GUYS GUY GUYS -
The official 4-Year TBQJ Anniversary Celebration video!! Literally one of my favorite pieces of content, of all time. It's got EIGHT different quizzing buddies as guests, sharing their favorite quiz moment - you know what, just go ahead and watch it, my boi....enjoy!!
I will see you again soon! Love you guys so much, and don't forget to keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
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,
Man, is it just me, or did April come really fast this year? The big tournaments of the season are in sight!
For quizzers, this can be a stressful part of the year, because we're trying to be as prepared as possible. But it doesn't have to be stressful (because that never helped anyone :P).
So what we're going to be talking about today, is how we can go about our final preparation, in a practical, simple, stress-free way! Its gonna be awesome.
(Also: I know you're probably surprised that I'm posting for the first time since the beginning of last month. And I'm not going to go all into that, because I feel like these inconsistency apologies are starting to sound empty, even though they're not. All I can say is that I'm still learning - and not just about blogging or quizzing, but about life in general, and I think that's okay. So... Enjoy the post, I guess! :P)
The beginning of this final preparation, is a great time to review your what & why - You're goals, and reasons for those goals.
As you do the work that your aspirations require, you'll need to look back on these two things, in order to keep giving it your best!
In addition, if you're unmotivated, there's a good chance that you just don't know where to start. You don't know how you can "get there from here" - And that is all too common! But the good news is, is that you don't have to struggle with that. There is too much going on in life, for us to waste our time with a problem that can be fixed :P. Right?
So how do we fix it?
You're gonna need to go back to your goals. Make sure that they are specific. Next, decide when you need to have them accomplished, and how much you need to do per day or per week. When you break them down like this, it makes it less intimidating, and you'll go into it with an attitude of "Yeah, I can do this" because it's not too big!
Remember to not underestimate yourself!
Guys, everyone deals with this at one time or another, and that's okay. But if you want to succeed - no - if you want to reach your full potential, then you're gonna need to remove the limits. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (because I'm saying it as much to me as I am to you :P): Your only limits, are the ones you give yourself.
Yes, it will probably be hard. Yes, you'll want to quit, likely several times. Yes, it may require you to make sacrifices here and there. But - Yes, it will totally be worth it, when you get to reap all of the benefits from your hard work.
And these benefits, aren't just being able to lead your team to 1st place, or get 1st place individual (even though, I admit, that's a ton of fun! :P). The benefits that we reap from spending time in the Word, learning or memorizing it, and being around quality people who love God, those benefits are literally eternal.
We won't take much from this life on earth - But those are a few things that we will.
So don't put limits on yourself - it won't be easy, but it will be worth it!
And also, these limits usually come from not believing that we will be able to succeed. Yes, time does play a part, and if you've procrastinated some this season (*raises hand*), then you might have a harder time getting where you want to go. But that doesn't mean that it's not possible.
If you're there right now, this is what I want to say to you: DO NOT GIVE UP! Guys, next season is my last season, so I'm becoming increasingly aware of each opportunity I have, that I can make the best of. How I can live to the fullest, in the season that I'm in right now, in each area of my life. Have I accomplished this fully? Not a chance. But I think I'm heading in the right direction :P.
Do not give up.
If you do, you'll never know what could have happened, if you went ahead and gave it your all, right here, this season, today. What's the worst thing that could happen? You don't get first place? So what? (LOL by the way, a couple of years ago, I could not have said that :P Thank God for perspective!)
Even if worst comes to worst, and you don't meet your goals, you're still going to have a lot of experience under your belt in studying, and in jumping (because we all jump better when we've studied :P).
Execute, execute, execute, and track & congratulate yourself on your progress!
By far, the hardest part of any kind of goal or project, is actually doing the hard work. But at the same time, it's the most important part too.
At this point in the season, if we want to succeed and reach our goals, then we can't waste any more time.
Stop trying to FIND time, and start MAKING time.
