Feb 15 2008

I just saw one of my arch-nemeses on TV

Published by at 12:43 am under Uncategorized

No joke; the captain of the Wheaton North Scholastic Bowl team was just on Teen Jeopardy.

Scholastic Bowl is like team Jeopardy for high school students. The questions are about as hard as regular (adult) Jeopardy and Teen Jeopardy questions are so easy that it’s not fun to watch. For $1200 in Military Occupations: Army noncommissioned officers in this position are expected to bring in two heads a year are… recruiters! $1600: US Air Force personnel trained to fly prototypes are… test pilots! $2000: JAGs, military lawyers, are expected to know the UMCJ, the Uniform Code of Military _______ (Justice). Admittedly, if I weren’t interested in being a JAG or ADC* I probably wouldn’t have specifically known that, but it’s certainly guessable. The Final Jeopardy question, which is usually mind-bendingly hard in adult Jeopardy, was pretty easy in this Teen Jeopardy game. The category was African-Americans.

*ADC = area defense counsel. It’s the military equivalent of the public defender.

This African-American served as a Solicitor General in the 1960s and won 11 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

(The correct answer and the rest of the post is below)…

(Keep going)

Thurgood Marshall. Clarence Thomas, the only African-American currently serving on the Supreme Court, is a good backup guess, but he’s kind of young. Anyone practicing law in the 1960’s would have to be at least 70 now and CT is hardly 50. And anyone as conservative as CT would probably not have gotten a presidential appointee in the 1960s (JFK-LBJ and two years of Nixon).

I kind of sympathize for my arch-rival, actually. You could tell that he knew pretty much all the answers but he wasn’t as fast as one of his competitors and he didn’t make good use of his Daily Doubles. I’d venture to say that, of the 61 questions, I probably knew 53, compared to ~25 for a regular Jeopardy game. I would have gotten more than 53, but there was a category on horoscopes that blanked me.

Why was he my rival? First, he and his team were very, very good at Scholastic Bowl. They had a very disciplined learning method and treated the game like it was a professional endeavor. Additionally, they beat our team in the state finals in my junior year. I don’t feel too bad; it’s a game, right? And we beat them in the finals my senior year.

We had a very, very strange team. We had one of the country’s best literature guys on our team– just an astoundingly bright character. Another top scorer was distinctly above-average at art and high culture questions. And I know a little bit of random stuff about pretty much everything and react pretty quickly… sometimes too quickly! Let’s just say that I rarely led the team in accuracy.

Oh, this reminds me of the tournament where the two recurring special categories were current events and comic books.   (I did pretty well).  One of the “current events” questions, though, was the name of Vladimir Putin’s wife.  What the hell!  I still have no idea; but I do know that it’s not Ivana.  Haha.

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