"This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.
Kahloon
Lulu
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:37 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Kahloon »

David Riley wrote:I think another issue here is that, with the advent of good quiz bowl, the transition from middle school to high school is that much harder, especially if said middle school does not academically strong. Our freshmen is half of what it used to be--so far, one has left but the others so far are sticking with it.
As the only freshman to remain on the team sophomore year, I can definitely say that many people who do not have good preparation in middle school are more likely to quit simply from this profound feeling of helplessness.
Idrees Kahloon
Dunbar '12
User avatar
Francis the Talking France
Wakka
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:01 am
Location: Denver, CO
Contact:

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Francis the Talking France »

For me, just by looking at packets before tournaments, I gain this bit of confidence that I know most of the answers and that QB isn't really that hard if you just put your mind to it. It just takes a little extra oomph to get over the hump of nervousness and reach success.
Matt Duchan
Chapel Hill High School '12
University of Denver '16
Director of the 2013 Colorado State History Bowl
User avatar
arabidopsis
Lulu
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:13 pm

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by arabidopsis »

As someone who has largely stopped playing quizbowl, due in part to 'feeling stupid,' I thought I'd chime in here. I started at Longfellow doing KMO, and really enjoyed it. Then at TJ, I had fun at practices, and went to tournaments. I didn't do well, but that didn't bother me because I was only a freshman/sophomore, and further, I knew I wasn't really studying outside of practices. But but but. Junior year was really difficult for me for a lot of reasons, and one of those was quizbowl. My friends (basically the current TJ A team) were all getting really good at quizbowl, and I wasn't. I also had significant other obligations (besides various extra-curriculars, those oft-mentioned high GPAs don't exactly come without effort), so I realized that I wasn't going to put in the time to become a great player. The fact that my quizbowl friends apparently could do so, and do so while maintaining their grades in classes generally considered more difficult than mine, without perceivable struggles, magnified my feelings of inferiority and thus dislike for quizbowl. So I stopped going to tournaments. It wasn't worth it to me to participate in an activity that I no longer enjoyed, or to sacrifice other commitments in order to make said activity more bearable.

While I appreciate Coach Chrzanowski's wish to encourage people to continue participating in quizbowl, and to get them to enjoy it, I think, as others have pointed out, it is somewhat unfair to simply say that participants should stop whining and study more. It is work to get better at quizbowl, it does take time, and for some, that time investment would be better spent elsewhere. As for a solution, others' comments are probably more helpful, since clearly the solution for me (to stop participating in what had become an unpleasant activity) is not the way to improve participation and enjoyment. I can only add to comments about the importance of the social part of quizbowl. I'm co-TD at TJ, and I continue to enjoy that part of quizbowl. I still go to school practices because I still enjoy the social aspects of non-tournament quizbowl. I simply no longer go to tournaments because they don't make me overall any happier.
Thalia Aoki
TJHSST 2011
User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5646
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I think Thalia brings up a very good point that we probably lose track of on a board populated by people who play quizbowl, which is that quizbowl really is not for everybody. It's a rarefied activity that is only going to appeal to some people and there are all kinds of great reasons to not do it, just like there are great reasons to not do debate or play an instrument or do a sport. If it's not your thing it just isn't your thing, and we should not worry about having some people join up then quit when they don't like it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to make the game appeal to people who may be on the fence and could potentially get into it down the road, but it is no crime if someone quits.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
User avatar
Cheynem
Sin
Posts: 6867
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 11:19 am
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Cheynem »

Thalia also brings up a good point in that people can be very important and helpful for quizbowl without necessarily playing or writing for it. Good tournament directors, stat keepers, moderators, and general friends of good quizbowl are rare to have and always, always valued at tournaments, and all require skills that do not inherently have anything to do with your writing or playing abilities.
Mike Cheyne
Formerly U of Minnesota

"You killed HSAPQ"--Matt Bollinger
User avatar
Howard
Yuna
Posts: 967
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:42 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Howard »

People should participate in quizbowl, like any other extracurricular activity, because they enjoy it. If someone doesn't enjoy it, then I agree with Charlie, it's okay to quit. On the other hand, those of us in charge need to be somewhat observant as to why it's not enjoyable in the first place.

