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Cliffg37
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I am so angry I could hit something. (or someone)

I took my students to a robotics competition Saturday. It was fun. My students had worked hard to make the robot that wold do what they needed it to do and how to control it to get the job done.

An error was made at the competition. We competed in one event and scored 30 points.
Our top opponents had scores of 35 and 43. That sounds like we got beat fair and square, but it was not. Turned out that our opponents had gotten three matches to add points together. We had only one.

When I figured out the error and pointed out the error to the guy running the competition, He sad basically, "Too bad, we're out of time." Now it is no longer an error, now it is cheating. Oddly his own students took a medal, even though it took them three rounds to build up to a score of 32. Clearly we would have beaten them if given a fair chance.

What did the kids learn from this.

My kids probably learned that hard work is a waste of time. To win you must cheat.

His students may have learned that their teacher thinks he has to cheat for them to win. That is if he told the kids at all.

I think my students are worth more than that.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Magnus Eisengrim
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Perhaps the lesson is that the reward is in the learning, not in the prize. Was the point of the day to win a trophy? Or to grow?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
0pus
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Wasn't time one of the criteria?

It sounds like it took you a long time to amass the 30 points and the win of the single match.

The winning strategy in the meta game may have been to have had more winning (but lower-scoring) matches.
Salguod Nairb
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They learned life isn't fair.

They learned that they shouldn't take pride in their accomplishments (from you) since they didn't win a piece of metal on a ribbon.

They learned how to lose ungraciously (from you again).

So what have you learned?
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
Mary Mowder
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I've been in a competition that was unfair and it stinks.

You all can argue that life is un-fair and people have to take pride in learning etc... that may be true but if there is an academic competition set up, it ought to be fair and people have a right to complain if it isn't.

If your Child came home from an obviously rigged competition a loser, would you tell them what you're telling Cliff, or would you tell them all that and then complain to someone.

Next time you get ripped of just take solace that life isn't fair. Don't try to change anything.

All contests have some issues but this seems a fairly large one. Who sponsored the competition Cliff?
That would seem to be a good place to start in saying why your club/class will no longer be competing.

The other teams may not have done the math. Ask the other teachers who were involved what their thoughts are on the subject. They may have some way of looking at it that had not occurred to you. If not, they may join you in asking that the system be either fixed or better explained from the outset.

After that, it is up to you whether you want to be involved.

Cliff, I admire you for teaching.

-Mary Mowder
Salguod Nairb
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Quote:
On May 15, 2017, Mary Mowder wrote:If your Child came home from an obviously rigged competition a loser, would you tell them what you're telling Cliff, or would you tell them all that and then complain to someone.



Yes, I would tell the kids what I posted above.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
Cliffg37
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Opus, you misunderstood, or I phrased it badly, or both. We were called for one 3 minute match. We got 30 points. The other competitors were called for 3 matches each. This could be written off as an over site. Not fixing it is not an over site.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Salguod Nairb
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Image


And even if we win, if we win, HAH! Even if we win! Even if we play so far above our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days; even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field; even if every man woman and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn't matter because all the really good looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk because they've got all the money! It just doesn't matter if we win or we lose. IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
Cliffg37
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Excuse me Brian, but I did NOT teach them what you accuse me of. I have not shred these feelings with them; what I shared here is me venting. With the kids I praise them for their real accomplishments, and when they did not work up to level, I push a little. Not to hard, just enough to inspire them, not to insult them. I like to think I am a good teacher. I am probably in the worst possible position to judge it, but I try my best. Just this morning I was asking the big guy for his guidance. "Am I doing enough?" "Am I doing it right?"

BTW if the other teacher who ran it, does not share with his kids like I did not, then by default he is teaching his kids the lie of value and success in a half-baked effort.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Cliffg37
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Thank you Mary.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
0pus
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OK. It seems that there was no misunderstanding here. The administration of the contest seems to have been unfair.

Was there a sponsor? Was there rules? Were they made available?

Maybe you have another teachable moment here: if there were rules and they were not applied fairly, you could discuss options with your crew of designers/engineers/operators. And maybe put options in front of them: Should they protest? Should they let it go? Should they go to the press? Should they vote never to go to that competition again (assuming there are others available)? Should they seek to prevent the offending "hosts" for hosting such a contest in the future? What would be the ramifications of any of those actions?

