Top Posts of the Year 2011

2011 is coming to a close, and PaulLau.com has grown another year older, 27 months and counting. There have been over 88,700 views since this blog began in October 2009, and over 550 posts (recall just 12 months ago, that number stood at a little over 180) which means that the “Posting at least once every week in 2011” commitment became more of a ‘Posting once a day’. It’s been an amazing year in terms of the blog, nearly 66,000 views just this year. So here’s a look back at the top posts of 2011.

1. WSDC 2011 – Team Lists [1st all time]
Part of the WSDC 2011 series, the posts resided in sidebar of PaulLau.com for over 8 months in the run-up to WSDC 2011 in Dundee, listing the team members attending WSDC 2011, at least those I could find.

2. Fire at UWC Atlantic College [2nd all time]
Other than debating, this was undoubtedly the second biggest story of the blog this year. I started this post 2 hours after the incident itself and continued updating it as a running summary of the situation.

3. TOK Essay – May 2012 [3rd all time]
Let’s just say this has not been the highlight of my Christmas holiday.

4. Fire at UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 1 [4th all time]
The first images of the aftermath of the fire. Incidentally, April 14th was the busiest day on the blog with just under 1,300 views in just 24 hours.

5. [RESULTS] LSE Open 2011 [Tab]
A tournament I attended with David as my debating partner, joined by other Team Wales member Cat and Sarah. An amazing experience and my first peek into university level debating. You can read about what happened in my de-facto diary entry 1, 2 and see how Team Wales fared.

6. WSDC 2011 – Official World Rankings
Also part of the WSDC 2011 series, the official world rankings followed my earlier, and rather more controversial, post with my own calculations (which were quite accurate, even if I say so myself)

7. AC IB Results 2011
A good year for AC and some good results all together for my dear second years. Sadly, that puts the bar quite high for the UWC AC class of 2012.

8. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round-up
The ultimate summary of my final high-school tournament – WSDC 2011 – before I left the high-school debating scene. An amazing tournament and some unforgettable memories. Thank you to everyone.

9. Fire @UWC Atlantic College – Photo Set 2
The second set of photos regarding the Sunley fire, this time with my own photos.

10. SCMP – Profile: Chris Lee (IS) IGCSE Top of the World
A not so original post, but an article that did catch my eye, and clearly attracted quite a bit of attention too.

Honorary Mentions

I think it is worth noting at this point that although only 3 WSDC 2011 related posts were found in the top 10, and only 4 debating related posts, the next 10 posts are exclusively debating related, 8 of which are WSDC 2011 related as well. August 2011 was also the most popular month for PaulLau.com with nearly 14,000 views. A final thought: isn’t it interesting that Team Singapore, Team Canada and Team England come in as top posts on their own?

11. WSDC 2011 – Team Singapore
12. WSDC 2011 – Media Guide [UPDATED]
13. WSDC 2012 – Prepared Motions [UPDATED]
14. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 1 & 2
15. WSDC 2011 – Team Canada
16. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Break, Round 7 & 8
17. WSDC 2011 – Team England
18. [RESULTS] WSDC 2011 – Round 5 & 6
19. ASDC 2011 – Participating Institutions
20. WIDPSC 2011 – Grand Final [RESULTS] + Analysis

WSDC – Summary of Past Results


In the past, the draw for the annual WSDC tournament have been based in part on the past sucess of countries. Countries are ranked and then paired against opponents with the intention that all teams face a similarly difficult set of nations.So I have used the same method that calculated WSDC 2011’s pre-tournament rankings to examine the records of countries over the three WSDC 2009-2011.

Previous publications of similar lists have caused some problems, but as I will not be attending WSDC 2012 in Cape Town and will no longer be eligible for WSDC 2013 in Turkey, I believe there is no conflict of interest. I am personally responsible for any errors and apologise in advanced. This list is not official and not 100% accurate, it is intended merely as a guide.

Using the Results for a country that has attended only one or even two WSDC tournaments reduces the accuracy of this summary. Nevertheless, I think the statistics give a good sense of where teams are placed. To make calculations easier, I averaged the results to assume each national team debated at all three WSDCs between 2009 and 2011.

The summary of how National Teams have fared based on WSDC 2009 – 2011 are displayed in the following format – Country, Total wins out of 24, Total judges out of 72

WSDC 2011 – Tournament Committee Meeting Follow-up

Follow-up from the WSDC Tournament Committee Meeting held at WSDC 2011.
Minutes at the end of the page.

I would like to formally thank all those who were members of these committees for 2010/2011 and welcome all those who have been elected for 2011/2012.