Again, this is an extracurricular activity. There is no particular necessity for anyone to work hard at being good. In fact, there's nothing wrong with playing for the simple enjoyment of playing and then picking up whatever you pick up in practice and at tournaments. To that end, it's important for those of us in charge to do those things necessary to make the activity palatable not only to those that wish to work toward being the best they can be, but also for those who simply wish to be casual players.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred
User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by dtaylor4 »

Cheynem wrote:Thalia also brings up a good point in that people can be very important and helpful for quizbowl without necessarily playing or writing for it. Good tournament directors, stat keepers, moderators, and general friends of good quizbowl are rare to have and always, always valued at tournaments, and all require skills that do not inherently have anything to do with your writing or playing abilities.
I'll second this point. In college, I went through a similar train of thought, and made similar choices. I still played occasionally (read: maybe five tournaments a year), but still found a niche as a statkeeper, and an occasional writer/reader. I was fine with it, and still help out when I can. In a perfect world, my services won't be needed (see Jonah Greenthal's system for this year's Solo for a serious leap), but for now, I do what I can to help promote good quizbowl.
David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by David Riley »

I agree with everything that's ben said, but I do want to add another variable to the equation. Quiz bowl is a competition. I always tell my students that if they just want to do it for fun, then that's fine, but if they aspire to be on the top team, then they're going to have to work at it. This became necessary after several years running when I had a number of students who were very lax about attendance at practice and tournaments and then whined when I didn't play them every match. Quiz bowl should be fun, but not "funn". I think there is room for both casual and serious players.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"
alexdz
Rikku
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:29 pm
Location: Conshohocken, PA

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by alexdz »

dtaylor4 wrote:
Cheynem wrote:Thalia also brings up a good point in that people can be very important and helpful for quizbowl without necessarily playing or writing for it. Good tournament directors, stat keepers, moderators, and general friends of good quizbowl are rare to have and always, always valued at tournaments, and all require skills that do not inherently have anything to do with your writing or playing abilities.
I'll second this point. In college, I went through a similar train of thought, and made similar choices. I still played occasionally (read: maybe five tournaments a year), but still found a niche as a statkeeper, and an occasional writer/reader. I was fine with it, and still help out when I can. In a perfect world, my services won't be needed (see Jonah Greenthal's system for this year's Solo for a serious leap), but for now, I do what I can to help promote good quizbowl.
And I'll third it. My Saturdays get eaten alive in the fall, because I'm a member of Marching Mizzou. What few I have left, I end up doing our two high school tournaments and by then there's likely to not be a nearby college tournament to play at all. But I really really enjoy my time spent as a staffer - whether I'm TDing, moderating, scorekeeping, statkeeping, or balancing the books. Heck - this year I'm TDing the SCT instead of playing it, and it's probably one of my favorite tournaments to play. So there's a huge, crippling need for committed staff in this business, and we definitely need to encourage that.
Alex Dzurick
====
Owner/Editor, SAGES Quizbowl Questions
Coach, French International School of Philadelphia
====
Former midwesterner (South Callaway - Mizzou - UIUC) coping with life on the east coast.
David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by David Riley »

There is a downside, though: because of the relatively small number of dedicated staffers, some TDs here are reluctant to go above 24 teams (guilty) because of the lack of more than 15 or so qualified staffers on a given weekend. This means that there are fewer opportunities for B and C teams to play, because I will not use untrained moderators. I usually issue an open invitation with a preference for single teams, then open the remaining spots to B and C teams two to three weeks before the tournament date.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"
User avatar
gneissisnice
Lulu
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:35 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by gneissisnice »

In my high school, we didn't really have that problem.

