future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

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future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Mewto55555 »

Split from the southern California date claim 2012-13 --Mgmt.
DoWon.Kim wrote:Torrey Pines will reserve Feb. 23rd for the annual housewrite tournament (being written in collaboration with members from Bellarmine and Mission San Jose).
What steps are being taken to prevent this from being a disaster like the last TP+Bellarmine+Other School housewrite? Who is head-editing, and what experience do they have?
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by Auroni »

DoWon.Kim wrote:Torrey Pines will reserve Feb. 23rd for the annual housewrite tournament (being written in collaboration with members from Bellarmine and Mission San Jose).
Please don't do this.
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Who are the Bellarmine writers?

Also, Torrey Pines editors: Truthfully, how good a tournament do you think the final RM/TP product was this year?
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

TP+Bellarmine+MSJ -- after what happened with last year's set, the community has zero confidence in your ability to edit this tournament. Were it to happen, there would be individual good questions in this set -- there certainly were in RM/TP/B -- but there is, effectively, zero positive* editing experience among your three schools, and so the community has no realistic reason to expect a mirrorable set. (*I say positive experience to contrast with the negative experience of learning from the mistakes you made; learning from past mistakes may have happened, but that doesn't mean you have experience putting good editing practices to work, and that's the crucial bit.)

I don't say this lightly, because there would be a ton of good quizbowl talent combining with this collaboration. Unfortunately, the stigma from last year's set means that, unless a college player who has head edited multiple outstanding high school tournaments -- we're talking like Matt Jackson or Lily Chen (and I mean no disrespect by omission to anyone else) -- is the active, full-time head editor of this tournament, the community won't be able to point to the set and say "I have confidence this will be a good set." The market price of community confidence is staggeringly high, as the Jacksons and Chens of the quizbowl world are busy people.

The best way to move on from RM/TP/B is to kill the heritage and start anew. I implore each of the three schools here to join up with other housewrites - preferably separately, to spread the support around. It applies your talent broadly -- which is a very good thing! -- without causing a tournament director to tell interested teams "please don't download last year's set, because if you read it in full, you won't register for our tournament."

I don't speak for IMSA, but to my knowledge IMSAnity3 has not yet found a collaboration partner; there are three other sets in the 2012-13 collaboration thread that are seeking assistance, and it's not yet July, so more will arise. Don't shoot yourselves in the feet by toiling under a banner that no one else wants to hoist.
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by Coldblueberry »

For reference: the final set as of February 24th (meaning nobody changed it to try and prove you wrong):

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ncb6x7xhytvhrsr/l0uWd8SL8y

Hopefully I uploaded the correct files; Dropbox is confusing.


At risk of a ton of flaming:

I'd guess that all the rage in this thread and elsewhere is directed at the version used in the Northern Illinois mirror. We (Torrey Pines) were given a week's notice by Dan Galitsky that our set was being mirrored there ..and that week happened to be midterms as well. We took care of criticism from the Macomb mirror (which from our side sounded like it turned out fine) and cleared it. I have no idea how Galitsky communicated with the hosts but from reading the massive host-led criticism of the set, it sounds like you guys didn't read it beforehand. Either that, or Galitsky is the Billy Mays of Quizbowl. I don't know if this is common practice or not, but unless the vendor is NAQT, HSAPQ or another proven company it would probably be a good idea to take a look...

Final note: We were planning on (for?) having mirrors after our home site tournament (like in 2011) despite the forum announcement.

I don't recall hearing much (if any) criticism of our set during our site's hosting of TPOT. So yes, we believe our final product was good.
Also, MSJ did not help with last year's tournament, it was supposed to be split evenly between RM and TP; we expected around 30 bonuses from Bellarmine that did not materialize so I'm not sure if they should be implicated as "bad writers" or whatever names you spend your time tagging us with.
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split post

Post by Dominator »

Justin, I get that some of the criticism may be too much or may be directed at the wrong person or people, but saying you felt the set was acceptable to charge money for when you sent it to Illinois is inexcusable. Atrocious grammar and Wikiplagiarism aside, the sheer number of repeated answer lines, clues, and questions should have been immediately noticeable to any editor (and it is absolutely not okay to blame the TD for not noticing for you). If TP was part of the editing process, you should have known better. If TP was not part of the editing process, then here is the perfect chance for you to explain to people (Max, Charlie, Brad, etc.) what TP intends to do to make people trust this set. But the fact is that last year's Huskie Bowl at NIU was a complete disaster and 100% of the reason was the set.

