Keep the Faith

Elaborate on the merits of specific tournaments or have general theoretical discussion here.
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Aaron's Rod
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Keep the Faith

Post by Aaron's Rod »

Man, is anyone else having the week that I'm having?

Taking off PACE/ACF/what-have-you affiliations to talk here, except maybe as a reporting form person...

I am heartened by the extremely robust community response in the past 24 hours to the Matt Bruce situation. (Extra warm thank yous to those of you who I personally encouraged last night to post. I warned people against slacktivism and was so pleased with the response.) There is a lot of anger and hurt and boycotts(!) and a hunger for answers in that other thread--good. Keep doing that; I am with you 100%. You should absolutely continue to hold NAQT and all other organizations (including mine!) accountable. I'm so happy that this is not just another quizbowl issue that dies over the summer. I just wanted to make a post with a different tone, especially for some of the horrified younger members of this community.

Right now, people from NAQT cannot or will not talk publicly about their exact decision process, or what's happening on the inside. I know that this is incredibly frustrating––I'm frustrated, too. And I'm certainly not here to placate anyone. But two weeks ago I was in a very similar position to the one I think NAQT is in now. I am here to say that it is enormously frustrating from the "inside" perspective as well. We were waiting on third-party meetings, and sending emails, and suffering what felt like major setbacks, and then all of the sudden everything was happening at the worst possible time (read: less than 48 hours before the largest quizbowl tournament ever was set to begin). And the entire time, you know that people want answers and are hurting and waiting on you, and it's incredibly stressful. NAQT members have the added emotional difficulty that it's a good friend of theirs who's being credibly accused of terrible things. They've done themselves and us a lot of favors by trying to answer community questions, which I appreciate.

I've been on the "inside" pushing desperately to do the right thing. Having been there, I want to remind those of us on the "outside"––Keep. The. Faith.

It is so, so hard to wait, especially on something horrible and urgent like this. But in your justified righteous anger, remember that the people who work for NAQT are not faceless monsters. They really want you to enjoy and provide a good experience for you playing quizbowl. A lot of them are parents. The misconduct reporting form was the most that I've ever worked with NAQT people behind closed doors. They made the right decisions then, and I'm optimistic they'll make all of the right decisions now. I hope you will be optimistic, too.
Last edited by Aaron's Rod on Thu May 31, 2018 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Alex D.

"You operate at a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than most human beings." —Victor Prieto
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Auks Ran Ova
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Re: Keep the Faith

Post by Auks Ran Ova »

I really appreciate this post.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
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Blackboard Monitor Vimes
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Re: Keep the Faith

Post by Blackboard Monitor Vimes »

This is an excellent post, and while NAQT needs to know that the community is frustrated, I hope subsequent posters will keep this thread in mind before considering the group as some kind of nefarious, profit-focused corporate animal with unanimous thoughts and feelings.

Have you ever found out that someone you cared about was actually the monster in your closet? I hope you haven't, but I did a while back, and I can tell you that all you want before you're able to accept that your life has changed forever is to close that door again. I was an unemployed college student on winter break at the time - I was able to basically stop existing for a few days to cope. A few of NAQT's members are full-time employees; the rest have other jobs. I can't imagine trying to process something like this while also being responsible for patients or teaching students or writing code, all the while trying to figure out how to explain to my kids why someone they've known their whole lives is suddenly gone from NCTs. These are real people dealing with something that is to them very emotional and very personal, in addition to potentially complicated legally. When I remember moments like Joel and Emily leaping into action when I had a teammate with a health crisis or Seth giving me some of his own set editing assignments when I was suddenly between jobs so that I could make enough money to eat while job-hunting, it's easy for me to trust that they and their colleagues will do the right thing as their official corporate process goes along.

I'm not trying to tell anyone not to be frustrated or angry or horrified - I am all of those things myself. But what also horrifies me is the knowledge that on the other side of NAQT's corporate wall of minimal information, there are real people suffering too.
Sam (Angelo) Luongo,
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School 2010 / UVA 2014 / VCU School of Education 2016
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The King's Flight to the Scots
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Re: Keep the Faith

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots »

Its good that Jeff and R. have communicated with us throughout the stress of the recent uproar, and it's definitely the case that it's easier to pound our feet and demand that something should be done than it is to institutionalize that change justly and thoroughly. I do think it remains concerning that these accusations were made in November, at a time when NAQT members were aware of the blog posts, and it wasn't until Charlie went public that visible action occurred. This isn't to condemn NAQT as a whole, which remains a valuable organization that is often a model for others, but to say that there are some outstanding questions that can't just be answered with faith.
Matt Bollinger
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Re: Keep the Faith

Post by CometsCoach »

For this post, I am taking off my CEO’s hat and setting it aside.

I agree wholeheartedly with what I’ve read on this post. I’m waiting for two things.

1. I truly believe that NAQT will make the correct decision on how to go forward with respect to Mr. Bruce, and i’m convinced that faith isn’t misplaced. There really isn’t any other option that allows NAQT to continue a revenue stream.

2. I am waiting to see what they plan on doing beyond Mr. Bruce; that is, what assuruances do we have that there will never be a repeat of the complete organizational failure to address this in a timely manner where students and their safety are put first? I feel that NAQT deserves every syllable of public and private excoriation it should rightly receive for this incident.

Insofar as keeping the faith, of course. Our community, and the students we serve, deserve better than the obvious decision.
Jay Winter
Iowa Quiz Bowl League Founder & CEO
Mathematics Teacher, Waukee (IA) High School
Formerly Greenville (IL) High School Head Scholastic Bowl Coach 2007-2014 and Team Illinois 2012-2014
PACE Member, 2020-Present
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