Seawolf Debater and UAA Truman Scholar Brett Frazer on Debate

2012-04-02 by

In a short, pre-UAA Stanford Debate interview, Brett Frazer shares detail on how debate has shaped him and how the critical thinking in debate might elevate our troubled public discourse. He also tells his inspiring story of returning to college after dropping out his freshman year. Please use the time guidelines to find the specific parts of this 20-minute interview that interest you. Kathleen McCoy is the interviewer and this podcast was recorded a few hours before the UAA Stanford Debate on March 29, 2012.

Timeline:

2:21 What does a Truman Scholar do?
3:15 Frazer began debate with Cabin Fever Intramurals
5:00 Globetrotting for debate
5:32 How debate challenged his convictions
6:32 How debate could improve civic discourse
10:32 How do you prepare for a debate?
12:30 Do you get butterflies before a debate?
13:40 Debate is not about winning or losing; it’s about being enlightened and learning more
15:45 Overcoming obstacles: Frazer was a college drop-out
20:15 What it feels like to get stumped in a debate
21:44 Frazer’s personal approach to debate: master strategy

Lastly, here is a quote from Frazer on how debate “makes you walk in the other guy’s shoes.”

“I have been forced to argue against my personal convictions. And one of the things that has done for me is make me realize there are reasonable people who will disagree with you. When someone disagrees with you, that’s not because they are less intelligent or categorically wrong; they value certain things more than you do. You can disagree with someone and still respect their intelligence and respect their position. You can tell that person that their view is a perfectly reasonable position, it’s tenable and I understand it, but I disagree with it for these reasons. That’s a more productive conversation than the perjorative platitudes that we toss around in the political arena today.”



Download MP3 (23:03min, 21MB)



For More Information:

ADN Focal Point Blog
Photographer Marc Lester's photos and description of UAA Stanford Debate
UAA Stanford Debate blog
Background on debaters, live-blog of the debate
UAA Seawolf Speech and Debate
Program website
UAA on UStream
UAA Stanford Debate recording. Begin with #2 @ 12:30.
UAA Stanford Debate live-Tweeted
Twitter.com members can search #uaastanforddebate to read live tweets from two Seawolf Debaters