Stop trying to FIND motivation, and start MAKING your own.
Getting going is the hardest part, believe me. You have to fight for momentum, to get moving forward. But guess what? Once you get started, your momentum will start working for itself. Once you start studying at the pace you need to, in order to reach your ultimate goals, it will just become easier and easier. It won't be easy, but it will get easier.
Part of this momentum is created as you track, and congratulate yourself on the progress you're making! This is literally so much friggen fun LOL. I have a poster in my room right now, that has three sections: Learn, Memorize, and According To's. Under each title, I have a checkbox for each chapter in 1-2 Corinthians.
As I color in these boxes, I have a visual representation of how far I'm going in my studying! I've been doing stuff like this for a while, but I don't think it really ever gets old :P. Satisfaction, with your work, is so rewarding.
So don't deprive yourself of it. Figure out a way to track, and celebrate your progress!
Alright guys, well that is all I have for you today. But don't worry, you can look forward to Vlog #17 coming out at 1:00PM (MTZ) this Saturday! :P
Until next time, wonderful people, keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Today is another great Monday. Lol Mondays can be rough sometimes, for sure.
But its always so refreshing to just take a step back and ask the Holy Spirit to remind me to keep all of these things in view of eternity, so that I don't get bogged down and frustrated and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things I write on my to-do list.
Taking that step back, to fall into the Father's arms, and consciously choose to place that relationship with Him first, is the only way I've ever found (and I've looked for a lot of options in the past ;)) to actually enjoy life, and the progress along journey that He's given me.
So, even if I don't get everything checked off today (or half of the things checked off), it's okay, and I can fall asleep peacefully tonight, and sleep well, because that's not where my worth comes from. I'm not measuring myself, my worth, or my success, off of my own accomplishments. No, no. Been there, done that, it's not cool.
Rather, God's been teaching me how I can stop myself whenever I hear the faintest whisper of a lie from the enemy - A whisper that tempts me to be stressed out, or that tells me that I'm no good because, "look at all you didn't accomplish today" - and how I can rebuke it, and replace it with truth right off the bat.
I feel like I've mentioned this a lot on TBQJ lately, but it's something God's teaching me about, so whatever :P - That guarding your heart is so important. And what I'm talking about here, is a big part of guarding our hearts.
The devil knows that one of the quickest ways to get us emotionally drunk and vulnerable, is to mess up how we see our identity, and our worth to God. As Americans, especially, one of the quickest routes to our identity for him, is through what we do.
That's one of the reasons why it's vital to ask and seek God for an understanding, about where our identities come from; Both the general factors (i.e. we're all His children, He loves us totally unconditionally, He's made us all with a specific and important purpose, etc.), and also the more individual and unique factors (all of the wonderful elements that He instilled in you, that make you the awesome person that you are).
When our identities are correctly focused in on, and centered around, who we are, instead of what we do (our day-to-day fleshly performance, which will never be sustainably perfect because we're human), we can move past being worried about our own self-image, and begin being enabled to focus on our God, His Kingdom, and our relationship with Him.
So that's pretty cool.
BUT ANYWAYS, I know that wasn't really an intro to what we're going to be talking about (sorry-not-sorry :P), so here's a little introduction for you...
Today we're going to be talking about "Overcoming Roadblocks", and this is an extremely vital part of quizzing, and life in general. However, that being said, I feel like it's not really discussed much, or taught, in the Christian circle or elsewhere.
So, today, I'll be sharing with you my findings from my personal, long and drawn-out experience, of making tons and tons of mistakes, and then learning how I can do this life thing - How I can run as fast as I can, and trip as little as possible ;). This is gonna be fun. Let's get into it!!
Obviously, we all have problems of some magnitude or another, when it comes to Teen Bible Quizzing, right? If we didn't, then everyone would easily be the number one quizzer at every event - but not everyone is - There is generally only one first place individual.
