Competitions have been strong for the first ten minutes of the day. A door, in the long hallway of rooms filled with fiercely smart competitors, opens and out come five students, losing, though pumped and excited. “We’re only losing by a hundred points, we got this!” They won’t let their hopes be dashed, they can win.
Students keep their fingers on their buttons, ready to buzz in at any time, and at especially funny wrong answers, the team laughs. But soon, it’s back to the quick prompter’s reading and how fast one can buzz in and answer correctly. The school sent two teams this year to the competition and faced six out of twenty-two present teams. Four students from every team, competed at the quiz bowl on Oct. 21 at MacArthur High School.
“After wining our first ever playoff victory in the last minute, we ran into an Austin team, one of the best in our nation, and unfortunately lost,” senior Calvin Carroll said. “But we had a great day and gained a lot of experience for the future.”
MacArthur has been participating in this unique academic competition for five to six years, Matthew McDaniel, one of the advisors, said this past year was when we started getting really active with it.
“There was a quiz bowl team my freshman year of all seniors, and I really enjoyed the culture of intellectual curiosity,” Carroll said. “I missed that my sophomore year and when the opportunity to build a team for a faculty quiz bowl tournament, and for the future, arose, I started looking for people who were interested in pushing themselves and getting interested in learning more about a topic they normally wouldn’t pursue.”
There are so many subjects that quiz bowl covers, and many people find it be highly entertaining to train for, Carroll included, though he mostly focused on literature and fine arts.
“All areas of academics,” Mr. McDaniel said. “Literature, fine arts, music, history, current events, math, science, you name it, it’s there, even pop culture.”
There are players that specialize in all of these subjects, Carroll and McDaniel both find it to be a special experience. The culture surrounding it is something to bask in as well, unlike anything else.
“It’s pretty exciting, if you see it in person or if you actually compete in it, it’s not like any other competitive academic competition,” Mr. McDaniel said. “It’s all verbal, you have to buzz in, you have to listen to the questions, it’s not just reading them, so it’s a lot more interactive. It’s not the same as taking a test and comparing the scores afterwards. It’s very active, and just something you’ll have to see in person.”