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Filler Partners

Posted: December 25th, 2014, 8:31 pm
by awesome90220
I'm almost positive that many of you have had this problem before, so here we go:
At any scioly meets with no importance, such as invitationals, there are almost always events in which one person actually does the event and one person is just supposed to occupy a seat. I usually find a way to incorporate a person into an event, but I've thought about it, and, well, I came up with nothing but maybe a sort of "obstacle" or distraction. Is there any advice that can be given to anyone in this situation?

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: December 25th, 2014, 8:51 pm
by XJcwolfyX
The proper term for these people are "Warm Bodies". And their ability to help really depends on what is on the test and what background knowledge they have.

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: December 26th, 2014, 6:56 am
by syo_astro
I haven't heard of this warm body term, but if by this you just mean having a last minute sub because of conflicts/not organizing quickly enough I've been there. In fact even at middle school regionals I was put on environmental chemistry a few days before the competition, while my partner was decided AT the competition. On the other hand in HS, I was put on Gravity Vehicle kind of last minute (but more like the month before or something, I can't remember exactly) before our invite for some reasons. For me, I try to work hard, so I tried very much to help as I could. I guess you'll argue not everyone can be like that, but with any partner, even people that aren't my partners, I do try to teach in ways to make them enjoy the event/have fun with them. Sometimes they may not have time, in which case there's not always so much to do about it. At least it's an invite, so if you have a "real partner", then maybe just focus with them. If it's a build, then you can probably get the person to help with calibration (like I had to do with Grav basically).

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: December 26th, 2014, 2:17 pm
by EastStroudsburg13
I have had this happen to me several times, usually not even because of a conflict, but because the other person genuinely had not studied prior to the competition. in these cases, what they did often depended on what the event was, but it normally consisted of me either asking them to hand me various resources (usually in Astronomy, where tests often had accompanying image sheets), bouncing ideas off of them, asking them to maybe do a calculation, or even just asking them to sharpen my pencil or something.

On occasion, I would ask these partners a question or two, asking if they knew the answer to a particular question. Usually the answer was some variation of "I have no idea" or "You'd probably know better than me." It's okay to try to get your partner involved like this, but when it becomes obvious they won't help you very much, it's just a better idea to take on the test by yourself.

Once, for Remote Sensing in my senior year at regionals, I just wound up without a partner. It actually helped in a way, because I was just able to focus and not have to worry about getting my partner involved. Since it was a station setup, sometimes it was difficult to get all the questions answered, especially for one section where there were lots of images to keep track of. However, I was able to get through it, and ended up getting first. I don't necessarily recommend going solo on an event, but if you know that having a partner with no knowledge will slow you down, you may want to consider it.

Now, my advice may not apply to all of you completely, as my high school team was not nationals-caliber like some of your teams. We didn't even make states until my senior year. But for me, it was never the end of the world to have a partner who didn't know anything about the event. They just served as a way to ask some questions to help my own thought process. They can also sometimes serve as encouragement, if you have a nice partner! (For this reason, we liked to call people in this situation "Moral Support". It was a very tangible skill, and some were better than others. Seriously.) Sure, they may get a medal they might not deserve, but who cares in the end? Maybe they wouldn't have gotten a medal otherwise, and it's nice to have one. And from then on, they can never doubt your skill in that event. ;)

So basically, to sum up, just roll with it. It's not ideal, but as long as you know what you're doing, it'll end up okay!

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: December 27th, 2014, 10:45 am
by samlan16
I often end up as a stand-in at invitationals because of my "diverse experience" (haha), and I have to admit that it is a dumb system. You basically sit around for an hour and get a free medal. If possible, try to get out of it because it is a lose-lose situation: the normal competitor gives some lazy bum a medal that he or she does not deserve, and the stand-in does not get to compete in an event that he or she has expertise in.

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: June 1st, 2015, 1:47 pm
by Fulgorid_weevil
There was a case in which person A did the whole test (and it was a rotation event too, with field guides and CS) while person B sat there, still stunned from a past event. Might of cost our school nationals...

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: June 1st, 2015, 1:50 pm
by UTF-8 U+6211 U+662F
Ooh, this thread sounds like fossils all over for me. :?

Ah, June Fools should be an official holiday (along with April Fools, May Fools, July Fools, August Fools, etc.)

Happy June Day!

Re: Filler Partners

Posted: December 6th, 2019, 9:31 pm
by eagerlearner102
EastStroudsburg13 wrote:
December 26th, 2014, 2:17 pm
I have had this happen to me several times, usually not even because of a conflict, but because the other person genuinely had not studied prior to the competition. in these cases, what they did often depended on what the event was, but it normally consisted of me either asking them to hand me various resources (usually in Astronomy, where tests often had accompanying image sheets), bouncing ideas off of them, asking them to maybe do a calculation, or even just asking them to sharpen my pencil or something.

On occasion, I would ask these partners a question or two, asking if they knew the answer to a particular question. Usually the answer was some variation of "I have no idea" or "You'd probably know better than me." It's okay to try to get your partner involved like this, but when it becomes obvious they won't help you very much, it's just a better idea to take on the test by yourself.

Once, for Remote Sensing in my senior year at regionals, I just wound up without a partner. It actually helped in a way, because I was just able to focus and not have to worry about getting my partner involved. Since it was a station setup, sometimes it was difficult to get all the questions answered, especially for one section where there were lots of images to keep track of. However, I was able to get through it, and ended up getting first. I don't necessarily recommend going solo on an event, but if you know that having a partner with no knowledge will slow you down, you may want to consider it.

Now, my advice may not apply to all of you completely, as my high school team was not nationals-caliber like some of your teams. We didn't even make states until my senior year. But for me, it was never the end of the world to have a partner who didn't know anything about the event. They just served as a way to ask some questions to help my own thought process. They can also sometimes serve as encouragement, if you have a nice partner! (For this reason, we liked to call people in this situation "Moral Support". It was a very tangible skill, and some were better than others. Seriously.) Sure, they may get a medal they might not deserve, but who cares in the end? Maybe they wouldn't have gotten a medal otherwise, and it's nice to have one. And from then on, they can never doubt your skill in that event. ;)

So basically, to sum up, just roll with it. It's not ideal, but as long as you know what you're doing, it'll end up okay!
I guess you are right. It is too much effort to worry about what my partner is doing and just live with it. I am better off probably doing everything and not wasting my time wondering if they did what I told them to do.