• Maybe a little presumptious?

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 11/28/2012 6:32:24 PM

    Getting started!

    Although there is a well-known college tennis summer camp called Tennis is Life, maybe it's a little presumptious to say that Knowledge Bowl is Life!  However, a recent text message from a KBer said this: [This was just] "one of several things that happened in the last few days that I had heard about previously in Knowledge Bowl."  We do cover a lot of territory in practice.

    We have had a great beginning with two weeks of practice, and this week we are looking forward to getting back all the students who have been involved in the musical.  The junior high group, especially 7th and 8th grade, has been growing since the sign-up night.  Our total may be as high as 29 students right now!

    We have one meet in November (10-12 only) and two in early December for everyone.  Look for more information and results soon!

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  • Minnesota Valley Invitational at Holy Family Catholic

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 12/2/2012 2:03:42 PM

    Meet for High School only on Tuesday, November 27

    This meet was new for us, and somewhat of an experiment.  It was rather large, with 48 teams, and I learned at the coaches' meeting that it is notable for two unusual features - that the meet questions will have themes that you don't know ahead of time, and that the meal is excellent.  Although the meet started after school, it had the advantage of having a short drive, so we were back at GSL by 9:30 or so.

    Although the coach told us in the invitation that they write their own questions, the impact of that is hard to imagine ahead of time.  The themes this year included coins, birds, Hindu mythology and branches of arithmetic..  There were questions about historical coins (for instance, What do you get if you subtract six bits from a quarter eagle?  The answer is $1.75.) There were many questions about Hindu mythology, which was certainly not a strong point for any of us!  Also, questions about branches of mathematics, such as trigonometry and arithmetic.  And many questions about birds (one surprising team result was to correctly guess wood duck when told what the bird is called in Mexico.) 

    Students from other schools told me that last year's meet featured Norse mythology and shellfish.

    There was an excellent meal, including pasta, chili, and various soups, apparently provided by friends or family of Knowledge Bowl, but we don't know the details.  In any case, food was served (and eaten) relatively quickly.

    Partly because I underestimated the size an difficulty of the meet, our team composition was not optimal.  Because of this our three teams finished in the middle third of the field.  On the other hand, we have two more meets in our region in the next two weeks at which we will probably do better. 

    What I am sure about: This was an unusual and interesting start to the season.  I look forward to more bus rides and more meets!

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  • WOW! New London-Spicer Meet

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 12/8/2012 6:31:06 PM

    This meet was held on Saturday, December 1.

    What a great day!!  The weather was good, we had a great drive to NLS.  (Our bus driver slowed enough to miss TWO deer, and that is excellent in my book!)  We had entered two varsity teams, one JV team, and three junior high and almost everyone made it to the bus on time.

    There were fourteen varsity teams, and we brought two of them.  The top written score was 46, and our teams scored 43 and 38, but that put GSL 1 in room 2, and GSL 2 in room 3.  (Apparently nobody in our region excels at writtens yet this year!) 

    Both teams dominated their rooms and moved up for round 2.  GSL 1 beat ACGC and YME, 20-10-2, while GSL 2 earned 17 points against Hutch (11) and Willmar Community Christian (a new team) with 1.

    In round 2, GSL 1 earned 14 against Willmar (11) and CMCS (5) in room one.  Meanwhile, GSL 2 beat ACGC and NLS (13-12-5).  For the last two rounds GSL 1 and GSL 2 would be against each other in room one (oh yes, and Willmar was there, too.) 

    Round 3 was close, with GSL 2 squeaking out a slight lead with 12 points, Willmar 11, GSL 1.

    Round 4 was not quite as close, and Willmar won with 16 points, vs GSL 2 (13) and GSL 1 (10).  Pretty amazing.  At the end, GSL 1 earned gold, Willmar took silver, and GSL 2 finished with bronze.   So congratulations to GSL 1 - Joe, Ethan, Mark, and Chandler - AND GSL 2 - Lindsey, Cedric, Patrick, and Jacob.  WONDERFUL RESULTS!!  Final scores were GSL 1 103.5, Willmar 101, and GSL 2 97.5.

    We missed seeing a strong Hutchinson team, as many of their team are seniors with jobs.  Most other teams from the region were there, however.

    There were 15 JV teams, and GSL brought 1.  Because we have 11 students in grades 10-12, there were only three on our JV team, but Oakley, Brent and Kyle did fine! 

    The highest written score was 53.  GSL's was 49, starting the team in third place.  They stayed in room one for the whoe meet, always against Hutchinson.  Benson and NLS took turns competing against them.  Round 1 scores: GSL 17, Hutch 16, Benson 6.  Round 2: Hutch 19, GSL 14, NLS 5.  In round 3 it was GSL's turn again: GSL 16, Hutch 13, Benson 5.  Last round: GSL 20, Hutch 17, NLS 4.  In the end, Hutch had won by 2 points (total 124) while GSL got second with 123.  This was totally awesome for a team of three, and demonstrates the strength of GSL's group of 10th-12th graders. 

