Liking a Subject or Subjects..

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Francis the Talking France
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Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Francis the Talking France » Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:50 pm

Now I know this has probably been asked a few times prior to this thread, but how do you make yourself like certain topics? I for one love Geography & Sports (Which accounts for a decent majority of the questions I manage to answer), as well as History, while I despise literature, opera and composers. I have less hate for Art, but it's still hard for me to get into. So basically what I'm trying to ask is, how did you, personally or not personally, force yourself to learn topics that seem mundane or boring to you? Is there a "fun" or "interesting" way of learning subjects that you hate? I want to become a better player and help my team win more games by learning these crucial topics however possible.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:04 pm

The more you know about subjects you hate the more you have to base that hate on, and the quicker you can end the questions on that subject so you don't have to sit through them.

For a real answer, try to find something within a field you dislike, maybe a novel you like or a composer that you may like. Read/listen to similar things as you tentatively branch outwards.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:17 pm

Well, I think there are lots of teams that do have good players who despise learning about some categories, and the goal then is to find teammates who don't mind learning about those categories while you continue to improve at the categories you like so that your team as a whole gets that much stronger. However, I think something that hasn't been widely discussed is that for any players who make the jump from a good player to a great player, their motivational priorities change. A lot of players who are "good" (by which I mean often generally competent, have some real big gaps but are maybe especially solid at a couple subjects, wouldn't lead a field in scoring but could maybe end up getting a couple scoring awards team unless they have better teammates, maybe are on teams that couldn't keep up with any top 20 types of teams but can finish at least in the middle of most fields) get there because they are primarily motivated to learn a lot about things that interest them, and quizbowl happens to be a means to that end that also lets them have some fun playing a game, hanging out with their teammates, etc. In other words, the competitive aspect of quizbowl is not the primary motivation. However, if you are a person with a competitive spark, I think what tends to happen is that, eventually, through your own studying to improve, you start to get better and better, and your team starts to place higher and higher, and the motivation then will start to shift. Instead of quizbowl being a means to an end to learn more about things you like, I think there will hit a point where the primary motivation to play quizbowl is that, now that your team is good, it is really really fun to win lots of games, sometimes by a lot of points. Winning at quizbowl then moves to the forefront of your motivation to play, and obviously the way to win at quizbowl is to study those categories you once hated. Because your new motivation is to win, suddenly it becomes fun to learn things you have no familiarity with, and it becomes a lot easier to deal with it. In my experience in high school, this especially was what happened to me for science - I was always a horrible science player outside of what I learned in class, and I never put any effort into learning science early in my playing career because of that, but eventually I hit the point where winning was a greater motivator for me than actual interest in a subject, so I eventually did start trying to learn science, and although I never hit a point where I was particularly good at it, I did hit a point where I was able to get enough of it that it noticeably helped our team do better at every tournament. To boot, because I was forced to study something I had no interest in because I wanted to win, I now actually am a lot more interested in science, which I think ended up being the most fortunate outcome of all that forced learning.

In short, I would give it time, try to get your teammates to improve, and then see if, after some time, you don't start to get a lot more concerned with winning than with how much a subject interests you, and reorient your study methods accordingly.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Francis the Talking France » Mon Oct 04, 2010 6:33 pm

I'm very concerned about winning, don't know about the rest of my team though. I was asking this so I could be that guy who is helping my team win games by knowing a universal amount of topics. It's just the matter of learning them that I'm worried about and how much before I'm solid and also enjoying myself enough to memorize these facts and use them to my advantage frequently. My goal is to learn about the 3 subjects I hate well enough to compete by Nov. 13th, our next tournament I believe.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by TheKingInYellow » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:01 pm

When I was a freshman, I learned some basic poetry by learning general biographies of famous poets (which are nine times out of ten hilarious) then connecting the biography to the individual poems.

As an literature/myth/history players, I can tell you that I approach all three in the same way: as stories. I don't really know how other people look at history, but to me its like literature that's true (or literature is history that didn't happen). Also, reading plot summaries and books themselves is waaaay more fun and more helpful than memorizing titles.

If I were you, and wanted to learn three "hated" subjects by the time the next tournament roles around, I'd go ahead and try for three of the following four: art, music, philosophy, econ/psych. Assuming mACF distribution, these are categories which not too many people outside higher level teams are familiar with, and thus more immediately rewarding to know a little about. As an example, one of our players who occasionally filled in on the B team last year was our B teams leading scorer at the Princeton tournament after familiarizing herself with philosophy, econ, and psych.

Hope this helps
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:08 pm

Graham gives some solid advice. A lot of quizbowl can be reduced to a collection of different stories, some true and some fiction. If you get yourself in this mindset, you can like history as well as literature, mythology as well as religion, and even science to a much lesser degree.

(As an example, I went from someone who exclusively knew history in 10th grade to a player who now counts literature as one of his top 3 subjects)
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Francis the Talking France » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:19 pm

I appreciate all the suggestions thus far. Besides stories, how can I make learning these topics more fun for myself? I'd just like to know an example of a method to start off with.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Carambola! » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:05 pm

http://freerice.com is a fun art game if that's what you want to learn. Read an art book like The Annotated Mona Lisa in conjunction playing it is a good way to reinforce your art knowledge.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Unicolored Jay » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:25 pm

Find something funny or interesting in a subject you don't like. When I first studied paintings seriously, I found it easier to remember people like Jackson Pollock and Surrealists because they have some crazy/weird works and styles. Try to make jokes about the things you're studying. I think you can remember things a bit more easily if you can be like :lol: when you read about them.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Auroni » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:39 pm

Plus, a great deal of things in literature, myth, painting, history, and religion are just funny and memorable in their own right.
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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by dtaylor4 » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:46 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Plus, a great deal of things in literature, myth, painting, history, and religion are just funny and memorable in their own right.
This. If you like reading about sex, deception, murder, revenge, or war, then you'll find various myths that you will like.

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Re: Liking a Subject or Subjects..

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:19 am

Personally, I've never figured this out. I have no interest in literature and haven't read a novel since 11th grade. But I'm still a decent player, in large part because I've made up for it by learning a lot about the subjects that I do find interesting.

So even if all of the advice above doesn't work out for you, don't fret.
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