By: Ed Hendrickson It’s common debate parlance to say that a tournament is depressing. We joke that it’s killing us, running us threadbare—that is, the continuous cycle of cutting cards and debating, weekend after weekend, month after month, year after year. Admittedly, debate is a highly time consuming activity. Many debaters complain that between the sleep deprivation, malnourishment, and mental competition, they can’t seem to feel much else besides fatigue. At the end of the year, there’s the usual chatter of quitting, but most everyone serious returns next year to endure the grind again. The soul-sucking exhaustion doesn’t seem stratified, either: people from the lowest brackets of tournaments and highly seeded grandmasters stagger like equals through this haze of debate-weariness, but for most, I think the struggle is largely metaphorical. The frustration and depression of debate take on no realized form and are cast off soon after the tournament is over. But this isn’t the case for all of us.