Quizzing – My Early Years

I have mentioned bible quizzing multiple times, and more precisely the people involved and how much I miss them.  In that spirit, and since this fall weather has got me missing them yet again, I figured it was a good excuse to tell you a bit more about this program I loved so much, and helped shaped me into who I am today.

Originally, I was going to make one post about it, but I think that would be way too much information all at once.  I’ve already created a page about quizzing, with some of the basics of how it works, so that you can hopefully understand a bit about it without me having to go into it again here. (If you haven’t read that, and want this post to make sense, you might want to check it out.  It’s pretty short and succinct, but you could also wing it and see if you can understand this without the context.  You may very well be able to; it’s hard for me to tell, since I’m from the inside, and already understand everything. 🙂 Either way, I hope you enjoy what you read!)

I am planning to make a multiple posts on this subject, although I don’t have any particular plan for how this is going to go, but plan to write about things as they come to me.  Hopefully, they will be in easier to swallow posts. 😀 I hope they aren’t too boring, but I feel like I should share this because it is so much a part of me, kind of like how college is for most people, only different, because bible quizzing had a profound spiritual impact on me.  Honestly, I cannot imagine what my life would look like, or who I would be without it.

Abbie - 2003

We started quizzing when I was about 8 years old.  Which is before my sister got the first digital camera that we really used (we had a hand-me-down from a friend that was partially broken and it didn’t get used much), and Bella was only like 6 months old.  We looked pretty much like this:

How could you not love that cute cocked head, and perfect puppy fur??? I really only included this because she's so gosh darn adorable. :)

How could you not love that cute cocked head and perfect puppy fur??? I really only included this because she’s so gosh darn adorable. 🙂

Anyway, back to the subject!  At the time, only my three older siblings were old enough to participate, and I could only watch. But I counted down the years until I was old enough.

Oddly enough, by the time I was old enough to participate, I was a little less enthusiastic about it. Part of this was because all three of my older siblings had not only memorized the entire content (which was book(s) of the Bible), but they were also quite good at the rest of it, and were some of the best quizzers in our district.  They had given our family a reputation, I was convinced I could never measure up, and so I decided to not even try.

In my first year, I “studied” the material, which was basically reading it (usually out loud) over and over again until I was familiar with it.  I memorized the required verses, and called it good.  I am not proud of the apathy in this time of my life.  It disgusts me now to think that I didn’t even try to work hard. I settled for “good enough”.  I like to think I’ve learned from that. 🙂

Me at my first quiz meet

Me at my first quiz meet

I worked a bit harder in my second year, but I was not ready to commit to actually memorizing the entire book.  I feel better about this year, because I was working harder, and I think I needed a stepping stone year to prepare me.  For the record, I do nothing quickly. 🙂 To this day, the book I studied this year is one of the ones I remember the best, even though I didn’t technically memorize it.

However, I’m not so happy with my behavior and attitude at this time, because although I was challenging myself and working harder, that meant I was doing better as well, and when our coaches suggested that I move up a level, I loudly objected. For example, at the big invitational meet of the year, where teams from all over the state, as well as from neighboring states would all come and quiz against each other, my team won first place in our division, and I placed 3rd individual.  After reporting these stats to my journal, this is what I said (I apologize for the all-caps):

“Mrs. B. (our coach) said I wouldn’t be able to be in intermediate for very much longer. 😦 I sincerely DO NOT WANT TO BE IN EXPERT!  I HATE IT!  I CAN’T GET ANY QUESTIONS!!!”  (Of course, I corrected all my spelling errors 😀 )

I liked being at the top of the division, and didn’t want to move to the bottom of the higher level.

An adorable, unrelated picture of Bella, other than the fact that it's from the same general time period. I ran into it when I was getting the other pictures, and I couldn't resist putting it in. I have so little self control when it comes to dog pictures... ;)

An adorable, unrelated picture of Bella, other than the fact that it’s from the same general time period. I ran into it when I was getting the other pictures, and I couldn’t resist putting it in. I have so little self control when it comes to dog pictures… 😉

At the beginning of my third year, I decided to challenge myself to just try to memorize whole chapters.  Even if I was only able to start, and couldn’t follow through, at least I would have tried.  I have to say, it was hard.  I had no methods established for memorizing such large portions of material, but I successfully memorized what was being covered at the first meet.