If you want people to trust this next iteration, own up to the mistakes and learn from them. But understand that people will want outside verification of quality, because not only was TP a part of producing the worst quizbowl set of the year, but you continued to justify that set in your last post, and so I doubt anyone will take your word at face value.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Jason Cheng »

For what it's worth, when I played the iteration of RM/TP at Torrey Pines Open in February, I thought it was perfectly playable. There were some very specific bonuses with a couple of staggering difficulty cliffs, but those were uncommon and I don't think the set in general is too much worse than any other set I've read or played so far. At no point during the tournament was I shedding tears of frustration at how awful the set was, which is what all the criticism of RM/TP I've seen seems to be implying.

That said, TPOT II this year was only the third actual tournament I've attended and it was almost five months ago, so I might not be the best judge here. On the whole, however, I don't recall question quality negatively affecting my experience that day.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Important Bird Area »

DJCocoPuffs wrote:There were some very specific bonuses with a couple of staggering difficulty cliffs, but those were uncommon
That's not really what a difficulty cliff means; could you clarify?
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Jason Cheng »

The third parts of a couple of bonuses were hard enough that they didn't actually match the other two parts. I understand that having a hard part in bonuses is essentially required, but these were cases in which the first two parts were something like "Name this book which details the lives of the contrasting Trask and Hamilton families" and "Name the author of East of Eden" to "Now what was Henry Morgan wearing on page 25 of Cup of Gold?"

(Example completely fabricated)

What I was trying to say was that there were some specific questions where the difficulty did not match the overall difficulty level of the rest of the set. Again though, these instances were rare enough that I didn't pay too much attention to them.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Stained Diviner »

In general, it is not a good idea to expect a host to edit your tournament. If you have that expectation, it needs to be part of the agreement. If it is part of the agreement, the host can set aside the many hours it takes to do a cursory reading of a set or perhaps more. If it is not, the host probably will spent their time in other ways, such as planning a tournament and living their life.

IHSA expects hosts to look through the questions and fix problems. If you are trying to be the IHSA, congrats!

If a host does read through a tournament, they probably will do so over the course of several days, and they probably have read hundreds of sets in their lives with which to confuse it, so they probably will miss several repeats. I mean, they probably will pick up the identical questions on Somalia, temperance, Kant, voodoo, Goya, and All Quiet on the Western Front. However, reading rounds days apart, they might miss even something this completely obvious, especially if they were focused on trying to put the words in this set into sentence order. Additionally, they might miss the repeated information on Friedman, Frost, Ricardo, Bierce, Paz, Charlemagne, Teapot Dome, VSEPR, Faulkner, and alpha particles that isn't a complete word-for-word repeat. Also, there is debate on whether repeating answer lines is acceptable, so they may just ignore your repeats of Warhol, Cromwell, T Roosevelt, Florida, Queen Anne, and William the Conqueror.

Additionally, the fact that you didn't get many complaints from a certain host doesn't count for anything. Some areas are used to bad questions, and when they hear myth clues in their science questions or hear a few years mentioned in questions on leptons, those questions are still better than what some of them are used to. I'm also not sure what we are to make of the fact that none of them complained about The Key To All Mysteries being confused with The Key To All Mythologies, Eurytus being called the greatest of all centaurs, Reveries of a Solitary Walker missing the word 'a', Olduvai Gorge being called Olvudai Gorge, Polk being called the successor of Andrew Jackson, voodou being called the official religion of Haiti, The Difficulty Crossing being confused for The Difficult Crossing, etc. (I could go on much longer, or somebody could decide to make the Google Doc public, but I'll stop a little before the halfway point out of boredom.) Basically, it doesn't matter that some site didn't complain about these things. I'm also not sure what to make of the fact that they didn't complain about the bizarre underlining decisions in this set--I'm hoping they didn't complain about that because they quickly realized they should just ignore the underlining in the set. I'm also surprised that they didn't complain about the grammar, because they would complain to me if my grammar resembled what was originally in this set. I know that they did complain about Degas being called the painter of Liberty Leading the People, but it didn't help.