We had a bunch of people at practices that would rarely ever answer more than one question correctly, and would often not even buzz in at all. Yet they came back practice after practice simply because it was a fun atmosphere. We weren't an amazing team, but we performed fairly well, and we just always had a ton of fun in practices. In fact, over the summer, we actually had an Academic Team get-together at my house where we played the Wii, went in the pool, and then spent the next few hours reading questions and having a blast.

Though it's true that a lot of the super smart overachiever kids never really did quiz bowl at all, it was mostly a group that already knew they liked random trivia, whether they were good at it or not.
Michael
SUNY Stony Brook
David Riley
Auron
Posts: 1428
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:27 am
Location: Morton Grove, IL

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by David Riley »

I don't mean to jump down your throat here, but what is espoused on these boards is not "random trivia". The initial post was directed at a problem with students finding current quiz bowl (NAQT, HSAPQ, PACE and certain housewrites) too difficult.
David Riley
Coach Emeritus, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois, 1993-2010
Steering Committee, IHSSBCA, 1996 -
Member, PACE, 2012 -

"This is 1183, of course we're barbarians" -- Eleanor of Aquitaine in "The Lion in Winter"
User avatar
Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen
Wakka
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:18 pm
Location: Ithaca, NY

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen »

David Riley wrote:I don't mean to jump down your throat here, but what is espoused on these boards is not "random trivia". The initial post was directed at a problem with students finding current quiz bowl (NAQT, HSAPQ, PACE and certain housewrites) too difficult.
Well, I for one got interested in quizbowl at first because I liked "random trivia" – I enjoyed playing Trivial Pursuit and watching things like Jeopardy, and competing in Chip Beall-style competitions (where I went to high school, we didn't have any other formats), and then when I got to college I discovered "hey, this game is a lot more fun when the questions are fairer and about things that people would reasonably want to know!"
M(ir)ia(m) Nussbaum
Former player for Ithaca High School, Cornell, MIT
User avatar
Golran
Auron
Posts: 1047
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:23 am
Location: Southern California

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Golran »

Welcome to the boards Michael! At our HS, it was mostly people joining because they liked random trivia like what our league was played on (absolutely Auk-ful questions). My sophomore year that was all we practiced on, then when quizbowlpackets.com launched, we transitioned to pyramidal questions in practice. At this point, the HS team has dissociated, but we still get together to read questions during breaks, and I know some of the HSers are attending practices at SUNY Stony Brook. I feel like you need to be having fun at any recreational activity if you are going to continue doing it. If playing organized quizbowl at modern standards isn't fun for students, they probably shouldn't be playing organized quizbowl at modern standards.
Drayer the Slayer
currently unaffiliated
User avatar
i never see pigeons in wheeling
Rikku
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 3:57 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling »

Your practices should have a relaxed environment to induce people to return. My school's very successful speech and debate team had a sort of off-putting regimented corporate discipline to it, and this is what made the quiz bowl team's laid back atmosphere all the more attractive. Studying material was of our own impetus, and I didn't really get serious about quiz bowl until midway through sophomore year, but it was my enjoyment of the questions and the environment that led me to favor it over speech and debate.
And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
Ankit
Cal '16
Bellarmine College Preparatory '12
User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

drno wrote:And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org
User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5646
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
drno wrote:And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
With that coaching attitude I can't imagine why any of your players might not take their team seriously enough.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
User avatar
i never see pigeons in wheeling
Rikku
Posts: 440
Joined: Mon May 31, 2010 3:57 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling »

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
drno wrote:And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
Yeah, that's a problem. It's one thing if the kid whines about not getting something he feels he should've gotten and quite another when he demands that the canon conform to his knowledge base. At some point, you'll know that they're deaf to your assurances that getting better actually entails studying and they'll continue to whine about not being able to get anything. They have to come to the realization on their own, and until then they are lowering the quality of play for the rest of the team and you would either have to take it in stride or make it clear that they should shut up (preferably in a passive-aggressive manner so they take the hint).
Ankit
Cal '16
Bellarmine College Preparatory '12
User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
drno wrote:And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
With that coaching attitude I can't imagine why any of your players might not take their team seriously enough.
Either you don't care or don't get at all what i'm really saying. Our practices are always fun, kids enjoy being there, and i make them as loose as possible while still trying to stick to basic "good quizbowl" and stuff... but many of them seem to be annoyed that they aren't good enough. Yet those same students do practically nothing to actually get better.