We got awards for the different levels of memorization we accomplished, but to verify that we actually had done what we claimed, we went to an official during the lunch break to have our knowledge checked.  When it came time to get my verses checked at that first meet, I had the worst case of nerves. To make matters worse, I chose a quizmaster from the Intermediate division, since I knew her; the problem was, she wasn’t used to checking people who memorized everything, so she was out of her element as well.  But I did it!  And I built myself up from there.

Our coaches worked out a deal with me and a few other girls who were in a similar situation (their daughter included 😛 ), that we could take turns being in intermediate one meet, and expert the next meet, going every other meet in each division.

By about halfway through that year, I told Hannah that I was looking forward to my next expert meet, and I was thoughtful enough to tell Mrs. B. so as well.  I give my fourteen year-old self a lot of grief, because it was not one of my favorite ages to be, but looking at it from this perspective, I was actually finally growing up!

My crooked smile has always bothered me...why is it like that???

My crooked smile has always bothered me…why is it like that here???

I see this year as the turning point in my quizzing career.  Once I accepted the challenge, and moved forward as best I could, I felt a lot better about it.  Sure I was still nervous, and there were moments of frustration, but everyone knew that I was trying my best, and they supported me in their own ways.

This was a very enlightening post to write.  I honestly did not realize what a vivid picture just this one small sliver of my quizzing experience painted of life until I wrote this all out.  (Watching the tone change in my journal was also very interesting.)  We fight things at first, but it’s when we accept it and move forward that we really start to find fulfillment.  Or something like that. 😉

Admiral - December 2007 - 001

Aaaannnd one last dog picture to give you some perspective of how old these pictures of me really are.  This is Admiral circa the time I started quizzing.  He was about nine months old. 🙂 He looks so little!

Have you ever felt like there was a point in your life where you started to grow up? 

Stay tuned for more about quizzing at some mysterious later date! 😀

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4 thoughts on “Quizzing – My Early Years

  1. I think you should cut yourself a little more slack…sometimes we just need some time to warm up to an idea, perhaps even going so far as to be in complete denial/opposition to the idea, in order to come to the realization that this is a good, beneficial activity and maybe enjoyable as well. That’s part of growing and learning. We don’t criticize or are disappointed in a flower for not having buds or in a caterpillar for not being a butterfly yet. My take is that it was just a part of the journey, many steps, as you said, leading to where you at first did not want to go (like so many of us in life…we oftentimes don’t at first want to go where God is leading/where would be best for us), but the entire process as well as the end goal changed you, grew you, matured you into the person you are today and are becoming still. Sure, at different points, you may have been able to learn more if you’d had a better attitude, but I think some reticence and resistance is to be expected when encountering huge changes. (Not to mention you kind of had a rough, bumpy introduction into the world of Expert.) You’re kind of making me want to do a posting series on my experience in quizzing…see what I learn from my adolescent self (that’s code for “I want to relive my old quizzing days and immerse myself in the memories of those relationships.” 😉)

    I am a late-bloomer, so I didn’t really start the “growing-up” process until I was 18-19. Then I started realizing there were several areas of my life I needed to work on, and I began to address those and actively striving toward maturity. A goal I will be pursuing the rest of my life. 😊

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    • Yeah, maybe you’re right. But I feel like I should have known better back then. :S Thank you for you very poetic perspective! 😉 It definitely makes me think. 🙂 ❤

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  2. I had never heard of bible quizzing until I started reading your blog and this post was really enlightening about some of the details! Just to say that 14 is a confusing age for most people (myself included) and that the important part is that you eventually started challenging yourself. I’m looking forward to more posts about quizzing (and yes, I am such a sucker for dog photos/most pictures of animals…;)

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    • Sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this, Sarah, but thank you so much for this comment! I wasn’t sure if anyone would really be interested in reading about quizzing, although I love to talk/write about it. 🙂

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