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ChrisH
03-31-2003, 10:44 AM
complain publicly about another team or individual's percieved "lack of Gracious professionalism"?

The way things are going around here, I'm pretty sure that there will be yet another thread or two about the lack of GP at one or more of the remaining Regional events in the next few days. This may happen as early as Thursday, but no later than Monday of next week. If Ventures had a catagory for it I would bet that there will be one generated by the LA regional, just because there is a large number of teams with a fair percentage of rookies, not because I think the teams there will be any less GP than anywhere else.

These threads seem to always start with a specific example of how one team hurt another team by doing something to them.

But I submit that the mere act of complaining about another team or individual's behavior in a public forum is in itself un-gracious.

Here's the Webster's dictionary on Gracious:

Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French gracieus, from Latin gratiosus enjoying favor, agreeable, from gratia
Date: 14th century
1 a obsolete : GODLY b archaic : PLEASING, ACCEPTABLE
2 a : marked by kindness and courtesy b : GRACEFUL c : marked by tact and delicacy : URBANE d : characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit, and the tasteful leisure of wealth and good breeding <gracious living>
3 : MERCIFUL, COMPASSIONATE -- used conventionally of royalty and high nobility

I would like to know how complaining about another's actions in front of thousands is: in good taste, shows generousity of spirit, is tactful, is kind , is courteous, or is godly. True graciousness hides the fault of others from all parties except those directly involved.

It is not outside the realm of gracious behavior to go to another team privately and point out that their flipping of your robot appeared deliberate and you hope it won't happen again. But broadcasting your hurt feelings to the world doesn't help you and merely offends the other party. If you want to find out more about how to approach another about an offense, perceived or otherwise I suggest you check out what Jesus had to say in the Gospel according to Matthew, chapter 18. At least it has generally worked for me. (Note: this is not intended to start a religious discussion, it is merely a reference to a more complete discussion of the issue that is readily available. A religious flame-war is the last thing we need here)

But the better course is probably to just forgive the other party and attribute the action to whatever is the best excuse you can think of. That is acting like royalty and high nobility (being merciful and compassionate).

So let's be truly gracious and see if we can stop having these threads.

ChrisH

Joe Matt
03-31-2003, 11:40 AM
I find that if you complain about another teams un-Gracious Professionalism within certain means, is not gracious. If a team is booing or shunning your team, then bring it up, but if a team dose something small and then there are 40 threads on CD about it, then its not gracious.

I agree that the whining on here is getting bad. The competition isn't the main goal behind FIRST.

tonyargote
03-31-2003, 11:51 AM
I agree, good point ChrisH.
We have to remember, Dean Keamen did say, "It will never be fair," and that's true. You just have to try your best to play with the cards you were delt. In most cases, as we have seen, complaining will do nothing but gain you sympathy.

Koko Ed
03-31-2003, 12:13 PM
One of the main purpose of messageboard is complaining. People tend to lay the spotlight on the negative and downplay the positive. I also think everyone is going overboard with "the sky is falling !" act. In the end it'll all pan out.
If teams want to work so hard to alienate themselves to other teams they will find it very hard to suceed in FIRST without the support of those other teams. It's better to be with us all than against us because we take care of our own.

Andy Baker
03-31-2003, 12:26 PM
Chris, I agree... however...

Is it unGracious to start a thread which states that other thread starters are being unGracious?

Or, better yet...

Is it unGracious of me to question your Graciousness when questioning other people's concerns about FIRST competitors who are not being very Gracious or Professional?

:)

(who said that the mentors can't be funny?)

This post is not really serious. Chris has a good point. My answer to the above two questions is "no"... but I just thought it was ironic that he brought it up.

Andy B.

Al Skierkiewicz
03-31-2003, 12:43 PM
Although there are many ways to describe it, I think that there is only one way that "gracious professionalism" can be learned. It must be done by example. If I or anyone on my team crosses the line, I would hope my good friends would privately let me know. Thanks, ahead of time, for your patience and understanding.

Jnadke
03-31-2003, 12:50 PM
*Hops on the soapbox*

I don't think teams are posting their problems here as much as to complain, but to morely "test the waters." By complaining about them complaining, you are condoning what they are complaining about. You are saying "We don't care what the other team did to you, just do it to them". Watch it, because I'm sure teams will catch on and do it to you too.