Anyways, the only thing anybody is saying is that you should give us a believable reason why we should expect something better this year. If you don't want to do that, then just say that you don't want to do that, and some of us will stop trying to convince you to do something that you will not do. I did look at the first few rounds you just posted, and it did have these things fixed, but hosts would like to know whether those things will be fixed before the set is used this year.
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Re: split post

Post by Coldblueberry »

Dominator wrote: saying you felt the set was acceptable to charge money for when you sent it to Illinois is inexcusable
Where did I say this? The point of my post was to explain the state of the set circa late January and explain the hate coming from people who participated at that site.
Dominator wrote: and it is absolutely not okay to blame the TD for not noticing for you
Nobody forced them to buy the set. To make a significant purchase without doing some research ... any research ... and then massively rage at the seller doesn't make sense. If they had asked Galitsky, I'm sure he would've given them access to all the packets.

I don't know if this example's perfect but: If you believe the Chevy Volt is a luxury gas-guzzling SUV...purchase it expecting it to be a luxury gas guzzling SUV...realize it is a hybrid electric sedan...and then start a grassroots campaign to nominate GM as worst company of the year for deceiving you ... you're doing it wrong.

The hosts had several sets to choose from..they chose an (according to them) "bad" version of RMTP.
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Re: split post

Post by Coldblueberry »

Dominator wrote: saying you felt the set was acceptable to charge money for when you sent it to Illinois is inexcusable.

If you want people to trust this next iteration

Are you done making assumptions and projecting your opinions/perceptions on other people?

I did not imply "it was acceptable to charge money for" nor say it explicitly.

I am also a graduating senior and am not going to be involved with the "next iteration."
Though you assume I'm posting all this to "save" this set for my personal gratification next year, I'm actually attempting to clear up misconceptions. It's not a big deal to me whether or not the set happens again next year. It is a big deal when people post uninformed BS and speculations.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Coldblueberry »

Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:In general, it is not a good idea to expect a host to edit your tournament.
Apparently I'm a really sh---y poster because people are having a hard time understanding my posts. I did not say that we expected them to edit the tournament. I said they had a choice for which set to host and chose ours. If they were going to rage so hard at the set, why not ... not choose it. <Gasp! Genius!>
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote: Additionally, the fact that you didn't get many complaints from a certain host doesn't count for anything.
Again, am I really that bad of a poster? This was our home site...meaning I did not get criticism from any of the 18 teams at our tournament nor from our team members who had not seen the set.

And your cute list of typos was fixed for our home tournament..again maybe I'm just that bad of a forum poster but I seem to recall saying that the set was supposed to be mirrored after our home site tournament and that we were unprepared for NI's mirror.
Leucippe and Clitophon wrote:
Anyways, the only thing anybody is saying is that you should give us a believable reason why we should expect something better this year... hosts would like to know whether those things will be fixed before the set is used this year.

As a graduating senior I won't really be involved next year but if someone wants to host a freaking tournament, they could take half an hour to look over the set they want to use. Or if they trust the provider...then don't.
Last edited by Coldblueberry on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Mewto55555 »

All of Justin's posts, paraphrased wrote: It's the TD's fault for thinking that we would not give them crappy questions.
Ladies and gentlemen, why not everyone should have a housewrite.


EDIT:
Coldblueberry wrote: Apparently I'm a really sh---y writer
Apparently!
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Frater Taciturnus »

Apparently I'm a really sh---y writer
Perhaps that is part of why this set was apparently really really bad.

