As some of you know, the NNU (Northwest) Regional quiz was this past weekend, up in Nampa Idaho! And before anything else, I just want to give a huge congratulations to everyone who quizzed, because there was some really great competition, and as always, some really great camaraderie, and sportsmanship displayed!
So today, I just wanted to go through some of the big takeaways for me, that I got from this tournament. I usually make a mental note of things I learn at all of the quizzes, but if I've ever talked with you about the four other regional tournaments I've been to, chances are I've probably had a lot to say :P. That's because it's at these quizzes, that I usually am the most focused, the most prepared for, and the most competitive (nationals are very close, though :P).
And after I explain each takeaway, I'll share with you guys a little bit of what I hope to do between now and the national tournament, in order to improve in those specific areas (if they are a more negative takeaway). It'll be fun :P.
The first few takeaways I'm going to share with you guys, are going to be competition-oriented, and the last few are going to be more on the spiritual side, so stay tuned for that! And with no further ado, lets go ahead and get started...
Number One - The need for better recall/review practice
At regionals, I was jumping on According To's both to help my team, and of course to help my own individual score (in addition to other types). At the time of the quiz, I had memorized all of 1-2 Corinthians except for the final chapter. However, for reasons that I will include in a later takeaway, I didn't end up reviewing or practicing fast recall as much as I could/should have.
For According To's, especially if you are jumping right after the reference (I've learned that this is referred to as a "blind according to"), you should ideally be able to think of the verse right off the bat, or only take up to 5 seconds to think of it. This includes thinking of the whole verse, and the correct words used in the verse.
However, since I didn't do as much/as thorough preparation as I would have liked, I often would fall into one of the three following mistakes: 1) Not being able to think of the verse at all, 2) Remembering inaccurate words or phrases, or 3) Not being able to think of the whole verse, and missing the part that included the actual question.
Plan to improve:
In the next month, I hope to solidify my knowledge of the material for jumping on According To's. I'll probably be doing this by quoting the chapters forwards and backwards, simply reading through the material, and using the Reference tool on QuizMaster to practice my thought process to a quick/quicker recall time.
Number Two - Cramming can't make up for studying like a boss all season
I really should know this... I really should :P But have I corrected this? Apparently not, or at least not completely haha!
I gotta admit, I did do a good amount of cramming for this tournament, in the 1-3 weeks before (increasing intensity as it got closer, of course LOL). And, as ashamed as I am to say it, I don't think that I would have ended up making a Regional Team if I hadn't crammed like I did. So, in that sense, cramming did help me, but here's why it was negative and detrimental...
Like I mentioned briefly earlier, I didn't have a lot of good reviewing/recall practice, and that's because I was cramming. I was trying and working so hard to make sure that I had everything (or nearly everything) memorized, that I ended up just putting everything into short-term memory - and if you fast-forward to a week after learning that material, you'll find that a lot of it is harder to reach.
That's why, with according to's and everything else, it's a really really really good idea to be learning it and practicing it and remembering it all season long, so that the tracks in your brain are easy, fast, and accurate. I didn't end up doing that this season, I regret to say.
There's not a ton that I can do, with the time we have left, to really correct this, but here's my plan anyway :P...
Plan to improve:
I'll be making a conscious effort to invest time into studying at least 1-3 hours a day, hopefully 5ish days a week. By doing this, studying more consistently, I hope to not only move all of this new knowledge to long-term memory, and improve the recall time/accuracy, but to actually get a deeper understanding of the material that we'll be quizzing over at Q2018.
Number Three - Studying for According To's actually really helps with Generals too!
This is something that I was actually a little concerned about, going into Regionals. In the past, I've actually leaned heavily on jumping on Generals. They were the question type that I started out with, they're what got me on and helped me compete on the other two Regional Teams I've had the privilege of being on, and they're just a ton of fun! :P
Because of that, and because I didn't study Generals, study for Generals, or really focus on jumping on Generals all that much this past season, I was worried that this "secondary" weapon for scoring points might prove to be unusable.
However, in my studying for According To's (mostly those last three weeks....) I involuntarily equipped myself to jump/answer well on Generals. I was very surprised with this, to say the least.
