Context: Read this
This [the post] is an excellent summarization of what went on at the BCQC from the perspective of the 'oppressed' ;)) Bravo! I do think that these things matter to some extent. But yet, I do not fully agree with the main theme of Nupur's post, and would like to convey my personal point of view in this matter. I know that Nupur has been seriously interested in quizzing and a fairly regular quizzer. Therefore, whatever I want to say may not apply to her in specific, but to the issues she has mentioned in general.
I remember the first few encounters of Shrirang, George, Ramanand, et al (and even me ;)) at the BCQC. These could not easily be termed as friendly. I clearly remember Ramanand being scoffed at in his first quiz, I don't know whether 'even' he remembers it ;)) George has mostly been an adamant rogue, but an object of ridicule at times ;)) But yet, these guys continued. I think that was because quizzing happened to be one of their first loves. The quality quizzing at BCQC that we can boast about these days, is primarily becasue of a bunch of people for whom quizzing has been very dear. The minor deterrents such as the ones mentioned in Nupur's article have not bothered them to that extent, mainly because their priorities were clear.
Nupur says that "Looks like the effects of the first 2 points have reflected in the fact that there are hardly any students from COEP itself in the QC. Most are from other colleges." It perhaps makes my point more clear. People who are really interested come to BCQC from as far as VIT, AFMC, AIT. Whereas traditionally, many casual quizzers from COEP want to pass some time, since they have nothing to do at the hostel, or have some more time to spare after their Saturday lectures. I think, the idea behind the BCQC is participation of those who are interested, and not proliferation by extending courtsey to part-time enagagers in the hope that they may turn into die-hard quizzers one day.
The in-jokes, ridicule, rushing people are (however abominable ;)), a part of the game. It happens because it comes naturally to people. I don't think, people do it on purpose. I don't think the BCQC world conspires against freshers, as raggers do (which I do object to). What fun is a joke if it has to be explained to a bunch of people? For example, most of the stuff I say, I feel compelled to say because I find it funny. Ususally, only a couple of people understand it, mainly because the others are not used to that kind of humour, and/or are not familiar with certain references. But I don't think that this should keep me away from making such jokes and losing my own incentive in attending the BCQC sessions, where I know that I find some people who are on the same wavelength as me when it comes to humour. I would lose all the incentive behind the spontaneity, if I keep on explaining the jokes.
Extra efforts in terms of making a particular species comfortable are not needed, IMO, if one wants to keep an informal atmosphere. Ideally, in a scenario like the BCQC where creativity/intellect/sharpness are most important, people are best off as individuals. Group dynamics and formalities take a back-seat in such a scenario. Their taking a back-seat is what prevents notorius incidents such as the misfired Chakravyuha from happening. Ideally, no one is helped out and no one is specially cared for. People do what they want to do, they express what they want to express, they discuss quizzing paradigms openly, and even agree to disagree. If they do not like what is going around them, they either be more assertive or get the best out of it or leave the scenario. This is very natural, and to me, it means the survival of the 'dedicatest'. And this dedication is to the pursuit of personal quizzing interests and not to any collective cause.
I am not saying that casual participation is not welcome. In fact, it is more than welcome. I am merely saying that no special attempts need to be made for induction of people to increase the mass and prevent people from getting turned off. In my personal opinion, the BCQC need not be viewed as an institution that is meant to last the tests of time. We assume and hope that the BCQC needs to continue standing with the same vigour at all times. But, I think there always are ups and downs, when you look at such collectives. At times, the enthusiasm is more than what is required, even accompanied by shades of mediocrity ;) There are times when the only member that turns up on the boat-club for the Saturday session is the one-eyed cat. This would vary from batch-to-batch, people-to-people, year-to-year. IMO, this is very natural.
In fact in retrospection, IMO, it has helped to have some people 'survive the factual harrassment' at the BCQC. That's why today we have quizzers, who make trips from Mumbai on weekends to attend quizzes at the boat club. And we have some like me, who spend office time in writing long pointless articles, even if they are watching the death of a deadline in the system clock ;)))