In case you haven't noticed, the game has changed significantly this year. It is tons different that any previous year. We have shoving, hitting, tipping, basically BattleBots without some of the destruction. I posted many of my thoughts to see how everyone else feels about how the game is going.

This year's game will without a doubt affect next year's game. It will go downhill from here. Many of the "intermediate veteran" teams will see that it is okay to beat another robot into the ground. Next year depending on the game we will probabaly see many more wedge designs. Who knows, I'm sure many teams will modify their robots in time for nationals to include a wedge design. It will become a game of whoever has the lowest ground clearance wins.

It is imperative that we prevent it, before teams begin to think this type of behavior is okay. FIRST is about INNOVATION. 50 different wedge designs is NOT innovation.

*Hops off the soapbox* I'm off to class, I'll extend on my thoughts later.

Redhead Jokes
03-31-2003, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by ChrisH
But the better course is probably to just forgive the other party and attribute the action to whatever is the best excuse you can think of. That is acting like royalty and high nobility (being merciful and compassionate).


That reminds me of a favorite boss of mine from years ago who taught me to assume someone means well, has good intentions, didn't intend harm...

and I learned that I don't have to "trust" everyone. I can trust myself. I can trust that no matter what happens, I can take care of myself, care for others, and continually learn to better deal with myself and those around me.

Brandon Martus
03-31-2003, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Al Skierkiewicz
... I would hope my good friends would privately let me know... I try to remove/censor posts where an individual team(s) is singled out. It doesn't happen often, thankfully. I'm guessing that most people don't want these forums to become an angry finger-pointing mess, just as I do not.

Many, many problems can be avoided if the team you have an issue with is contacted in private, as Al suggested, rather than publically calling them out, and getting external opinions on a private matter.

Kris Verdeyen
03-31-2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by Jnadke
By complaining about them complaining, you are condoning what they are complaining about. You are saying "We don't care what the other team did to you, just do it to them".

That is exactly not what he is doing. The way to correct the problem is not by complaining to the world, but by either telling the offender that the behavior is wrong, or by turning the other cheek.

Originally posted by Jnadke
In case you haven't noticed, the game has changed significantly this year. It is tons different that any previous year. We have shoving, hitting, tipping, basically BattleBots without some of the destruction.

The game is not any more of a contact sport than any other year (except perhaps 2001, which can be considered the exception that proves the rule). Every year, the game is "tons different". That's the point. Last year, we got the same chicken (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2178) little (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2221) crap (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2389) (thanks Koko Ed for the perfect metaphor) in a game that was ultimately very interesting to play and to watch, and caused no more ill will than any other game.

Originally posted by Jnadke
It will go downhill from here. Many of the "intermediate veteran" teams will see that it is okay to beat another robot into the ground. Next year depending on the game we will probably see many more wedge designs. Who knows, I'm sure many teams will modify their robots in time for nationals to include a wedge design. It will become a game of whoever has the lowest ground clearance wins.

It is imperative that we prevent it, before teams begin to think this type of behavior is okay. FIRST is about INNOVATION. 50 different wedge designs is NOT innovation.

FIRST is not necessarily about innovation. FIRST is often, to quote inventor goddess M. Krass (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=127046#post127046), "an opportunity to tackle problems that have long been solved". The drivetrains and arms and control systems that we build might be tweaked to the game, but they are not brand new. And if wedge designs are what will win the game, then wedge designs are what you will see playing the game.

Ben Mitchell
03-31-2003, 02:59 PM
I didn't like last years game, and I am not particularly fond of this year's game either. Both years are basically battlebots, as demostrated by the copious amounts of hitting, smashing, shoving, and wedge designs.

The scoring system also favors simple shoving robots - so much for the elegance of stacking. Heck, we could probably all build bulldozers, and the average scores would not change in range.

I agree with Jnadke - FIRST has definitely lost some of its spirit.

As far as posts about Gracious Professionalism posts about other teams are concerned: I don't think that holding teams accountable for their actions is " not gracious,", nor do I think that it is unprofessional. If a team acts up, it not only is another teams right, I feel it is their DUTY to warn other teams.

If a team is joining to stab me in the back, I'd want to know about it. Hiding these matters from view is not going to make them go away. If public awareness is what it takes to force teams to cease activities or attitudes not in the spirit of FIRST, then that is what should be done.