Plan to improve:
I guess this isn't really a takeaway that I need to "improve on" necessarily, because it's just a piece of information that I gained about myself, my habits, and my techniques. But, nevertheless, I guess I can say how I hope to capitalize on it. What this tells/confirms for me, is that I don't have to completely separate my studying for different question types. I know that studying for one type, also helps the other types. So I hope to really focus my attention and effort in a more specific direction, instead of spreading out my energy over several different types of studying.
Number Four - Studying in the car (avoid distractions like the plague)
Ugh... prior to leaving for Idaho for this tournament, I had been planning on studying very heavily in the car on the 16-18 hour drive. Did that happen? Not in the least!
Being distracted by audio books, napping, thinking about different projects or things, or really anything besides actually studying, somehow filled up the whole car ride there. And still, I'm really not quite sure how that happened (but that's how procrastination/distractions work most of the time -.-).
Anyways, I had kind of forgotten how hard it is to actually stay focused in the car, and I feel like I could have performed much better, and been much less nervous beforehand, if I would have studied in the car as much as I had intended.
Plan to improve:
On our next quizzing car trip, from Colorado Springs to Olathe Kansas, I hope to be intentional and mindful about my time management, and ask for accountability from those who will be riding with me. I will block out my time wisely, giving myself breaks to nap, think, or listen to audio books, and to study for the quiz we're driving to.
Number Five - Bouncing back is SO important (either from an error, or an error-out)
Man, did I have to put this to work a few times this past weekend :P. A few times, I either got an error, got two errors, or errored out. In those moments, I knew that I didn't have any time to waste on being discouraged or to lose my confidence or determination (as cleche and dumb as that sounds). Because I really didn't have the time for that - the weekend is only so long, and there's only so many quiz questions and quiz rounds to make up for it.
I had learned this to a smaller extent in my previous years, but this past weekend, it was something that I had to first re-learn, and then take a step farther than I had before. Here are a few things that are included in that:
1.) Having the courage to risk being wrong (failing) again
2.) Knowing that you can't lose your confidence over one mistake
3.) Failing doesn't make you a failure
4.) You still have the potential to succeed
Number Six - Realizing my acute need to revisit humility
I don't remember if it was in quizzing, in hanging out with other quizzers, or during one of the services this weekend - it was probably all three - but I had a realization of my huge need to revisit this. Humility.
I am, to an extent, disappointed that I have to do this, and that I got to a place where it was necessary. I realized, that in myself, and in everything that I'm doing and who I am and what I've accomplished, I have allowed myself to become prideful, arrogant, and self-confident to an extent, when I should just be working through Christ-confidence and humility because of what He's done for me.
I had forgotten that everything good in me, everything good that "I've" done, is actually just Christ in me. It has nothing to do with who I am in my flesh, but it has everything to do with how Christ has redeemed me and started to give me a new heart.
I never wanted to be that person who lets the good work that God is doing in them, turn into selfish gain, that puffs them up in worldly, carnal ways. I want to be the person who knows that everything good is from God and God alone, and that in myself I CAN DO NOTHING.
Since this just happened this last weekend, I'm obviously just starting to walk this out in my relationship with God right now, but I can already tell that it's something that He's been wanting to work on with me. I'm just a little sad that it took the regional tournament to make me realize it.
Well guys, that's just about it for today! I hope that you enjoyed hearing my takeaways from my quizzing Regionals 2018, and that they may have even inspired you to look into your takeaways from this season a little closer!
I'm SO SO SO excited for Q2018 coming up in just a few short weeks, and I know that all of us will be studying our rear-ends off trying to get as ready as possible for the stiff competition in all three divisions! I'm very much looking forward to seeing all of you wonderful, lovely people again, and to spending an entire week quizzing, worshiping, learning, playing, and doing activities with you.
AND HEY - If I haven't actually met you in person yet, or if we don't know each other very well, then come find me! I would absolutely love to meet you, and to chat for a bit!
Love you guys so much, but as you already know, God loves you so much more than I ever could. He has set you apart, put unique and special and powerful gifts, dreams, and purposes inside of you, and He has got awesome things in store for you in your future.
With that, keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Hello wonderful people!
Today we're going to be talking about something that we will hopefully be seeing a great display of, at our upcoming regional and national events; giving excellent challenges, rebuttals and appeals!
This is a topic that I really have a fun time with, because I've come to greatly enjoy this part of the competition, for several reasons.
