it on request--thanks to training in high school debate.

[via Ilya Somin]

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