Have you, Charlie, seen high school kids with this attitude? I know you help a lot of schools around your area so i'm just curious how to alleviate this problem.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org
User avatar
Sniper, No Sniping!
Tidus
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:25 pm
Location: Pickerington, OH

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Sniper, No Sniping! »

As someone who is relatively new to the quiz bowl community, I'd like to share my story and thoughts.

When I was in the 7th grade, my family was looking at potential high schools for me to go to. When we first visited Fisher Catholic, we saw the OAC (please do not question the "legitimacy" of our system, we worked really hard to win these) State Championship banners in the gym from 2004 and 2006. We were very impressed with the Quiz Bowl team at Fisher, and Ms. Stevenson, the head advisor of the Quiz Bowl team, had a kiosk (w/buzzers and a-level questions) for the team. I went through about 20 questions and got about 7 of them right, which is considerably good. The whole root of my interest in quiz bowl actually comes from the former ESPN program, Stump the Schwab, full of sports trivia and stats. Having gone to the tryouts, I was invited to join and I accepted it. Granted, I thought the Quiz Team was just the In The Know (Columbus, OH's version of It's Academic) and ONN Brain Game, TV shows. I had no idea how active we were, traveling to other states for tournaments as well as local and regional tournaments. What motivated me to get better (I was "naturally good" I guess you could say for where I was at experience wise) was writing stuff down in my notebook, reading my notebook, reading Wiki on something that interested me, and then I started checking out resources such as Quizbowlpackets.com and NAQT.com as well as the IRC. By the 2nd week of January, on a team of 16 quiz bowlers, I made A team.

Having led my team in scoring (not trying to thump my chest, just showing my sense of confidence as a 14 year old in quiz bowl) on Brain Game against Olmsted Falls, the #1 team in the state of Ohio for that particular competition, I felt very confident and motivated to work a lot harder so one day we'd be on the left hand side of a 530 point beatdown.
Thomas Moore
Lancaster Fisher Catholic HS c/o 2014
Ohio Wesleyan University c/o 2018
User avatar
Howard
Yuna
Posts: 967
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:42 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Howard »

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
I, too, have a relatively relaxed atmosphere for practice. If someone doesn't wish to put in time and effort on their own, I don't particularly have an issue with that, either. If by complaining, you mean that they're really upset and disturbing the rest of the group, I'd feel like I needed to put a stop to that. On the other hand, if by complaining, you mean that they're simply observing that they're not improving at a significant rate or that they're still in the bottom quartile of the group of whatever, then I don't particularly have an issue with this, either.

With very little exception, the students in a high school quiz bowl group are mature enough for you to be honest with them. So, if this means reviewing their personal goals for the activity and reminding them of what it'll take to reach these goals, this is what I'd do.

A few of my students have no real goals; they simply find the activity fun. For these students, all that's really necessary is that they show up. But since they're having fun, I don't particularly have any complaints from them, either.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred
User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5646
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:
Carangoides ciliarius wrote:
drno wrote:And yes, I did feel stupid for a while in practice until I all of a sudden discovered that getting questions early was fun and I could do it more if I studied. It was very enthralling early in my quiz bowl career when I looked something up and then powered it in practice.
What do you do with the kids, then, who keep coming to practice, never study, and complain about not getting anything? I give them all the resources possible and compile many of them on our website, but it's just like they want the answers handed to them.
With that coaching attitude I can't imagine why any of your players might not take their team seriously enough.
Either you don't care or don't get at all what i'm really saying. Our practices are always fun, kids enjoy being there, and i make them as loose as possible while still trying to stick to basic "good quizbowl" and stuff... but many of them seem to be annoyed that they aren't good enough. Yet those same students do practically nothing to actually get better.

