by Even Hansen, L1, Norway
The Nordic Judge Conference for the spring 2015 was held in Malmö in Sweden. This was my second time attending a Nordic Judge Conference and the third time attending a judge conference overall. The venue was located quite central in Malmö, making it easily accessible from hotels, hostels, or in my case, a friends apartment. The venue was large and included a main hall with stage and seats, a lunch room and a couple group rooms used later for the workshops.
I met up around 10 ‘o clock along with other Norwegian judges. Most of the other judges had already shown up by then. Some were chatting while others were into a game of Magic. It was easy to mingle and get known with each other.
At around 10:15, everyone was called into the main hall. Tobias Fjellander, a level 2 judge from Lund, was the co-host. The participant took their seats while the first presenter was introduced.
“Presentation of the conference and RC-hour” by Johanna Virtanen
The first seminar was presented by Johanna Virtanen, level 3 judge from Espoo and regionalcoordinator for Northern Europe. As always, Johanna was a clever and clear presenter and shows deep knowledge of her subjects. And as always, Johanna is able to spit in some silly humor into her seminars (please, never change).
The seminar was introduced with a presentation on the state of the judge region. Our region is filled with 221 judges, making it the second largest European region. Still, the region is experiencing trouble with low level 2 count, while the geographical difficulties is not making the situation easier. The seminar proceeded with covering the results of the L2 redefinition, how the PPTQs are working out in our region, regional goals, regional projects and the Code of Conduct document.
“The Malmö combat seminar” by Eskil Myrenberg
The second seminar was presented by Eskil Myrenberg, level 2 judge from Stockholm. He turned out to be a great presenter, making the subject interesting for both newer judges and the older ones.
The seminar was started by introducing the general concept of combat, walking thoroughly through each step of the combat phase. After some general discussion, we were divided up in groups and were given scenarios for judge calls in confusing board states which we had to solve. After a short round of discussion, each group was asked to give the solution to their scenario. It turned out that many of the scenarios didn’t have a very clear cut, and lead to a healthy amount of discussion.
After two seminars, it was great to finally be able to stuff our faces with food, chug some cups of coffee and experience how much more carbonated the Swedish sodas are than the Norwegian ones (sorry about the spill). Around 30 minutes later, as the food coma kicked in, we were asked to head back into the main hall for the next seminar.
“Growing Strong” by Patrick Ericsson
The third seminar was presented by Patrick Ericsson, level 3 judge from Täby. Patrick has a way of presenting like no one else. He makes it obvious that he is very comfortable speaking to an audience, and that it’s what he does for a living, being a teacher. Attending his seminars is a always big treat!
Patrick’s seminar presented the subject on growing as a judge. There are many ways to become a better judge, but a great thing to focus on is to do something you are interested in related to the judge program. These are the things that lead to the great things like, Judgecast, Judge’s Corner, The Knowledge Pool and several mobile apps and web-pages. The inspiration of this seminar is partially what lead to this report.
“Active Mentoring” by Jack Doyle
The fourth seminar was divided in two groups one presented by Kevin Moore, level 2 judge from Stockholm and one presented by Jack Doyle, level 3 judge from London. I went to Jack Doyle’s presentation, as the subject seemed more relevant to me. It was a treat to have Jack at our conference, and his way of presenting was both fun and interesting. Jack had hidden cards artworks through his presentation relevant to mentoring, teaching and learning, making it a small game.
Jack presented how to mentor other judges and how to give helpful feedback. The presentation covered areas on how to mentor during events, mentoring outside of events and writing effective reviews. A good point to take from the presentation is that a judge has the possibility to grow better and faster when mentored by someone else, rather than mentoring one self.
Workshop with several group leaders
After the fourth seminar, the workshops began. We were divided into groups of six to discuss various subjects, for instance judge candidates, handling deck-list problems, how to stay updated. After a lengthy discussion, each group was split and put together with a new group, allowing every group to have a representative present their discussion.
It was a good learning experience as we were able to share thoughts and ideas on the subjects, and I feel like I got a lot of new perspective from the workshop.
Quiz by Tobias Fjellander
Time for Quiz! This was probably the least relevant part of the conference as the questions were mostly way too hard trivia on the subject of magic and judging. For example, who knows which letters of the alphabet does not match the first letter of any charm? Even though the level of relevance was low, it was good to have a fun subject before the end of the conference.
End of the conference
Receiving our foils and packing up, we left the conference hall for dinner at a local restaurant. The mood was high all way through the meal before the Norwegian judges and I had to leave for our six hour drive back to Oslo. It was a great experience to be with that many judges and share stories and knowledge.
I would like to thank all the presenters for a great job. Lastly I would like to thank Johanna Virtanen, Tobias Fjellander and Gunnar Holmsedt for hosting this fantastic conference. I look forward to the next conference already.