What's the biggest "problem" that we hear about in quizzing?
If you don't know, you either haven't been paying very much attention, or you're just surrounded by perfect quizzers ;).
It's the old, tried and true, "not studying enough", of course!
But, after considering this for a moment, when I was thinking about what I wanted to write about, earlier this week, that's actually not accurate, and I'll tell you why...
"Not studying enough" isn't a problem, it's the fruit, the result, OF a problem. See?
There are a lot of different possible roots that could produce "not studying enough", and it's not the same for everyone, because everyone's different, and they have different lives.
Here are a few root problems, that I feel are most common among quizzers:
So you see, these are all a little similar, but they all present a different obstacle to overcome - Often, we have to use slightly different tactics, in order to overcome them.
And I'm not going to go through each of these, and give you a formula for doing that for each one. You'll be more effective, and more satisfied at the end of the day, if you seek God's heart and wisdom on your problem, and learn in your heart how to execute the solution.
But, what I am going to be talking about, in the sequel of this post (probably next week, I'm thinking), is a process that the military uses, and that has a lot of Biblical truth to it:
Identify, Isolate, Eliminate.
And we'll be going in to each of those in detail and explanation next time. I'm super excited for it!
But for today, I want you to think about what we've talked about here...
You might be having trouble with something, you may have already identified what's holding you back, or hindering you from making progress. But take some time and ask God if that thing is actually the problem, or just the result of another problem. I mentioned at the beginning of this post, about the importance of guarding our hearts.
In Proverbs, it says that everything in life is affected by the condition of them. That's why, more often than not, that most of our problems are just the result of something going on in our hearts, even if we might not realize it yet.
For me, with the problem of perfectionism and frustration and stress, was just the result of being self-centered, having a messed up idea of my identity, and not knowing my God enough, so that I could trust Him with who I was and what I did. I didn't have relationship with Him, so I couldn't bring myself to trust Him with my minutes, my hours, because that would mean surrendering to Him everything that I thought gave me worth and value.
And guys, learning what my identity is in Christ, from Christ, has changed my life on all levels.
Like I said earlier, what I did/didn't do, defined who I was, and how much I was worth. That's just not true, and it's a terribly trap of the enemy, because when our focus is on ourselves, and trying to improve our own worth, we can't see Jesus almost at all. And looking to Him, is the only way we can draw on His strength, and joy, and know how much He deeply, deeply loves and cares for us.
That's an amazing break through that I pray each and every one of you receives from God, if you haven't yet, because speaking from my own journey through this, it will totally change your life.
Well, with that, dear and precious people, I hope that you have an awesome, awesome week this week, and that you're just filled with a fresh and new understanding and revelation of how loved you are by the Father, and how important you are to Him, because He would (and did) give up anything and everything, just for you.
God wouldn't do that just for some old worthless thing, would He? NO! You are a worthy, qualified, and quality creation and possession of God, and having a relationship with you, is the most important thing to Him, above everything else.
Man, our God is so good, isn't He??
I love you guys so so so much, and I'll see you THIS SUNDAY, for another awesome Newsletter! Until then, keep quizzing and living victoriously!!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Today I'm going to be talking a little bit about something that a lot of quizzers have trouble with, and that I've had trouble with, too!
It's a very common issue, something that stunts a quizzer's progress, and/or their motivation to keep working hard - and it's especially common around this time of the season.
So what is this thing we'll be talking about? Well I guess you can see from the title, that it is none other than... REVIEWING! :P Yeah, yeah, big surprise, I know. But it is actually one of the most (if not the most) important things to learn how to do, if you want to be the best quizzer that you possibly can.
But before we hop right into that, I just wanted to mention really briefly, about something that happened this past weekend, that has never happened before, in the history of TBQJ....
I posted THREE SEPARATE YOUTUBE VIDEOS in two days!
These three videos were, in order, "Vlog #12 - The Aspects of God", "My Testimony, Part 1", and finally, "My Testimony, Part 2". And I'm so excited for you guys to see them!
