Quiz Team beats Purcell
This afternoon, the St. Xavier Quiz Team played against Purcell Marian on two levels. As usual, I was chauffeur. This was the first game for today’s moderator, so things got a little confusing for her, since we were all used to a fast-paced game.
Both teams’ performances were frustrating for me today; I’ll elaborate on that if you’ll just read on. Read on for scores and sample questions…
The Varsity team of Kiger, Barber, Kelly, and Knadler started off slow, scoring an impressive zero points against Purcell’s five during the first round. (If I leave anyone out of these mini-rosters, please let me know. Leave a comment on this entry.)
During several rounds, no one seemed to know the answers to any questions. Whereas in previous years we would have explained that the guys were tired or out of it today, this year we have various explanations for the poor Varsity performance: either we hadn’t been studying enough (true for some of us), or we were simply too young and unprepared (somewhat true), or they just picked bad questions. I’m inclined to believe the latter of the three, though I would’ve been quite prepared to answer many of the questions (more on that later).
Anyhow, St. X finished the Category Rounds ahead, 15–23. The Alphabet Round was then scored, giving us an additional two points over Purcell, bringing the two schools into the Lighting Round at 22–32.
After a decent Lightning Round, St. X emerged slightly on top, 32–43. And yes, an 11-point lead is a slight one.
The Junior Varsity started off a bit better, maintaining a small lead throughout the Category Rounds, which we finished ahead at 20–35. The Alphabet Round increased our lead by five points, bringing the scores to 25–45. To me, the Lightning Round seemed to get more answers from both teams than any other point in the day.
The JV made a strong finish, beating out Purcell 27–60.
During both matches, I became frustrated when several easy questions went either unanswered or answered incorrectly. Here are several notable ones from the JV game that no one got correct. Click on the Answer button for the answer, a link to more information, and a worthwhile anecdote:
- What unsupported theory holds that some organisms form from non-living material?
Answer: Spontaneous Generation. As I recall, no one even bothered to answer this one. Now although the GCAL writers treat spontaneous generation and abiogenesis as synonyms, as do the AP program and Mader series biology texts, many modern scientists now consider spontaneous generation (also called Aristotelian abiogenesis, after the teacher of this philosophy) to simply be an early, philosophic form of abiogenesis. The modern form of abiogenesis usually deals with life forming out of the “primordial soup,” for example.
- What Italian scientist famously disproved the theory of spontaneous generation using meat in covered and uncovered jars to attract flies?
Answer: Francesco Redi. Purcell responded to this question incorrectly; then someone on our team answered with “Pasteur.” (In the audience, I was about to have a fit.) When some parents in the audience expressed their desire to chide the quizbowlers (I’m exaggerating, of course), they threw up their hands and made the excuse that they hadn’t had enough biology yet.
Umm… yeah… this is seventh-grade material! Of course, our school doesn’t help, as the teachers and students have been made to believe that Pasteur was responsible for this wonderful discovery. That’s what the textbooks say, anyhow. And maybe he was, but he wasn’t Italian. Thus, I got a critical question wrong on the exam – oh how they were wrong…
- In 1939, what singer held a historical concert on the steps of the Licoln Memorial in Washington, DC?
Answer: Marian Anderson. No one could answer this one. I must say, these guys are turning out to be a bit unprepared even in terms of classroom history. Mr. Weisbrod was probably a little frustrated as well.
- What Washington organization refused to host her performance at Constitution Hall?
Answer: The DAR. Again, no one could answer this one. I should start printing out copies of Wikipedia articles for them to study from.
And here’s one from the Varsity match:
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, what character starts a famous speech with the following?
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time…
Answer: Macbeth himself. Kudos to Sean Barber for actually getting that one right; it took awhile, though. “We should’ve nailed it,” as Mr. Hussong likes to say.
Especially since I quoted that passage verbatim right here little more than a month ago. So I know that at least someone was paying attention…
Getting an answer
I noticed that during the JV Lightning Round, Purcell’s members started spouting out intentionally-wrong answers, once they figured that they no longer had a chance to win.
Maybe that’s why when we lose, we lose by just a bit: we at least put in an effort to the end.
Getting my answers
I answered around five questions correctly, all of them during the JV Lightning Round – that was the only time I was allowed to play. The answers had to do with such diverse topics as “Ireland” and “liver.” That’s the Lightning Round for you in a nutshell.
Among the questions I didn’t get right were the following:
- What is the common name for riboflavin?
Answer: Vitamin B2, also known as Vitamin G or E101 for some reason. See Wikipedia’s article on riboflavin.
I guessed “Vitamin D,” which actually has five (obscure) forms, none of which are riboflavin. Purcell guessed “Vitamin B,” but of course, that’s a complex of 22 chemically distinct vitamins, and you need to be more specific than that. (It just so happens that Vitamin B3 is also known as Vitamin PP – I didn’t know that.)
- What work has the subtitle, “The Modern Prometheus”?
Answer: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Although the GCAL likes to call this and other alternative titles “subtitles,” they really aren’t.
They also classify “Optimism” as the subtitle of Voltaire’s Candide, but if you look at the original title of the work, it’s called Candide ou l’Optimisme (Candide, [otherwise known as] Optimism). It really is an alternate title.
The Quiz Team will play next Tuesday, the 25th of January, against Hamilton-Badin. This meet will be for the Varsity team only.
- If I ever leave anyone’s name out in these mini-rosters, please let me know; place a comment on this entry.