Have you, Charlie, seen high school kids with this attitude? I know you help a lot of schools around your area so i'm just curious how to alleviate this problem.
Look, you post semi-insulting things on your blog about how they're not doing well enough, and then you constantly come on the board and whine about how your team never improves enough, that even if you have fun in practice it's hard to imagine your players don't notice it and respond accordingly. Whether or not you think the internet is a vacuum, it isn't.

As for your question, yes, I have seen that. When I coach, I present players with the materials to improve, tell them if they want to get good they can do any number of things to get better, try and find what methods work best for who, and then let the team do the rest of their work. If they don't want to work to get better (and we have students on the team who don't work as hard at it as others, for sure) I don't fret, because I understand not everybody will get good at quizbowl, and not everybody will prioritize it, and it's incredibly rare to find the team that stays consistently great year after year. There are lots of teams that show up to tournaments and do relatively poorly, but as long as they are continuing to come back, enjoy playing the game, and can appreciate that the teams that are better than them got there through respectable hard work (in other words, as long as they aren't like the teams I've seen who laugh at the winners because the only reason they could imagine a team being able to get a lot of powers is if they are full of lifeless nerds), then I don't see any problem with them not being competitive.

To look at your team, in 2008 you didn't have an especially notable team, to the point where Jason Mueller of all the idiots was making fun of you. In 2009 and 2010 you made more of an effort to take your team to good quizbowl, and some of your players responded really well to it and stepped up their game to be a good playoff level team at nationals that could occasionally take on top notch team like DCC or Auburn. Now, it seems that group of players has mostly moved on, and while I assume you are promoting the same sort of focus on being an active team that prepares for good quizbowl, your current team is both less motivated and less competitive. That seems like it's just part of the natural ebb and flow of a team. As long as you continue to routinely practice, encourage your players who are motivated to do more work, and continue to take multiple teams out to tournaments (you're already way ahead of the game there), then you are fulfilling a lot of your duties as a coach. Even if you don't get a team up to par with last year's group, you are providing any future players that decide they want to be serious an opportunity to join your team and become more competitive down the line, and you are still allowing your current team the chance to spend time playing a pretty fun game the right way. I think you're expecting too much of your current group based on your team's fortunate situation over the last couple of years.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White
User avatar
Down and out in Quintana Roo
Auron
Posts: 2907
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:25 am
Location: Camden, DE
Contact:

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Thanks for putting things in a better perspective. That was helpful. It'll be interesting seeing what the goals of the non-A Team players will be next year since they've never made them clear. Perhaps we'll be more concrete when we try to set them.
Mr. Andrew Chrzanowski
Caesar Rodney High School
Camden, Delaware
CRHS '97-'01
University of Delaware '01-'05
CRHS quizbowl coach '06-'12
http://crquizbowl.edublogs.org
User avatar
Howard
Yuna
Posts: 967
Joined: Fri May 09, 2003 5:42 pm
Location: Ellicott City, MD

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by Howard »

Jeremy Gibbs Freesy Does It wrote:As for your question, yes, I have seen that. When I coach, I present players with the materials to improve, tell them if they want to get good they can do any number of things to get better, try and find what methods work best for who, and then let the team do the rest of their work. If they don't want to work to get better (and we have students on the team who don't work as hard at it as others, for sure) I don't fret, because I understand not everybody will get good at quizbowl, and not everybody will prioritize it, and it's incredibly rare to find the team that stays consistently great year after year. There are lots of teams that show up to tournaments and do relatively poorly, but as long as they are continuing to come back, enjoy playing the game, and can appreciate that the teams that are better than them got there through respectable hard work (in other words, as long as they aren't like the teams I've seen who laugh at the winners because the only reason they could imagine a team being able to get a lot of powers is if they are full of lifeless nerds), then I don't see any problem with them not being competitive.
Thanks for saying this so well, Charlie. It's also important to remember that the team isn't there for us coaches; we're there for the teams. I sometimes forgot this in my early years of coaching.
John Gilbert
Coach, Howard High School Academic Team
Ellicott City, MD

