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Editor in Chief - David Graham | Webmaster - Kirsten Flewelling

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To Brian
 

In designing this publication I went through several drafts of this opening Editor's note attempting to summarize a holistic purpose for this endeavor. First, I tried jokes that identified with debaters and our inbred sense of humor. Next I tried a more serious approach. Merlin, our webmaster looked at my offerings and said, "eh...it's not very inspiring...you've written better."

Racking my brain I tried to find something that would be meaningful. A 
phrase or an idea that would cut to the very heart of our humanity.

Finally, as I was lacing my steel-toed boot, which was about to be placed ever so gently through the monitor of my computer, I realized what the problem was. This publication is not solely about debate, debaters, or our warped sense of humor. This publication is a place for the exchange of ideas, thoughts, and emotions. A forum where your wildest thoughts, or bizarrest imaginations could be displayed.

So, it behooves me to open my self up first. On my birthday, May 11th, I sat in a church for the funeral of one of my best friends, Brian. Two days before his 22nd birthday, Brian ran a stop sign, rear-ended a trash truck and was thrown from his car. The police took nearly an hour to arrive on the scene... Brian's soul had already departed.

The irony of his death lies in the fact that he was on his way to his last day of work. He was leaving to fulfill his dream of beginning a career of ministry. Sadly, he had ended his old life of a corporate career, and did begin a new life... only it was not the new life he had expected.

No trite answer, quotation, or self-help book will be able to explain the death of a boy who was on his way to serving God with everything he had. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know." I know this. The plans you have for your life may be interrupted at any moment. Make sure the live you choose to lead is a life of living ideally. If you can imagine a life of perfection, then that is what you should be living.

That is one of the things that I know. Paradigm Shift is devoted to the expression of what you know. The world in your eyes. No matter how progressive, or innovative your "Paradigm" is welcome at this publication.

I am dedicating this publication to Brian, a boy full of life, and a man who lived a message. My question is, what is your message?

Trial, Error, Terror, and a Happy Ending
By Emily Younger
 

We were star-crossed lovers . . . made for each other, but fated never to be together. It put me in anguish. Sometimes I looked aimlessly at old photographs, remembering happier times, fantasizing about what might have been. Sometimes, in utter despair, I would lie on my bed and cry. They were tears of self-pity. Others could; I couldn't. And there, in the midst of my misery, a vision came to me. Although I could never again be so close to my beloved, I could devote my time and talents to the beloved's service, help others to experience the wonder I had known in that short time. The sting of eternal separation was made more bearable as I returned to the haunts of old, cloaked in obscurity, but once again near to what I loved. And in time, joy returned - not the thrilling joy of first love, but the quiet joy of contentment.

It's been two years since law school enrollment ended my short sojourn as a debater. It was a bitter end. Debate was unlike anything I'd ever known. It required thinking, working, synthesizing arguments and articulating them. It was everything I had always enjoyed doing, and stretched me in ways nothing else would have. But, the LSAT was behind me, the law school enrollment papers were in the mail, and I was stuck to the law school plans like gum to a toddler's hair.

Still, stuck or not, there had to be some way for me to stay involved in debate.... More . . .
 
Done in 60 Seconds
By Chris L. Stollar
 

While the clock's monotonous ticking echoed in my ears, anxious eyes gazed intently at me. I did not dare return their gaze. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time passed slowly, granting no mercy. I wanted to scream, hide, anything to end this misery. For one blessed moment, I imagined myself as a wee man, barely the size of a thumb, frolicking unseen around the room, laughing at those poor fools who must deliver speeches. Reality bitterly reminded me. I was one of those fools.

During this utterly embarrassing moment of delivering my first debate speech, I cared only for ending it. Instead of passionately defending U.S. military intervention policy, shy tears welled up behind my eyelids, while I occasionally mumbled something about big guns and bad people. Fortunately, my eight minute oration lasted sixty seconds.... More . . .
Stop, In the Name of Love!
An Analysis of Debate's History
By Ry Lee Stollar
 

Imagine time through today. He finds that whenever someone does something, the result does not equal perfection. In fact, no one has ever achieved perfection. Everything somehow ends up wrong. Based on this information, he concludes that we should never do anything anymore. 

There are two problems with his solution:

First, just because we cannot be perfect does not mean we shouldn't try our best to do our best. Instead of completely ditching something that's imperfect, we should analyze and learn from it - what worked? what didn't? how can we use this information in the future? More . . .


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