Archive for the ‘Scholastic Bowl’ Category

Gettin’ Lucky

Friday, February 8th, 2008

I’m really disappointed in myself in terms of Scholastic Bowl. At the beginning of the year, I wasn’t John Nash, but I was formidable in math. Now my algebra skills have atrophied and slowed. I wish I’d kept my skills sharp. I coulda had a math class. I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum, which I am. Actually, I’m still the science guy, and possess a decent iota of dearly departed Sam’s cinematic knowledge.

At least I got lucky yesterday. The question was:

Name the following Unix commands.
1. The two-letter command that displays the contents of the current folder
2. The two-letter command that copies the specified file
3. The five-letter command that creates a directory
4. The two-letter command that deletes a file

Luck. That’s all there was. All that caused me to boot up my laptop (running Ubuntu linux) and obsessively attempting to delete the album art scattered in a music folder all Wednesday morning; causing me to go hunting down Unix commands for hours before finally giving up and asking Schmitz. That’s all that stood between me and these answers.

1. ls
2. cp
3. mkdir
4. rm

(“How do you live with yourself?!”, demanded Patrick.)

That still wasn’t enough, though. We got beat in both matches. Sometimes, it just comes down to luck. Like when we were asked about an obscure short story about a gem being dropped to the bottom of the ocean. Neal guessed, “The Gem” just so we could say we said something. The captain of BG’s team rang in and guessed “The Pearl” which turned out to be the right answer.

Why, Dame Fortune?! What must we do to win your favor?

From now on the Scholastic Bowl Team has to eat more Lucky Charms, snort more 4-leafed clovers and drink more leprechaun blood. If we have to, we’ll round up some virgins to sacrifice. Hopefully, it won’t come to that.


Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

w00t, First Scholastic Bowl Meet of the year. Driving in an ice storm to “Shamburg”. (It’s like Schaumburg except it has Fieldwood Mall and is home of the Shamburg Grounders.) We ended up winning two of three rounds.

I learned some valuable lessons about strategy. For example, I’m fueled by candy. Patrick’s mom showed up to cheer him on just like last year. Also just like last year, she brought candy for everyone. By eating a 100 Grand immediately before a round, I supercharged my basic math abilities. A relative velocity question involving the sum of 40 and 75 became a knee jerk reaction. However, just as quickly as these abilities come, they flee. Once the glucose is metabolized, I begin to struggle with simple double-digit-coefficient equation systems.

There’s also a law in Scholastic Bowl. You always know the answer when you’re rotated out. At one point during the third round, I tried to restrain myself from screaming “JULIE FREAKING ANDREWS!” Oh well. That’s just chance or Borgh calling the shots.

I asked Neal whether or not this match counted toward anything like a cumulative tournament or something. He never gave me an answer. This raises the horrifying possibility that the Scholastic Bowl is a front for an intermural gambling wherein teachers bet on how smart their students are. This would explain why Borgh told me he’d “offer [me] cash to show up on Tuesday.”

Oh, man. I sound so paranoid. I’m beginning to sound like Walthers. I need more candy.