If you haven't seen them yet, you can check out my YouTube Channel ("Mallory Leake"), scroll down to the previous two posts, or click/tap on the "Vlogs (Season 1)" category, in the sidebar.
I really hope that you enjoyed them if you have already seen them, and that you will enjoy them, when you watch them after reading this post :P LOL
BUT ANYWAYS, lets get into the awesome topic, of REVIEWING.....
First of all, if you didn't know, reviewing is really important. Often, it's the single stepping stone between 20th place, and placing in the top ten, or even the top five (or higher ;)).
Also, it saves you a TON of time, especially if you're memorizing any amount of the material. Why? Because you won't have to go through the process of re-memorizing a bunch of stuff. And that's usually not much fun :P.
And for something that important, and something that vital to your success as a quizzer, it's actually pretty darn simple, and easy! So I'm going to be showing you a few different ways that you can learn how to review like a pro in no time.
Kinds of review:
Basically, a quizzer learns the material in one of two ways; memorized, or learned-in-essence. This generally depends both on how competitive the quizzer is, and what question type(s) they specialize in (and sometimes, even what kind of studying they've done in past years, and what kind of studying they learned to do first, when they first started quizzing).
Here are a few of the main ways that you can actually go about reviewing the material, for each of these ways:
Three extra tips about reviewing:
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I think it was 10 Result-Focused Study Hacks, a super fun post by the way (:P), doing recall/review FIRST is extremely effective - probably a lot more than you think.
It's like doing cardio first thing in the morning, before breakfast - it's really hard and it sucks, but you'll be surprised by how big, and rewarding, the results will be.
Doing review, especially recall practice, when you haven't seen/thought about the material since the previous day (or a few days ago :P), then your brain will have to think a lot harder, and eventually, your recall speed and accuracy will be really, really good!
Learning it in your spirit, and learning it in regard to how it actually pertains to you and your life, and the people around you, is the absolute best way that you can go about really remembering something. Why? Because it will mean something to you on a whole different level.
If we study our quiz material, whatever it might be, like a textbook in school, then it will only penetrate our intellectual side. But, if we look at it, study it, and quiz over it like it's supposed to be (as the Word of God), then it will penetrate into our spirit. And only then, will God be able to teach us about something that's in our quiz material - and only then, will quizzing begin to have an affect on the rest of our lives.
There's no need to have a whole, elaborate reviewing plan - that just gets confusing and discouraging, most of the time :P. Instead, we can go about it in a super simple, straight forward way, and still reap a ton of great results from it!
Here's a way that you can do that:
Take the material that you're studying right now, and count how many chapters you have in total. Next, take the total number of days THIS WEEK that you'll be able to study (be real, too - don't set unrealistic expectations or goals, if you have a super busy week! :)). Next, figure out how many chapters you'll be able to, and want to, work on really reviewing this week (remember to take into consideration any quizzes/tournaments you may have coming up!).
And finally, separate that many chapters into each of your studying days this week, and WRITE IT DOWN! You don't want to forget your plan, after all of the hard work you just did, to figure it out ;).
But of course, a plan is always just a plan, unless you put in the dirty work, and get it done during the week. You can do it!!!
Well, my friends, that is the post for today. I hope that this helps you in your quizzing journey, and that you are now better equipped to study and review more effectively, this week, this season, and in the seasons yet to be! :P
Don't forget to check out those new YouTube videos I just posted a few days ago, if you haven't seen them yet, and I will see you guys in our TBQJ Newsletter this Sunday, and then back again next Monday, for another exciting "God-centered, quizzing-oriented" blog post!
Keep quizzing and living victoriously, because it is your birthright that no one can take away. You're a beautiful, beloved and treasured, perfect, holy, strong, and courageous child of the Most High King of Glory, today!! I love you guys, but God loves you so much incredibly more <3.
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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