Anyway, as to your other point of having host look over packets before using a given set, that is a question security nightmare waiting to happen.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Coldblueberry »

Mewto55555 wrote:
All of Justin's posts, paraphrased wrote: It's the TD's fault for thinking that we would not give them crappy questions.
Ladies and gentleman, why not everyone should have a housewrite.


EDIT:
Coldblueberry wrote: Apparently I'm a really sh---y writer
Apparently!
I'm not going to sink to this level of childishness but I will reiterate: NI hosts had ample time to select a set. Enough time to read through every housewrite available. And we (Torrey Pines) did not believe our questions were "crappy." Yeah, we split up editing duties with RM so TP people did not see every question. What of it? As first time writers and editors we were satisfied with our product and submitted it. In hindsight ... people can say anything.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Matt Weiner »

Well, if there's something good that's come out of this thread, it's that it's done a remarkably effective job of killing this terrible tournament.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by jonpin »

Coldblueberry wrote:I'm not going to sink to this level of childishness but I will reiterate: NI hosts had ample time to select a set. Enough time to read through every housewrite available. And we (Torrey Pines) did not believe our questions were "crappy." Yeah, we split up editing duties with RM so TP people did not see every question. What of it? As first time writers and editors we were satisfied with our product and submitted it. In hindsight ... people can say anything.
What?! So a team that's looking to mirror a housewrite should contact every other school writing such a tournament and read the entire tournament, decide which one is best, and then tell the others "Sorry, we're not using your tournament." And then all of those other tournaments can't be mirrored in that region.

Have you thought your plan through beyond the first step of "They should've known we were incompetent, therefore it's all their fault"?
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by No Electricity Required »

Coldblueberry wrote:We took care of criticism from the Macomb mirror (which from our side sounded like it turned out fine) and cleared it.
This is almost 100% false. After having discussion with people who were at the NIU mirror, I discovered that almost everything I notified you guys about was not fixed (such as the Delacroix thing, the repeats, some difficulty problems). And I'm sorry to all the people who I could have saved from the set that I didn't notice the sets problems and tell people about it, but at our tournament we didn't play any of the worst packets and the other aspects of the tournament were much farther below the acceptable level than the questions were. (It wasn't and shouldn't have been my job, but I still wish I could have done it.)
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Coldblueberry »

jonpin wrote:
What?! So a team that's looking to mirror a housewrite should contact every other school writing such a tournament and read the entire tournament, decide which one is best, and then tell the others "Sorry, we're not using your tournament." And then all of those other tournaments can't be mirrored in that region.

Have you thought your plan through beyond the first step of "They should've known we were incompetent, therefore it's all their fault"?
Do not see the logic in this. First of all, I'm not Galitsky so I still don't know how this deal was done ... but weren't the hosts college players? I don't see how one college player reading through several packets endangers question security of an HS tournament. Also... a coach reading through some packets... a team captain reading through some packets...worst case scenario is that a single player can't attend a tournament mirror. Unless you believe Quizbowl players and coaches try their hardest to cheat in local tournaments.

I said "time to read every set" to make a point.
If set A is unsatisfactory then they should move to set B. We did not believe our questions were bad. If that was their opinion, they should not have gone through with using the tournament.
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Re: Southern California Date Claim 2012-2013

Post by Coldblueberry »

No Electricity Required wrote:
Coldblueberry wrote:We took care of criticism from the Macomb mirror (which from our side sounded like it turned out fine) and cleared it.
This is almost 100% false.
As one of 8 main writers and editors, I believed we did take care of the Macomb criticism. Apologies if it is otherwise but I don't know everything the other 7 or so people know.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by jonpin »

Coldblueberry wrote:
jonpin wrote:
What?! So a team that's looking to mirror a housewrite should contact every other school writing such a tournament and read the entire tournament, decide which one is best, and then tell the others "Sorry, we're not using your tournament." And then all of those other tournaments can't be mirrored in that region.

