So, this is my last year in scioly and I just wanted to say a few things. If any nationals organizers (or people who know nationals organizers) read this, I hope you won't be offended by any of my constructive criticism. Also, if you disagree with me on anything, please let me know.
So for my events personally: All of them went really great. Not sure if I personally did great, but I can't blame the test writers if I didn't. If I did badly, well, then it's my fault.
Astronomy and Forensics were run by the same people who have been doing it for years, so everything went as expected. Astro was a long and difficult test, but quite challenging and interesting, and the people running it definitely knew what they were doing. Forensics is always a massive time crunch, but it's the way Linda Woz has been doing it her whole time here so I won't comment much either.
Big shout-out to Gary Vorwald for producing those beautiful Fossils specimens. Also, great test - the timing/organization was great, and the length/difficulty was just right for a Nationals test. Geomaps was the same - all Nationals exams, I feel, should be on the difficult side, and the writers/proctors really delivered. The maps were a bit unwieldy, but I don't think they were really in control of what sort of room they'd be getting; the fact that they managed to get such good maps for everyone was really on point - a lot of tests I've had in the past had these really terrible printouts that you couldn't even read.
All of the proctors in my events were really nice and cheerful people and really did their best to explain their tests well and make the competitors feel comfortable.
Now, on to constructive criticism: I think we all know by now that walk-in engineering is never a good idea, because things run late even with proper scheduling. So, next year, please don't try to do walk-in engineering again. It's not going to work. It's also not fair to the engineers who also have study events to go to. Also - a few events had very nitpicky proctors. Now, it's fine if they're JUST nitpicky, but many nitpicky proctors also didn't follow the rules and then didn't listen when people appealed. Not naming any names, but, you know who you are.
And the Parade of States was a little sad for the teams at the beginning. Marching out to empty seats (and the sad music...) was kind of depressing. Also, it took forever for everyone to get seated and there was this massive bottleneck in the middle as a result. Because of that, there were also long pauses between each school getting called out, and a lot of the crowd's energy was lost when the guest speakers finally came. Dr. Gay was cool; the music and the videos were really awkward. All in all, next time, please, don't have all 15 people marching. Plus, if a state has two teams each, don't try to cram all four of them into one room.
Finally, events should start at the designated time. Teams that arrive on time should not be punished because the test started early. Teams that were late because of another event that ran late should also be compensated for accordingly. Our school, fortunately, arrived early and didn't get hit for it, but other schools did and it takes away from the spirit of competition. (Not sure if an event has ever been thrown out at Nats, but if this one is, then double whammy for the teams that would have medaled.)
That being said, I think the surveys were a nice idea for next year. And overall the tournament ran smoothly. UNL has very nice facilities. So props to everyone who took the time and effort to put it together!
And that ends my super long and honest opinion.
Astro, Fossils, Forensics, Geomaps: A/A+
Engineering walk-ins: D
Parade of states: D
Event timing: B
Overall organization: C+/B-
Not trying to be mean. I am aware that I am a harsh grader.