Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

This forum is for discussing tournament formats, question styles, strategy, and such.
Post Reply
User avatar
Carlos Be
Wakka
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:34 pm

Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by Carlos Be »

In general an entire post about a specific clue placement would be absurd. However, cluing "Quiet Night Thought" too early is an epidemic that must be stopped.

Any line from "Quiet Night Thought" should not be in power at any difficulty above HS regs. For the vast majority of people who play quiz bowl, "Quiet Night Thought" is Li Bai's most famous poem. For the small amount of people who know secondary Pound poems more than the most memorized poem in the entire world, "Drinking Alone by Moonlight" might be more famous. Any other poem is certainly harder than "Quiet Night Thought" and should come before it in any tossup on Li Bai!

EXAMPLES:
PACE 2018 had a "Quiet Night Thought" clue in power for Li Bai that was widely criticized as "way too early."
PACE 2019 had "Quiet Night Thought" near the end of power, which was similarly criticized but it's a step in the right direction.
Sun God had "Quiet Night Thought" near the end of power for "moon;" (I believe) it was later moved out of power because too many people powered the tossup.
Countless hs regs+ sets clue "Quiet Night Thought" near second line, leading to enormous buzzer races in loads of rooms.
Justine French
UCLA

Packet submission must be destroyed.
User avatar
a named reaction
Rikku
Posts: 348
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:16 am

Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by a named reaction »

wow your so good at literature

edit so this doesn't get FZ'd: I strongly believe that you and whoever you're getting anecdotal information from overestimate how much Chinese poetry most high school quizbowlers know.
Eric Wolfsberg
Bethlehem Central High School 2016
University of Delaware 2020
Stanford 2025 or whatever
User avatar
nycaqb1999
Lulu
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:40 pm
Location: New York, NY + Middletown, CT

Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by nycaqb1999 »

Similarly, putting "A willow of crystal/a poplar of water" in power for Paz has been almost universally criticized whenever it happens, but continues to occur. The most famous quote from a poet's most famous poem should indeed not be in power, as Justin says with Li Bai.
Maximilian Shatan
Founder and Captain,
Bard High School Early College Manhattan '18
Captain,
Wesleyan University '22

"beep...beep...beep" - Sputnik I
User avatar
Oh No You Didn't
Yuna
Posts: 916
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 10:03 am

Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

Milhouse wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:45 pm wow your so good at literature

edit so this doesn't get FZ'd: I strongly believe that you and whoever you're getting anecdotal information from overestimate how much Chinese poetry most high school quizbowlers know.
So I think the point of concern here is that it is likely that the majority of quizbowl players who first encounter Li Bai in a natural manner are Chinese Americans who commonly in fact have to memorize the poem in mention. It always struck me as the most famous Li Bai poem (at least in the context of someone who is Chinese American).
Andrew Wang
Illinois 2016
User avatar
vinteuil
Auron
Posts: 1455
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by vinteuil »

Justin is right, and so is Max, at least in terms of how those tossups inevitably play out.

As far as I can tell, the root of the problem in both cases is a recognition that a topic is important enough to keep coming up, coupled with a lack of any collective sense of what the "famous but not-yet-quizbowl-famous" clues might be. So, even easy clues have to stay earlier, due to a lack of confidence that newer clues, as they gain quizbowl exposure, will be just as buzzable to people coming in with knowledge from outside of quizbowl.

I can't offer any guidance on Paz's poetry,* but for Tang poetry (where a handful of Du Fu, Li Bai, and Wang Wei poems have been completely beaten to death while their almost-as-famous counterparts never get clued), there's a straight-up canonical list of (almost all of) the most famous poems, i.e. the 300 Tang Poems collection. (Take the translations with a grain of salt, but you can even find the whole collection online here.)

Obviously I'm not saying "this should all be fair game"—nobody needs to be tossing up Qiwu Qian or anything. But the most-represented poets and the selections from the most famous authors should make it pretty clear what the famous and underasked material is.

*Maybe keep writing more about his prose? The Sor Juana biography is still pretty widely discussed?
JR
TeacherJonB
Lulu
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:22 pm

Re: Stop putting "Quiet Night Thought" in power for Li Bai

Post by TeacherJonB »

I don't think I've ever heard of Li Bai or any of those other Tang poets. In the last couple years I've been coaching, I don't recall a question about ANY Asian poetry other than the Vedas (do those count?). I wouldn't be bothered at all if those lines showed up in the power section.

This issue is indicative of the specific knowledge Quizbowl requires and the inevitable knowledge gaps that occur. My high school does offer Mandarin classes, but I'm pretty sure none of my players are enrolled in them. My players (all 6 of them) just have other interests. We'd have to accept the loss of that question based purely on our own lack of knowledge.
Jon Berry
HS team sponsor
UT-Dallas '03
UNT '05, '11
Post Reply