Have you thought your plan through beyond the first step of "They should've known we were incompetent, therefore it's all their fault"?
Do not see the logic in this. First of all, I'm not Galitsky so I still don't know how this deal was done ... but weren't the hosts college players? I don't see how one college player reading through several packets endangers question security of an HS tournament. Also... a coach reading through some packets... a team captain reading through some packets...worst case scenario is that a single player can't attend a tournament mirror. Unless you believe Quizbowl players and coaches try their hardest to cheat in local tournaments.

I said "time to read every set" to make a point.
If set A is unsatisfactory then they should move to set B. We did not believe our questions were bad. If that was their opinion, they should not have gone through with using the tournament.
I didn't process it was a collegiate host; most tournaments in my area are high school-run, and that was the logic I was going off of. Second, the players who are most likely to (a) recognize good and bad quiz bowl, and (b) be director for the tournament at their school are the most dedicated students who are often among the best players.
In terms of the time frame, I am genuinely curious: how far in advance did you deliver the questions? If it's less than two weeks, you can't possibly expect that's enough time for a host to throw out your questions and scrounge up a set from someone else. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm saying it's madness to expect that to be commonplace. And if they can't find a new source, are they supposed to cancel the tournament on a week's notice because your questions are terrible?
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Mewto55555 »

Coldblueberry wrote: If set A is unsatisfactory then they should move to set B. We did not believe our questions were bad. If that was their opinion, they should not have gone through with using the tournament.
I don't think you understand how this works. The onus is not on the hosts to check that a set is good. The onus is on the question writers, who, you know, promised a set of similar quality to HSAPQ sets (hey that's your name in that post!) to actually deliver said set. Sadly, this year you didn't have St. Anselm's to bail you out, and the result was a terrible set which made many people sad and angry.

In fact, reading that post reveals a lot of things: the set was supposed to be ready by January 1st (despite all your insistings to the contrary the Northern Illinois was a rush-order, which, had that been true, you should have told them your set was a worthless pile of text and they should find something different instead of subjecting teams to what you consider a "good set"), Bellarmine pulled their name from the last association with you since it was so bad, and that Torrey Pines decided to run a terrible set even after the problems with it had been revealed -- the only reason you didn't catch flak at your home site is that South California is a young circuit not totally used to what actual good quizbowl looks like (hint: not RM+TP!)

Thank you for posting though; I'd finished looking through the RM+TP set earlier and was worried there wouldn't be any more inane drivel for me to read tonight.
Last edited by Mewto55555 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Whiter Hydra »

Coldblueberry wrote:Unless you believe Quizbowl players and coaches try their hardest to cheat in local tournaments.
That has happened way too often in Quizbowl. I can easily name at least a half-dozen examples of people cheating in Quizbowl off the top of my head.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Dominator »

Communi-Bear Silo State wrote:
Coldblueberry wrote:Unless you believe Quizbowl players and coaches try their hardest to cheat in local tournaments.
That has happened way too often in Quizbowl. I can easily name at least a half-dozen examples of people cheating in Quizbowl off the top of my head.
Yes, and the TDs were not just college students, they were IMSA assistant coaches. Having them read every set IMSA would be playing for the rest of the year to choose one for Huskie Bowl may have looked improper.
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Coldblueberry »

Mewto55555 wrote:
Coldblueberry wrote: If set A is unsatisfactory then they should move to set B. We did not believe our questions were bad. If that was their opinion, they should not have gone through with using the tournament.
I don't think you understand how this works. The onus is not on the hosts to check that a set is good. The onus is on the question writers, who, you know, promised a set of similar quality to HSAPQ sets (hey that's your name in that post!) to actually deliver said set. Sadly, this year you didn't have St. Anselm's to bail you out, and the result was a terrible set which made many people sad and angry.

In fact, reading that post reveals a lot of things: the set was supposed to be ready by January 1st (despite all your insistings to the contrary the Northern Illinois was a rush-order, which, had that been true, you should have told them your set was a worthless pile of text and they should find something different instead of subjecting teams to what you consider a "good set") reason you didn't catch flak at your home site is that South California is a young circuit not totally used to what actual good quizbowl looks like (hint: not RM+TP!)