Tournament Executive Committee:
Chair: Beth James (Wales)
Vice Chair: Taimur Bandey (Pakistan)
Secretary: Roger Hatridge (Korea)
Joshua Park (Korea)
Hayah Eichler (Israel)
Derek Lande (Ireland)
Irene McGrath (Scotland)
TJ Senmargern (Thailand)
Ben Woolgar (England)

Motions Committee:
Chair: Will Jones (Scotland)
Ben Woolgar (England)
Joe Roussous (South Africa)
Kip Oebanda (Phillipines)
Eva Spoor (The Netherlands)
Taimur Bandey (Pakistan) – nominated by the host
Dan De Kadt (South Africa) – nominated by the host

Complaints Committee
Taimur Bandey (Pakistan)
Ronit Prawer (Israel)
Roger Hatridge (Korea)

WSDC 2011 – Team India Report

An article by S. Pranav Kumar, captain of Team India on WSDC 2011 from http://psbbschools.ac.in/dundee.html

Debating Our Way To Dunde

Team India at the World Schools Debating Championship

I’d love to tell you what my first impressions of the city of Dundee were, but the regrettable truth was that I was in a sound sleep throughout what seemed a never-ending trip from Glasgow. But as I stumbled groggily from the bus and trudged to my room, the crisp air of Dundee woke me up, and with a burst of excitement I realized it was all true: I was really the Captain of the Indian debating team and we were going to participate in the World Schools Debating Championships in Dundee, Scotland from the 16th of August to the 26th.

The team, comprising of five members from four different Chennai schools (Siddarth and Sanchith from Bala Vidya Mandir, Sehr Raheja from Arsha Vidya Mandir, Dhruva Bhat from P.S. Senior and me, from PSBB KKN) devoted ourselves to the debating, putting in long hours of preparation before the debates. Under the tutelage of Mr. Andrew Fitch, an experienced Australian-English ex-debater, we came out victorious in 5 out of our 8 preliminary rounds (defeating Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, Kuwait and Indonesia; but losing to England, South Korea and the UAE). At the end of the tournament (which was ultimately won by Singapore) we clinched the 20th place among 48 nations.

Aside from the debating, which was a brilliant experience by itself, we were also given ample opportunity to soak in the Scottish Culture. We were taken to the famed Edinburgh Museum, and to the supposedly haunted Glamis Castle (though much to my regret, I never saw a ghost) and were given an opportunity to learn Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish dance. This last one was particularly funny, as more than a hundred people from fifty nations danced awkwardly with each other, trying to imitate the instructor’s movements.

It was a fantastic experience where you not only debated and learnt from it, but also made friends with people of different nationalities and understood their culture.

WSDC 2011 – Dundee.com Coverage

This is part of the WSDC 2011 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2011 in Dundee, Scotland as a debater, blogger and Wales national team member.

The official webpage for Dundee city, http://www.dundee.com/ has released the following article covering WSDC 2011 and Team Singapore’s win.

Team Singapore Win World Schools Debating Championship

Lord Provost John Letford, & Irene McGrath, Chairman Convenor of the World Schools Debating Championship Dundee 2011 congratulate Team Singapore, winner of World Schools Debating Championship Dundee 2011

The World Schools Debating Championship reached its nail-biting climax when Singapore met Australia in the Grand Final, which was held in the majestic surroundings of Dundee’s Caird Hall.

The motion the teams were discussing was ‘This house believes that autocracy is doomed in the age of Facebook’ – with Australia proposing the motion and Singapore opposing. After a highly impressive show of world-class debating, with questions and answers volleying between the two teams like a verbal game of tennis, the judges retired to make their decision.

After some time, the winners were announced: Singapore. “This is for every member of Team Singapore since our country joined the World Schools Debating Championship 16 ago,” said Team Singapore Captain, Ren Jie. “This is the first time Singapore has won the World Schools Debating Championship and it’s fantastic to be a member of the winning team!”

WSDC 2011 – Round-up

This is part of the WSDC 2011 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2011 in Dundee, Scotland as a debater, blogger and Wales national team member.

Motions: https://paullau.wordpress.com/2011/08/25/motions-wsdc-2011-motions/

Grand Final

THBT Autocracy is doomed in the Age of Facebook

Champions: Singapore
Runners-up: Australia

Other results below:

  • Top 30 Best Speakers
  • Top 20 English as a Second Language Speakers
  • Top 10 English as a Foreign Language Speakers
  • Other Awards
  • Team Rankings
  • Full Best Speaker, Best EFL Speaker and Best ESL Speaker lists


WSDC 2011 – Motions

This is part of the WSDC 2011 series as I recount and report on the World School Debating Championship 2011 in Dundee, Scotland as a debater, blogger and Wales national team member.

R1: THW offer dictators immunity in return for leaving power
R2: THW allow free distribution of music on the internet
R3: THBT universal primary education is a misallocation of resources for the developing world
R4: THW make voting in national elections mandatory
R5: THW legalize the sale of human organs
R6: THW stop sending humans into space (originally reserve motion)
R7: THBT women can only achieve equality under a secular system of government
R8: THW penalize sporting teams for the behavior of their fans
OF: THW abandon nuclear energy
QF: TH supports free immigration
SF: THBT every region should have the right to independent statehood if majority of it’s members wish
GF: THBT Autocracy is doomed in the Age of Facebook