"John Gilbert is a quiz bowl god" -- leftsaidfred
ninjaluc79
Lulu
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 3:38 am

Re: "This makes me feel stupid. I don't think i'm coming back."

Post by ninjaluc79 »

Hi everyone.

I would like to comment on this statement. Well, in our country, coaches usually pick the top 10 students to become quizzers, but who will stay in the team comes down to the interest, really. IMO, this set-up looks like a double-edged sword to me. While you do have the 5-10 best students in your school, it doesn't mean they would love quizzes, and many of them would like to do it only to increase their extra-curricular points, a factor in selecting honor students in our schools. And plus some of them really suck at quizzes even if they are honor students (I have seen quiz teams who wished they were in their class Christmas party than winning quizzes for their school), and yet there are better quizzers than them but since their grades suck, chances of them getting recruited to the quiz team have pretty much been watered down.

Right now, I have come to believe that quiz is for everyone, not only honor students, but for underachievers and ordinary kids as well. This is a philosophy I want to share to future quizzers here in our country, that you don't need to be a born academic genius to become a great quizzer.
Swank diet wrote:High GPAs don't mean anything other than that they're willing to do schoolwork. It says nothing about intellectual curiosity or ability to think like a quizbowler. Thinking like a quizbowler means having a mental map of all the possibilities out there and the ability to quickly narrow them down. Sort of like the canon, but to me it's more like a "web" of interconnected facts that a player knows and can utilize. Language clues (i.e. what do the names sound like?), dates, geographic features, etc. can all be helpful in figuring out where you are on that map. Being able to quickly run through all these possibilites and engage in a kind of Bayesian updating as more of the question is read is not easy and can't always be learned (although, of course, studying helps- though more in some people than in others). And then you have to be willing to take the risk of buzzing in, which trips up many bright people as well.

It IS hard to learn, retain, and quickly recall all these facts- it's a bit like the Red Queen scenario when you have to keep constantly reviewing things to keep your mental map up-to-date and account for the changing nature of the canon and the improvement of other teams. You have to constantly invest time well beyond normal studying and that's something many people aren't willing to do. I'm not sure if it's a generational thing, but it is true that people don't like doing what makes them feel stupid and it's much harder to convince them that this is good for them to overcome rather than them just not doing quizbowl at all. I could make a Straussian comment about the decline of the Western Canon/core curriculum and the rise of overly niche "classes" (or even better, the rejection of objective facts in postmodern thought), but I don't see that at the high school level actually; AP and IB classes in particular are perfect for quizbowl-style knowledge in most cases.

Fortunately, even if people can't necessarily learn to think like a quizbowler, they don't have to if they want to be part of a quizbowl team. That's where good PR, a friendly attitude, etc. all come into the equation. But attrition happens. Quizbowl is a time suck. It's not a glamorous organization that's going to attract a wide range of people. Realistically, I'm not sure any institution (save, perhaps, Chicago) can hope for more than 8 dedicated people and maybe another 8-10 who show up occasionally and will go to a tournament or two.
Exactly.
Richmond Sayson Cabunilas

Bachelor of Science in Education, Major in Mathematics
Our Lady of Fatima University Pampanga Campus
San Fernando City, Pampanga, Philippines

No quiz club affiliation as of date

Previous affiliations:
Dolo Elementary School, Dolo, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Philippines, 1998-2001
Chevalier School, Angeles City, Philippines, 2002-2005
Cor Jesu College, Digos City, Davao del Sur, Philippines, 2007-2009
Locked