So, yes, you can say, "Life is unfair." But you can also present alternatives that might make it a little less unfair for those who follow.

Remember "School of Rock." Of course the audition was fixed; but those kids sure did perform one kick-a$$ rock concert!
Salguod Nairb
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Quote:
On May 15, 2017, Cliffg37 wrote: My kids probably learned that hard work is a waste of time. To win you must cheat.



Why did they probably learn this?

You didn't clarify that you gave this any kind of a positive spin.

Life isn't fair. Sometimes you have to take a hit.

You didn't state that you taught them to be proud of their accomplishment nor did you state that you taught them grace even when losing.

I'm only going by what you have posted (as are others) and consider my original post apt.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness...
Cliffg37
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OK, well sorry about the spin, or lack of. Since I have not yet seen the team since the competition, I am not sure what I will say to them. I will see them at lunch time today in about half an hour or so.

Oddly my Principal was there. She had come to support the team. While I did not hear the conversation, she did say she was raising hell with the event admin. (Honestly she is not to good at that.)

There are some things I teach that you will probably approve of...

1) Before any match, offer to shake hands with your opponent.
2) If we get beat by a better prepared robot, or more skillful driver etc, shake hands when we lose.
3. If we win, shake hands with the opponent after the match and wish them well.

and btw I love "School of Rock." Seeing it live in a few months.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
landmark
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Quote:
Oddly my Principal was there. She had come to support the team. While I did not hear the conversation, she did say she was raising hell with the event admin. (Honestly she is not to good at that.)


That sounds about right. It was an administrative snafu, so your admins should go to bat for you. That's part of their job, in theory.
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On May 15, 2017, Salguod Nairb wrote:
They learned life isn't fair.

They learned that they shouldn't take pride in their accomplishments (from you) since they didn't win a piece of metal on a ribbon.

They learned how to lose ungraciously (from you again).

So what have you learned?


Well, if life isn't being fair, should we be expected to take that "graciously?"

"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
landmark
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"Life" is neither fair nor unfair. People and systems however can be unfair. It's a tactical and strategic decision as to whether to challenge any particular unfairness. One pick's one's fights.
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On May 15, 2017, landmark wrote:
"Life" is neither fair nor unfair. People and systems however can be unfair. It's a tactical and strategic decision as to whether to challenge any particular unfairness. One pick's one's fights.


It may come down to different definitions of fairness, but I doubt it. I disagree; I think life is inherently unfair.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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I think it's more a matter of defining life. But be that as it may...

Saying that life is unfair is generally just begging the question as to what humans should do about that if true.

It's analogous to those who say that humankind will always be violent. Does that imply that there should not be a system of law?
LobowolfXXX
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Quote:
On May 15, 2017, landmark wrote:

Saying that life is unfair is generally just begging the question as to what humans should do about that if true.

It's analogous to those who say that humankind will always be violent. Does that imply that there should not be a system of law?



The fact that you don't like the presumed consequence doesn't provide any basis for denying the antecedent. Although it is on page one of the political correctness playbook. Which is definitely NOT to say that's your playbook.

Having said that, I think there are many people who believe that life is unfair and work to change that. I mean, we know there are peoplewho do work to try to make life more fair (certainly as they perceive 'fairness'); seems like by definition, they'd have to believe at the outset that it's unfair.

I don't think that saying humankind will was be violent implies there should be no reason of law, and I don't know anyone else who thinks that, either.

I *do* think that those who decide and/or care about what, exactly, the rule of law should be would do well to recognize all relevant truths.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
NYCTwister
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A life worth living is challenging. When you deal with people you often deal with unfair situations.

You and your students did great Cliff. Congratulations.

Your principal sounds like exactly the type of pit bull you need in situations like this. Let her handle it.

If she's able to correct the situation then it will all work out, and you can decide whether or not to have a conversation about the attempted cheating.

If she's unable to correct the situation then I think you have to tell them they were cheated, and that life is sometimes unfair; which I'm sure they know by now.

No matter what happens the most important thing is that they should feel proud of what they've done. It's a feeling they don't get to experience enough these days.

One of my favorite scenes from Star Trek TNG is when Captain Picard tells Data that - "It's possible to do everything right, and still lose."

If the situation is not corrected and they do find out about the cheating, then I have a feeling that it will find it's way into the social media community of your school, and that will be a whole other show.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
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