    (JV questions were different than varsity at this meet, so you can't compare scores.)

    The junior high competition had 27 teams or nine rooms!  GSL had three teams, but so did several other schools.  Since we have eight new junior high students, our main goal was to give every new student a good meet experience and show them what a meet was like, so we mixed everyone up. 

    The GSL teams were pretty evenly matched.  For instance, in three out of four oral rounds, GSL 1 competed against another GSL team, and not always the same one.  Also, both GSL 1 and GSL 3 made it to room 1, where teams from Willmar and Hutchinson were parked for the duration of the meet.  (GSL teams commented, "Hutch is FAST!", "Willmar is fast and good and strong, too!")

    Eventually the meet was won by Willmar with 128 points, with Hutch in second with 124.  GSL 1 took 3rd with 110.  GSL 3 was fifth with 108, and GSL 2 was 12th with 99.

    Congratulations to team 1 - Maddie, Jenna, Lindsay, Jake F and Jake V!!  Also to team 2 - Mitch, Connor, Dini, Jack, and Theresa - and to team 3 - Kaitlyn, Katie, Robin, Cora, Marisa and Rachel.  What an excellent start to the season!

    Overall, a good time was had by all, and we are looking forward to the ACGC meet on Monday, December 10.

    (Edited to add scores and correct number of teams on December 8, 2012.)

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  • ACGC meet was canceled!

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 12/12/2012 8:02:19 PM

    It wouldn't be Knowledge Bowl in Minnesota without weather, after all.

    Updated after Monday: Willmar closed.  Lots of places were two hours late, including GSL.  The meet was canceled.  ACGC hopes to reschedule, but we don't know a date yet.

    Updated at 7:05 PM on Sunday: On Sunday afternoon, ACGC let us know that the meet on Monday will start two hours later.  If Willmar closes, the meet will not be held.  (Then we will all go to class.)

    What this means for us: Since GSL will be two hours late, get to the bus as soon as you can, and we will leave as soon as everyone is there - we hope that will be by 9:50 or 10:00 AM.  If GSL is closed, we won't go.

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  • Catching Up! My Apologies

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 2/3/2013 4:05:31 PM

    They warned me when I said I would start a blog that it would be a challenge to keep it up.  I guess that "they" were right.  Good call, Jeff Jensen!

    Since Christmas break we have been to four Saturday meets, and two weekday ones for Junior High only. 

    Some quick results: Lac qui Parle Valley - January 5 - Varsity finished 2 and 3 (t) out of 13; JV 2/13; Junior High 3, 7, 18 of 25.

    Willmar - January 12 - Varsity 1 and 10/18; JV 7/16; Junior High 2, 6, 12/23

    Dawson-Boyd - January 19 - Varsity 3 and 4 of 20; JV 1 of 13; Junior High 3, 4 and 9 of 22.

    Basically, in varsity we have been learning that we are almost but not quite good enough to have two GOOD varsity teams.  At Willmar, for instance, we "packed" the team and beat both Willmar and Hutchinson, who have been finishing in the top three with us.

    At both Lac qui Parle Valley and Dawson-Boyd, we tried making two good teams, and we are just not quite as good.  If we want to eventually do well at state, this doesn't seem to be the solution.

    SO, what next?
    Little Falls "Lucky Lindy" - February 2 - Again, we try to "Pack" the team, and we finish second to an excellent Chaska Avenger team.  (How do I know they are excellent?  I have looked up some of their metro round robin scores, and I know they have won two meets in a row against over 40 metro teams.)  The results are fairly clear.  I just wish we had the strength and depth to make two great teams, but we don't quite have it.  Our second varsity team finished 20th of the 29 teams.  Our overall impression was that everyone was very fast, sometimes to the point of being ridiculous.  A former GSL Knowledge Bowler, watching round four, said that "there were some rookie mistakes" except that they weren't made by rookies, but by members of two Chaska teams who were either overconfident or just trying to be TOO fast.  (I didn't think too fast was really possible, but it was here!)

    Our JV - almost all ninth graders - finished fifth out of 11 - a good sign!

    The junior high meet is always quite small (5 teams) and we finished 1 and 3. 

    Overall, it was a great day to be a Panther!

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  • New Century Charter School - February 10

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 2/10/2013 6:45:55 PM

    New Century's meet was a late addition to the calendar, so not everyone could make it.  We took just two varsity teams and one JV team, and had a great time!  The varsity teams spent most of their time competing with Hutchinson in room one (with one round against NLS), and finished first and third.  Under normal conditions in the past, we have hated competing against our own teams, but this actually worked pretty well.  Both teams did a fantastic job!  We will admit that Willmar wasn't there, or it might have finished a little differently.  It also gave us a good chance to talk about the benefits of having two pretty good teams and whether we want to try a "two-team" or a "one-team" strategy in getting ready for subregions and regions. 

