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TRIVIA TIME Samantha Fowler, an eighth grader at River Oaks Baptist School, didn’t want to take Quiz Bowl as her club elective, but she is glad she did.
By all accounts it was an insignificant day. My sixth-grade year at River Oaks Baptist School had just begun, and upon walking into class one morning, I learned that we were required to join a club. My classmates and I ranked our choices, scrambling for spots in the most coveted activities. To this day I cannot remember my choice, but the one thing I am certain of is that it was definitely not Quiz Bowl, the “nerdy” activity shunned by my peers. The following day I begrudgingly marched into Quiz Bowl determined to have a miserable time, and promptly fell in love with it. Since that fateful morning, my days have swirled with trivia, and my weekends filled with competitions.
Quiz Bowl is an academic trivia game on subjects ranging from science to pop culture, between two teams of four students. Every round contains 20 tossups, or preliminary questions, that anyone can answer and three bonus questions for the team that wins each tossup. Competitors must be able to think quickly by themselves on tossup questions but also be able to trust and work cohesively with their teammates for bonuses.
For the past three years, I have attended biweekly practices, even frequenting extra sessions during lunch. I painstakingly memorized dates, authors, historical facts and more. My teammates and I have dedicated hours to studying and practicing, and it has paid off. We have qualified for the national tournament three years in a row, last year placing second in the state championships. I was even fortunate enough to be named as one of 12 All-State players.
As I look back on these years in Quiz Bowl, I cannot be more grateful for the simple mistake that placed me into that unknown and unpopular activity. Quiz Bowl has been an outlet for my curiosity and a place where I can always be myself. The knowledge and skills Quiz Bowl have given me have enhanced my confidence and self-awareness. A game of trivia has shown me who I am and taught me to love that. And, isn’t that the truest kind of gift?
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