Thank you for posting though; I'd finished looking through the RM+TP set earlier and was worried there wouldn't be any more inane drivel for me to read tonight.
<Sigh>... more misdirection and childish insults. Broken record time: We believed our set was good enough to submit at the time. So we did. Others disagreed. That's fine. Again: we believed our set worked from an apparently decent showing at Macomb and made some edits. Of course, we were planning to polish the set more before our home site tournament. TP found out about the NI mirror a week before and couldn't do much..after all we believed we had much more time. And if you had read the comments that unbiased college/HS players made about the finished set you would understand that it was perfectly fine. Now, it seems like it's past your bedtime and you're getting cranky. I'm going to go do more useful things.

user was banned for 24 hours for repeated meta-posting on other people's tone --the mgmt
Justin
Torrey Pines '12
Princeton '16

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Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

I'm an unbiased legal adult who read probably in excess of 1,000 packets over the last year, and I read 2 packets of your final product, and it was not really that good. I found multiple factual errors, and thought that far too many clues in the set were excessively difficult or poorly placed. If I were looking for a good set, I would have looked elsewhere (and in fact I did, sort of, by working to persuade Truman State to not mirror your set).
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
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TheDoctor
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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by TheDoctor »

As the host of the tournament in question, I feel like I ought to clarify a few things, particularly the misconception that we had a lot of time to look over the questions or the opportunity to switch packets when we found the set was lacking.

We chose last year's set in a hurry after the first set we were going to use (remember QuaC from Penn?) fell through, and we had very limited options when we started searching. Illinois, particularly northern Illinois, hosts a lot of tournaments and uses a lot of sets. Not much was left, but we chose this set for three reasons. First, it was only used in one other tournament in Illinois, and that tournament was far enough away to avoid team crossover. Second, that tournament (Macomb's) was scheduled for several weeks before ours, making it likely that it would be ready, played, and reedited by the time our tournament date rolled around. Third, and most importantly, this was absolutely the only set that fit those criteria.

We arranged to purchase the set and had some brief contact with an editor, who informed us that edits were being made and that we could expect the questions midway through the week before the tournament. When pressed, he delivered the questions very late on Thursday night. I should point out here that my husband and I are not college students; we're alumni and parents who run portions of the NIU Quiz Bowl Association from behind the scenes because our players have little interest in tournament organization. When the set arrived on Thursday, we had already been working for hours on other aspects of the tournament, and by the time we had time to open the packets and skim through on Friday, there was no opportunity to acquire a new set. Everything else was either not written, had closed its mirror dates, or was already being used by other Illinois tournaments. We went ahead with the tournament as planned.

Justin, it truly, truly pains me to say this, but that turned out to be a pretty bad decision. You absolutely cannot ignore the list of issues that Coach Reinstein presented upthread; there were serious problems with the set that had a distinct negative influence on the teams' experiences and the tournament's results (there are several teams that I don't expect to see return to any NIU tournament after the experience they had on these questions), and I feel that I must now, as I have done before, apologize to those who attended the Huskie Bowl for using it. If I had had a choice, and the time to discover that I should find a choice, I would have used another.

That said, I agree completely with Brad that all of the writers involved have the ability to move forward. A negative experience is simply an opportunity to learn and improve. Editing is a complicated and work-intense job, and one that takes a lot of experience to truly master. Even the best editors (and writers, for that matter), are continuously learning from their mistakes and improving their methods. Give it some time and put yourselves in a position to learn from more experienced editors this year. I'm sure we'll all be happy to see another attempt some time in the future.
Kristin Strey
SCOP
Head Coach, Winnebago High School (2014-)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-2012)
Northern Illinois University Quiz Bowl Association founder

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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by TheDoctor »

Justin wrote:TP found out about the NI mirror a week before
We received confirmation that we could use the set on 17 November 2011.
Kristin Strey
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Head Coach, Winnebago High School (2014-)
Assistant Coach, IMSA (2010-2012)
Northern Illinois University Quiz Bowl Association founder

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Re: future of the Torrey Pines housewrite

Post by DoWon.Kim »

Hi, everyone. Sorry for the late intervention - several people just notified by about this thread. I was one of the writers for the RM/TP collaboration last year, and this year I am the main writer from Torrey Pines.

