Monday, March 22, 2004

Welcome to crossStyx , my blog on quizzing, quizzing and more quizzing. However do not be surprised if you find pieces of personal creativity, views , opinions and other things being discussed here.

The main objective of this blog is :

1.Giving info about college quizzing to the new people who will come every year. I hope that this blog will help make them the transiton between school and college quizzing.(am i charon???)

2.As a tool for online dissipation of my thoughts and comments on the various events and happenings at the quizzing circuits and indeed off it.

2. To discuss and consequentiall improve the systems of scoring in quizzing and to create a forum for improving data accumulation, assimilation and to apply it into real time.

4.To put up "A question of Fun" which will be a series of write ups on various things so that i make it a point to take up an issue and find out info/trivia on it and present it here. That i feel will be very beneficial to myself(if not to anybody else) and will probably help us keep in touch even when now the quizzing ckt is cold.

Statutory warning : anything other than this fourfold programme, of crossStyx will be deemed as a digression.(Digressions welcome )

College quizzing and getting prepared :

(recommended for the first time quizzer before entering into the quizzing quagmire that is PuneQuizzingCkt )

The objective of this article is very specific that it is mainly for the new people emerging in the Pune quizzing circuit. It is being made to guide all those first years who will take the plunge into a yearlong fiesta that the Pune quizzing circuit is. This blog is mainly meant to educate, and learn. This artcile will have details about the various quizzes what to expect and all from a very un-Quizzer point of view. It is mainly meant for those wishing to make the transition from School to the college quizzing scene. This will also provide a weekly article on myriad topics. I would strongly advice all those people who have just started quizzing to read these articles.

It must be remembered that quizzing is not about reading questions and memorizing answers. It is not about getting stuff from various websites and mugging it up or for a matter of fact being a know-it-all. It is systematic observation of everything that goes on about you and efficient storage in some dark recess of the mind. You never know when you might need it. It is a quest for digging the past and finding out about people who have been instrumental in changing the course of history. It is about knowing interesting bits of acts or events connected around people, places or civilizations - so that this knowledge can be effectively used sometime latter.

However to do this bcoz some one may ask it in a quiz is missing the whole point of quizzing.

We don't know because we want to quiz - but we quiz because we want to know.

There must be a burning passion and deep desire to find out about myriad things and believe me the joy that it gives you is amazing ! Anyways this is a very general and macroscopic overview and I am afraid that I may want to start from the beginning. I just got lost with the intensity of my thoughts - that I forgot when I attended my first quiz I didn't have a clue about what it was. So we proceed into a detail discussion into the many aspects of college quizzing.

Take for example a school question : "Who formulated the Uncertainty principle ?"
This same question can be asked in a college quiz as :
"He lies here somewhere" is rumored to be the epitaph on whose grave?*
(* question sourced from - where i read it for the first time)