Firstly, because I just like giving good arguments and expressing my opinion (but you probably already guessed that, since I have a blog :P). Secondly, because it gives us quizzers and adults a chance to pause the fast-paced quizzing, and really think about the meaning of the scriptures we've been studying. And thirdly, it gives the quizzers an opportunity to express and explain how God has been speaking to them through that passage this season.
And plus it's just a fun plot twist, whenever a captain stands up after a question. I think it makes quiz rounds just that much more fun, when those arguing their opinions express them correctly.
But, there's a reason why not all challenges, rebuttals, and appeals are accepted; And there are some things that we can do, in order to make the best arguments possible. So lets jump into that!
There are a few good guidelines that we should follow, when making any of these three types of arguments, so we'll go over those real quickly, and then we will dive into each of the three individually.
General guidelines for giving arguments:
If you want to convince the quiz master and the content judge to agree with you, first you have to agree with you. Try to avoid giving arguments that you personally disagree with, even though it can become necessary on occasion (for example, defending an answer given by you or one of your teammates, that you believe should be counted incorrect). In this situation, try to appear as confident as you can, and still give your best argument. It is a competition after all.
Giving challenges, rebuttals, and appeals isn't the soap box to give a sermon, or twenty-minute persuasive speech, even though it can be easy to forget if you personally feel strongly on the subject being discussed.
Try to remain as professional, calm, and collected as you can. In addition, even though you might feel like you know/understand more than the adults in the room, it's super important to try to remember that they may actually know something that you don't. Don't come across as a know-it-all, or like you're talking to little kids. Give the people in the room respect, and the benefit of the doubt, as you give your argument.
Very few things irritate me more than when someone stands up to give an argument and just starts being rude or obnoxious. Don't raise your voice, don't point at people, don't single people out, don't criticize them, their answer, or their argument.
People who do this, unless they're just obviously having a horrible day, just instantly lose my respect.
In addition, I don't think I've ever seen a quiz master accept an argument that is given in this way - so if for no other reason, be polite because it gives you a better chance at winning. But don't go too far, so that it gets weird and you look like you're trying to bribe them - Just give your argument and sit down :P.
Okay, now lets get into the fun stuff, of how we can all give friggen BOSS challenges, rebuttals, and appeals!
1. First, always ask for the question and answer! If you start giving your argument before you even know for sure what you're arguing, you probably don't have a very good chance at winning.
2. Immediately, at the beginning of your argument, quickly identify the reason you're challenging. I.e. "I think [name or he/she] should be counted incorrect/correct, because [brief explanation]". After you give this brief explanation, then you can begin your argument for it.
3. Begin putting emphasis on what you believe was the most important to the question/answer and the passage. If necessary, also hit on what you believe was unimportant or unnecessary to the question/answer/passage (including all three of these is vital, whether you are challenging by the rules, or theologically).
4. If necessary, quickly recap the overall meaning and point of the passage.
5. If any other, supporting scriptures come to mind, go ahead and include those as well.
6. And, finally, end with a strong final statement.
1. Address the points made by the other captain, and state why you disagree.
Follow steps 2-6 for challenges
1. Ask for the question and answer.
2. Explain, in the simplest and shortest way possible, why the question is invalid.
3. If it is a duplicated question, give both of the references where it is duplicated (if you know them) this speeds up the ruling, makes it easier for the quiz master and content judge, and it just furthers the point that you know what you're talking about
4. End with a strong final statement.
And that's about it!
Given, if you're new at expressing your opinion, and tactfully countering the opinions of others in a persuasive way, it will probably take a good amount of practice. Don't feel bad if you get overruled a few times! It happens to everyone, and even besides this, it really just depends on the quiz master, and how they personally interpret what you and the other captain said.
Just keep practicing, be on the lookout for opportunities to challenge for your team, other individuals, rebutting a challenge, and appealing bad questions.
I hope that this helps and encourages you to get into the debating side of quizzing, and go further in your skills in it. Love you guys, and as always, keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
New video on what;s been going on, and my plans for the future of The Bible Quizzing Journey...
Love you guys, and I'll talk to you soon - Keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
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Mallory is a sixth-year Teen Bible Quizzer originally from the Southern region, and now in the Northwest, quizzing over the book of John with her three younger siblings. <3
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