First, I apologize on behalf of the writing staff last year for the careless production and poor editing of our set.

A few things I want to clarify:
1) Bellarmine had no part in the production of the RM/TP collaboration last year. They were initially going to write ~30 questions, but that did not happen, and they do not deserve any criticism about the set.
2) Justin Song (who posted several times in this thread) will NOT be writing this year, nor will Dan Galitsky be writing. Several posts on the forums and comments in the raw packets on Google Docs, clearly shows that a majority of the Wikiplagiarism occurred from RM's questions, specifically those written by Galitsky.
3) In the writing and editing process, there were several communication issues with Richard Montgomery and mirroring schools. But that doesn't serve as an excuse for the set being produced last minute.
4) I also apologize for Justin's comments. We accept full responsibility as to what happened.

Our writing staff has members from Mission San Jose, Bellarmine, and Torrey Pines. We have already started writing quite a bit of questions and have set the question deadline at Oct 15 and final deadline (editing) at the end of December. We can assure you that we will take the utmost care in the production of the set and will edit meticulously. All we need at the moment is a head editor. We do not currently have anyone experienced enough, and would greatly appreciate it if someone would volunteer to become our head editor.
DoWon Dan Kim
Torrey Pines High School '14
NAQT Writer '11 - present

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An Open Letter to Torrey Pines

Post by cvdwightw »

Dear Torrey Pines (and any other team that wants to write a tournament):

Writing a tournament is hard. Like, really hard. It is an extremely labor-intensive process. In order to write a good tournament, you absolutely need the following two people:

1. An editor-in-chief who sets the overall vision of the tournament, gives advice on answer and clue selection, and makes the final edits to the set.
2. A chief taskmaster who parcels out writing assignments, sets reasonable completion deadlines, and does whatever he or she can to ensure that all writers meet those deadlines.

If your editor-in-chief has little to no experience editing a well-received set, you will probably fail. If your chief taskmaster has little to no experience writing quality questions to deadline, you will probably fail. Given what I've seen of your proposed writing team, you will probably fail.

This is not an indictment of your abilities as writers and editors. This is an empirical observation based on years of experience, including the at least two tournaments that I personally made a disaster out of and the countless more on which I was left either partially or wholly holding the bag after other people's screwups. I'm sure you think that you'll never make the mistakes I've made. I'm sure you think that you can avoid all of the problems I've seen. You're wrong.

All experienced writers on this board can tell you the tournament(s) on which they royally messed up and either put out an inferior product or needed someone else to bail them out. It happens to everyone. And when it does happen, the worst thing you can do is arrogantly defend subpar work. I take that back. The worst thing you can do is idiotically attack the people calling you out on your subpar work. But seriously, when you majorly screw something up, all anyone in the community wants to know is what steps you are taking to minimize the chance of it happening again.

Last year, you learned what not to do if you want to write a good set to deadline. This isn't the same thing as learning what to do. There are a number of teams out there right now that have learned both how to fail and how to succeed. But they can't write their tournaments alone. They need your help to spread out the writing load just as you need theirs to shepherd a successful product to completion. Please, seek out those people. Work with them and learn how to succeed. Everyone will be better off because of it.
Dwight Wynne
socalquizbowl.org
UC Irvine 2008-2013; UCLA 2004-2007; Capistrano Valley High School 2000-2003

"It's a competition, but it's not a sport. On a scale, if football is a 10, then rowing would be a two. One would be Quiz Bowl." --Matt Birk on rowing, SI On Campus, 10/21/03

"If you were my teammate, I would have tossed your ass out the door so fast you'd be emitting Cerenkov radiation, but I'm not classy like Dwight." --Jerry

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