Surprised of the connection between the two questions being similar. Well the similarity lies well beyond the fact that the answer to both the questions is same. It is Heisenberg the famous physicist who coined the principle of uncertainty. Now if the first question had been asked to some one then either he got the answer or not - that would have been like another fact , another entry into the endless register of theories and their inventors. The only knowledge required to answer this question is Heisenberg and the normal school quizzer may be able to answer this question. This same knowledge is required to answer the second question but I have seen many a school quizzers getting stumped even though they know that single bit of info that is required. The typical reaction of a school quizzer is to go back and look into his records of people and their epitaphs but unfortunately there is no entry under this epitaph - so he gives up. No we will consider the approach that is needed to answer such questions. Firstly we have to analyze the hint/s in the question -'somewhere' is a very uncommon term to be used on a grave and this should immdly spark of the thought chain of 'uncertainty' and hence leads us to the name Heisenberg.
Therefore trivia is very different from questioning, but only in the way that a question presented in a different way. The basic facts and the keys to unravel the mysteries behind these questions are the same but the process of finding these keys is different. Another major aspect of trivia is fun. Even though one does not know the answer to a particular question - once one knows it there is an immense feeling of joy , satisfaction. In fact trivia is no less fun than telling a joke or any other art form. For a knowledge hungry brain trivia is the staple diet which helps one to enjoy ourselves at the same time, as feeding our thirst for more. The one basic thing to remember and something which every college quizzer will tell you is that " The questions are obscure but the answers are obvious". Do not be surprised if you find yourself staring at really long questions (unlike which is the longest coastline). Remember the method is - mark out the clues, stare hard at then and try to spark of a thought chain and what you think will be probable answer. Unless you have read the question before you can never be hundred percent sure, but in trivia you are expected to guess and the most logical and reasonable guesses and many times the correct ones. On does not expect to get every question right. Infact in the eliminations of a good quiz be assured of a place in the finals if you get anywhere above 15 out of the 50 questions on offer. (very variable estimates). I think one is very clear about what exactly trivia is and expect every descent quiz(even half-descent quiz ) in the college quizzing circuit to be trivia based. Try and read a few questions of trivia from some website to get a hang of trivia. I will also try and include a basic quiz which will use school facts and twist them into trivial questions(That I harder than one thinks).

One must remember that no one gets it right the first time. I was a pretty decent school quizzer. I got the shock of my life when I went to my first college quiz and on reading the eliminations paper thought of quitting quizzing once and for all. I could neither make head or tail of the questions and quitting was the natural thing to think of. Fortunately I stayed on and once I heard the answers I really kicked myself hard. I had missed atleast 10 questions which I knew the basic fact that was required. However I went about it naively and never thought out of the box, the most essential thing to be a good quizzer. However I really enjoyed the finals( Mr. Mastermind. J.Ramanand winning as usual) That got me hooked. The first thing that one must remember is not to get over awed by the situation. It is most important to join the local quizzing club in one's college. If there isn't one form one. All one needs is a bunch of people ready to apply their brains and there you are. Make sure that the society is really active. many times it may happen that somethings may seem too obvious to many people and it may not be discussed in detail. Make sure you catch up with one of the seniors and clear the doubts. I will debate of the activities of a quiz society later.

I myself have just started quizzing for a year or so and am finally getting near making the finals. Remember it takes time - give yourself time and everything will fall into place. Just watching these events gave me so much fun that I make sure I attend most of the quizzes that happen. The main mantra is to get involved. Attend each and every quiz and get a copy of the question paper and make a record. I will try and maintain a record of all the elimination questions here and probably one can read it here. If your society is organizing a quiz make sure that you take part in every step. There are a lot of logistics that go into organizing a quiz and getting a firsthand experience is indeed enlightening. Help with the publicity and make sure that your talents are exploited to the fullest. If you are good at painting then contribute with poster designs, presentation design's etc.

It is also necessary as I said to keep one's eyes open and ears alert. Follow your passions alertly. You can never know everything about everything but there might be somethings you really like. Make sure you know everything about that and try and acquire depth of knowledge. Stay at the cinema till the end to watch the credits and note the names of the actors. Watch out for funny and enlightening snippets of knowledge that you may get
and try and read magazines, and probably evern watch TV. The bottomline is to be alert and watchful for and bit of interesting fact that may clamber out of nowhere.

As they say i have written long and deep into the night(who cares if it is only 10pm). Remeber however that these are personal experinces of a school quizzer turned college kid. It is not a great quizzer, nor an all conquering marauding champion speaking. These may be called a catalogue of my thoughts for people like me who will make the transition and it is for them that i write. I would just like to wish all of you guys an exciting journey and may you enjoy every moment of this wonderful, wonderful thing that is quizing.

(sorry to all my friends and co-quizzers whom i must have bored with this thouroughly obvious write up. However i promise you better things to come and that would include write ups on various topics to help us know more about certain things. It will also help me find out in detail about things that i have wanted to for ages)


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