I worked with Paras from summer between my junior and senior year through most of my senior year. I honestly thought that I improved more in 5 hours of drills with Paras than I had at all the camps I had been to in previous summers combined.

Nirmal Balachundhar

Northwestern ’21
9th Place at 2017 Barklay Forum
9th Place at 2017 Harvard Invitational
Bubble Round at 2017 TOC


I worked with Paras from summer between my junior and senior year through most of my senior year. I honestly thought that I improved more in 5 hours of drills with Paras than I had at all the camps I had been to in previous summers (combined).

There are so many drill sessions that I remember learning a lot from, so explaining just one drill session wouldn’t be able to capture the diversity of information that I learned and how helpful it was. However, I do remember giving a redo on a util debate in which Paras helped me think about layers in debate in an entirely different way. Before I started drilling, I would think about util debates in terms of winning the line by line very explicitly on different arguments, but Paras re-taught the util debate in a very organized fashion in which I would package arguments in layers and literally give it to a judge to make their whole decision much easier. This drill formed how I thought about strategy for the rest of the year and in every other type of skill in debate because he helped how to analyze the big picture first, then transition, then the line by line, and then winning why the implication of your argument is the most important.

The areas that I learned the most about during my time drilling with Paras were in theory, util, and debate strategy. I can recall two other specific instances when drilling with him that helped me in these areas. The first time I drilled with Paras, I practiced answering an in depth AFC shell and even after regiving the speech multiple times, he was able to consistently give feedback that helped make it clear in terms of how I can improve the way I layered theory arguments and improving argument generation on the line by line. Second, I did multiple util drills with Paras and he best helped me learn how to efficiently collapse to the most important arguments and win why they were the most important. However, drills did include a lot of the various areas of content and every time I drilled I was able to analyze how I could better improve in strategy and it helped me make quicker decisions in important rounds.

Though my time working with Paras was short, I learned a lot in every single drill session and it helped me consistently improve my game so that I could reach my end-goal. I also found Paras to be a great friend who never lost faith in my capability, which is something that students should never underestimate because it’s always helpful to have someone who believes in you before you go into an important round. I won’t ever forget all the help that I’ve received from him and I’d highly recommend working with him or any of the instructors he’s hired if you get the opportunity to.