For Quaker Bowl we were split up into different teams namely put together by Mr. Williamson based on level of skill and type of knowledge. To be completely honest, I was mediocre are Quiz Bowl and it came to a shock to find out I was on Team A, the pro team. I asked Mr. Williamson why i was on the team and what area of knowledge I was assigned. He whispered to me, "Your our wild card." I was freaked out.
We head out for the first match against some catholic school and I had to sit out for the first round. We were behind for a bit and we were 5 points behind them when Mr. Williamson traded Nikhil out for me. I had no idea what to do because I was so nervous. The questions were strange to me. Some like "If x is this, then that is ....." questions. We knew to leave that to Alex but soon if came down to a question for the bonus points and the question was "Who started the Harper's Ferry revolt?" Everyone looked to me and I asked out "John Brown?" "Correct" said the official. and the bonus questions were all movies that Anne Hathaway was in. The Score was tied and the final question was a question I knew. "Who wrote Thus Spoke Zarasthustra?" I called out "Nietzsche!" and we won the match.
The day continued in this fashion, switching in and out every round, won a few, lost a few. But by the end of the day we were so in sync with each other that when a question came along that we didn't know, we knew who to ask. Overall, from this experience I think I learned what I knew and what I didn't. I knew philosophy and the occasional pop-culture question, but when it came to math or science, I knew who to turn to.
This is where I think I really flourished as a quiz bowl member. Grimsley High had been participating in The Brain Game, which is a televised game show with questions and such. We had to try out for the team and I was really disappointed since I thought I wouldn't make the 3 person team since I wasn't the best person on the team. I studied current events anyway since the Brain Game is made up of current events as well as other academic topics.
On the first day of tryouts, we sat in Mr. Williamson's room and set up the screen to see the screen for questions. The first section for pop culture came on and I had no idea for most of the questions. Then there was the one question that changed it all. "This marvel character whose secret identity is named after his charismatic qualities..." and I blurted out "IRONMAN!" I got the question right and then that marked the end of tryouts. The next 3 sections were dominated by me. I nailed the crossword in a coffin, murdered the rhymes section, and decimated the literature sections. over 70% of the questions were answered by me. I was really excited.
The next day of tryouts I was sick and the answers came slow to me and I only got to answer one question. Since I had answered so many questions the last game, and the scores were done by averages of time and percentage of questions answered, I placed 4th in the runnings, which was enough to place in the competition. I was the back-up
We went to the competition early in the morning after a full night of studying, I was in charge of asking Nikhil questions on Mississippi since I knew a fair amount about it. We arrived at the news station and prepared for the competition. We went through the first pop culture section and actually failed miserably since Alex would answer before the question was over and we would lose points. We were actually down for most of the game and I wasn't allowed to participate, but then it happened. The part we got to study for. We blew the other teams out of the water. Nikhil especially, and I had taught him the major important facts about Mississippi, such as how Elvis was from there. We got to the final question and we needed one more point to win. we had tied the whole game up. Going from negative points, to tieing up the game in the 300's. And the question was "Elvis Presley was from what major..." Nikhil busted in and said "Mississippi" but they were looking for the city, which was Tupelo.
We had lost the game but had created the closest game people had seen in years, so when we got the wild card invite to the finals, we were stoked. But i couldn't make the competition due to a little thing called Model United Nations.
I think in general, I learned the importance of studying for your topics and that knowing your strengths and weakness' and deciding to eliminate your weaknesses takes a considerable amount of effort. I never thought of myself as a academically gifted person, but thanks to this, I learned that even a child can become a success in anything if they apply themselves.
Action- I attended and participated in competitions. Also reinforced academic skills and memory patterns.