    Our JV - mostly ninth graders - finished fourth out of 11, losing to Hutch by 0.5 points.  As Ethan said later, "the SOS giveth, and the SOS taketh away."  In other words, we lost to Hutch because we had been in high rooms 0.5 points less - otherwise we were tied.

    Now we look forward to our home meet next Saturday - February 17! 

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  • GSL Home Meet - Way Past Expectations!!

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 2/16/2013 5:51:04 PM

    Can you say ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!  Every team would like to sweep their home meet, and GSL actually did it!

    We had lots of school buses in the parking lots - 14 schools sent teams to compete at our home meet.  And the school had only a couple more rooms that we could have used, so we were pretty full with 46 teams total.  In spite of the nervousness of a certain coach I could name, really everything went well in the running of the meet.

    GSL had two teams in varsity.  Upsilon started in fourth place after the written, but quickly moved up to second and then first place with amazing oral round scores of 18, 19, 22, and 22.  In the oral rounds they beat everyone who faced them, and they ended up with an amazing 123.5 points.  (Hutch was second with 92 - that's a 31.5 point spread!!)  "Yo Tengo Ir al Bano" moved from room three to two, but finished in seventh place with 78.5, still in the top half of the fifteen-team field.

    Our one team in JV, "Deltigma", finished first of 17 with 81.5, 3.5 points ahead of New London-Spicer, and even farther ahead of Willmar who earned 68.5 points.  Deltigma started in fourth, then moved up to room one.  While they didn't always win their room, they kept steadily piling up points for an excellent finish.

    There were GSL two teams in Junior High, "Samoas" and "The Nargles."  They started out with tied written scores - one in third place and one in fourth place - and after the initial round spent the final three rounds against each other in room one.  Hutch and Willmar were both against them in room one, but the GSL teams were able to keep their high scores.  Out of 14 teams in junior high, Samoas won first with 118.5, and The Nargles got second with 108.0.  Hutchinson earned third with 99.0 and Willmar finished fourth with 98.5. 

    All in all, it was astounding performance!!  Were we greedy?  Perhaps, but it was fun all the same!

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  • Challenging Chaska

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 2/24/2013 7:17:28 PM

    Saturday, February 23 - The Jan Baker Invitational at Chaska... 

    I told the Knowledge Bowlers this meet is a challenge, and it was.  There were a lot of big metro schools, who are used to stiff competition, and are smart and fast.  We never know how we will do.  The host, Chaska, probably has the best team in the metro this year from what we hear, which could easily translate into the best team in state AA by the time of the state meet.  We think of this meet as a good place to how we stack up against truly excellent competition.

    With all that in mind, GSL's Rubidium tied for third (and lost the tie-breaker to end fourth) so we were pretty happy when it was done.  Rubidium started with a second-place written, and was not able to stand up to the Chaska Avengers in round one.  So they dropped to room four, then came back up to room two for two rounds, where they were just fine.  They knew the reader in room two, too (it was me), but the reader was really trying not to let them read anything from how she was reading, so I don't think that was a big advantage.  On the other hand, it was nice for me to be able to see them compete, since I totally missed that at the home meet.  They are remarkably smart and fast and fun to watch! 

    GSL's Arsenic had to work a little harder.  Also in varsity, they ended up in the top half of the thirty teams.  Some schools didn't have any teams in the top half!

    GSL's Jarnoskians competed in the twenty-two team JV division, and finished eighth, decent for mostly ninth graders.

    This was our last Saturday meet.  We have one more invitational - Monday, 2/24, at ACGC, and then the junior high is done.  Subregionals are next Monday, March 4, at MACCRAY, then we wait two weeks for Regionals.  While I hate to count the chickens before they hatch (to use an old saying) I really hope we will be able to make it to state this year. 

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  • Playing Catch-up (again)

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 3/15/2013 8:45:13 PM

    I am missing two meets: ACGC and Subregions!

    ACGC on Monday, February 25 was fun, but not as much work as we had wished...  Our junior high did an awesome job and got first and third.  Our varsity got first and third, too!  It was amazing and fun.  This meet had originally been scheduled for early December but got postponed because of weather and finally we got it in at the end of the season instead of the beginning.

    Our subregion meet was scheduled for Monday, March 4, but it got canceled because of weather. (I am afraid there is a theme here!)  We made it up on Tuesday, March 12, at Granite Falls.  Our three teams got 3rd, 6th, and 9th, and all advanced to the regional meet. 

    The regional meet is scheduled for Monday, March 18, at MACCRAY.  The weather forecast looks bad.  I am hoping it is wrong!!!

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  • Here's hoping!

    Posted by Vicky Harris on 3/21/2013 10:55:16 AM

    Our Regional meet was scheduled for Monday, March 18.  It was canceled because of a crazy weather forecast.  I think that every school in our region ended up being at least two hours late, and most closed for the day, so the cancellation was quite reasonable, all things considered.  However, it was extremely frustrating, and we are starting to feel that the weather is out to get us!!

    The meet is rescheduled for tomorrow.  In Canby.

    Wish us well!

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