The National History Bee took place today, as opposed to the National History Bowl. First, some unfinished business - Remember how I thought the Bowl would last til after midnight? Well I did ask - turns out they were done at about 11. BUT some staffers pulled all-nighters - It seems that the draw for the Bee wasn't set.
I enjoyed my duties - scorekeeping - much more today than the reading I did yesterday. And this scorekeeping was not complicated while still requiring my full attention. An OU student named Maggie was the reader in my room, and she had it rough today. She dished it right back, though. She kept those kids in line! When a kid early on started flaunting his knowledge on a previous question (though I didn't perceive it that way at the time), she goes, "Okay, we are not discussing questions right now," and she started reading the next one! She was also not afraid to threaten them with taking away points. And she took no crud from a kid who wanted to make a protest - She told him it was not a valid protest and that this was how quiz bowl was played. (He didn't like how the word "this" appeared twice - Something like "This king in this conflict...")
There was another argument, involving the same boy in fact. This time, a boy answered "Eighty Years War." Maggie declared it incorrect, then pronounced another boy's response correct. That boy said that the two wars were exactly the same thing, and was trying to concede the point. At first the question was tossed, to be decided later. It mattered soon, though, when one of the two boys answered what would've been his eighth question correct. At that point, a kid gets a bonus, and the earlier in the round he answers his eighth, the higher the bonus. So someone watching held up his phone, indicating he'd looked it up and they are in fact the same thing.
A similar protest happened later in the day at Mount Vernon, while David was reading. Now, yesterday I had wondered in this blog how David would do against these kids if he were playing. This very topic came up twice this evening while socializing. Bob Harris actually asked David. While David was thinking about it, Bob said, "Don't be modest." David differentiated between how he'd do today and how he'd have done when he was studying these things for quiz bowl.
Today, when the protest was made, David did not know the answer. (That's okay; I'd never even heard of the word they were talking about.) None other than Roger Craig shouted what he knew of it from the back row! Later, I asked Roger if he knew that answer from studying for Jeopardy! It seems he already knew the answer to that one.
I was relieved to see Roger. I thought I'd missed him without actually meeting him, because he was not at the Newseum last night and he was not at the School Without Walls this morning. Then I thought I missed him again when I saw him leave the auditorium. I ran around frantically outside but assumed he was gone. So I was relieved again to see him later. Here's "Roger and Me":
Brad Rutter, however, was not at Mount Vernon, though he was at the School Without Walls that morning. Same story with Liz Murphy. (Taller than I expected her to be, by the way.) As for Bob Harris, I hadn't seen him all day, and this time I had his books with me to sign!
Anyway, while most kids took his pretty seriously, some didn't - one boy had the gall to walk in in a t-shirt and sweats. And at one point, I looked around and noticed a mother was knitting while her kid was playing!
We were about four questions into my last round when a boy walked in to play - we had not been expecting anyone else. This was a shame because he would have fewer chances to get 8 questions right. (See the picture below of the instructions.) As it turns out, this kid was good: He made his 8 questions. Still, I pointed out to Maggie that it's too bad he came in after we started (and it wasn't his fault), since the sooner you answer 8 questions correctly, the higher your bonus is. His bonus could've been higher if he had answered one of those first four questions correctly. Maggie said he'd be alright (meaning he didn't need that extra help), but he wasn't at the final rounds at Mount Vernon, I'm pretty sure. He didn't complain, even though I think it would have been a valid complaint. It was our fault after all, and he was a quality player.
Also, as a scorekeeper as opposed to a reader, I didn't have to correct problems like buzzer malfunctions, of which there were multiple this morning. The buzzer system had to be replaced at least twice.
Here are the instructions read to the kids, though I'm not sure you can read it:
And here's the room at the misnamed School Without Walls where I was keeping score:
The later rounds (quarterfinals? semifinals?) took place at Mount Vernon in the afternoon. This is the main stage, and Raynell Cooper, current Teen champ, is third from left:
It was good anyway that I went back to the hotel - I had arranged to buy a History Bowl t-shirt for a Jeopardy!-loving friend who wanted one. A kind staffer, Wendy, offered to bring it to my hotel because at the time I wasn't planning on going back to the event hotel. So of course she didn't need to do that after all. Here are pics of the front and back of the shirts:
As for the evening, we wound up just all chatting in the hotel lobby for a while (minus Bob Harris, who'd been out for a walk), and eventually we all went out to eat (eight of us) at an Ethiopian restaurant, which was my first time with that kind of experience and food.
As it turns out, I did not get a picture with David - I just didn't think of it at an opportune time. But, I want to be back next year. I did ask David if he was going to make next year's Bowl/Bee another unofficial Jeopardy! reunion, and he said "Why not?" Maybe you'll join us next year?
Recaps and commentary on Jeopardy! episodes, from two devoted fans. Jeanie was on Jeopardy! March 28, 2012!