Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
December 14th, 2004
Quiz Team


Quiz Team eeks out double victory

My apologies to those who read this entry earlier, in its unfinished state. I pushed the wrong button.

As I warned yesterday, the St. X Quiz Team competed on two levels, against two schools this afternoon.

We had to make up our matches against Elder, scheduled a few weeks ago. Yes, yesterday I said it was going to be against Fenwick, but that’s just more miscommunication…

The other guys

Because we had so many games to play in the regular amount of time, we were forced to split up: Mr. Hussong took care of the Varsity team, consisting of Brett Seifried, Sean Barber, Jay Kiger, and Doug Lim starting; and Ed Kelly, Michael Knadler, and Andrew Melson substituting.

As you’ve probably noticed, I wasn’t with them – I was with the JV team. Word is that they won both matches, in a fashion similar to ours (see below).

Warming up

Mr. Weisbrod took care of us less-worthy-than-thous. (I just made that word up – like it?) The JV team consisted of Harrison Lee, yours truly, and Daniel Breyer starting; and AJ Arand, Ken Schweiter, and Alex Polley to back us up.

(Yes, Harrison, I mentioned you on my blog again. You’re Google ranking will now go up. rolls-eyes)

In our first game against Elder, we began by floundering. St. X trailed the first few category rounds, finally coming even with Elder halfway through the categories.

As we finished the categories, we tensely observed that we only led Elder by a few points. With the help of the Alphabet Round, we pulled ahead, though we weren’t yet comfortable.

During the Lightning Round, we zoomed past the two-member Elder team quite comfortably, and defeated them 49–30. I answered six questions individually during the match (see below).

Yes, I said “two-member Elder team.” It was a sad rematch of our game against Elder a couple years ago. (And I was once again wearing green plaid.)

And rounding third

We felt a bit of déjà vu across the hall when we had a friendly encounter with the two-man LaSalle team. Yes, once again.

So we once again start off slow, trailing LaSalle, then picked up momentum (m·v) once the Alphabet Round was graded. We defeated LaSalle 51–34. I answered five individual questions in all.

Coming attractions

Originally, St. X was scheduled to have a “bye” – that is, an off week. But since we still have to make up our December 7th game against Fenwick, they might ask us to play against them on January 4th (the next scheduled GCAL day).

Read on for sample questions and my individual performance…

First-hand knowledge

Harrison Lee and I played together on all the JV games this afternoon. Since we’re both Asian-Americans, I was thinking our opponents might make something of the fact that we answered every Asia-related question… correctly.

What battle in 1954 ended French occupation of Indo-China?
Once meaning the 70 levels of civil and military ranking, this word now refers to the most widely-spoken language in China.

Everything else

As I said before, I answered 11 questions individually. Here are some of the rest:

What form of matter lies between the crystalline solid and gaseous forms?
What 17th-century palace was built for French king Louis XIV?
The Italian sonnet was named for what 14th-century poet?
Petrarch’s Decameron consists of ten stories tied together in a single plot. What is the literary term for this technique?
This term refers to a geometric figure with no dimensions.
In Europe, paper was developed as parchment, made from the skin of what animal?
What legal term refers to the unwillingness to conduct one’s business to one’s capacity?

And something that I may not want to forget:

What English scientist is credited with having discovered hydrogen?


  1. An update on Tuesday’s Quiz Team results. Plus: A complete listing of current GCAL standings, courtesy of Mr. Hussong.