November 19th, 2005

Elayna! - Karlita

She came, she saw, she kicked ass.

Elayna has returned triumphant! Her first Quiz Bowl - thee first Quiz Bowl her school has ever participated in - and they brought home a trophy. :)

This was a lot bigger than we thought it was going to be. From the straggly lack of information, I thought it would maybe be the three Montessori schools competing in her school's cafeteria or something. Oh, no. Twenty elementary schools. I don't know how many middle schools, but that is currently irrelevent. :) But. Twenty schools. Fancy buzzers and stuff. Printed schedules. Impressive.

Teams of five. I hadn't known that. It has always been my opinion that Elayna's at least one of the five smartest kids in her school, but it's very cool to have that confirmed by the Gifted teacher.

All five kids were scared at first, but the first round loosened them up - they totally spanked their opponents, 110-10. :) We'd've done better but for a poorly-phrased bonus-round question regarding A Series of Unfortunate Events: "Name the principal villain of the series." The kids said Nero. Adam and I went "huh?" until we realized.... they thought the quizmaster wanted the name of the villain who was a principal of a school. "Main" or "primary" would have been better phrasing.

The second round, though... heh. Damn. You know how in Goblet of Fire, the Durmstrang kids march in all disciplined, striking sparks with their staffs against the ground, et cetera? Yeah. That was these kids. Five blond boys in meticulously ironed white shirts and navy slacks, absolutely precise, deadly serious. It was the Aryan Nation vs. our United Colors of Benetton. Those boys jumped in like three words in on every question, conferred heavily on the bonus rounds, deferred to the captain - it was obvious not only that they'd done this before, but that they'd been drilling on it.

Aaaand they kicked our butts.

Which was not so bad - because it kept our kids from coasting, from getting to feel invulnerable. It made them competitive. And round three was an actual contest. It really pushed our kids to be their best. Elayna popped out with stuff about the Supreme Court that I didn't know she knew. That round ended 70-50 in our favor.

Round four?

Was a complete shutout.

I don't remember our score. But the other team? Zero. Our kids were on those buzzers like white on rice.

Round five? Another hundred-plus to ten on our side.

4-1 for us.

The scores are done by points, not wins. There was much nailbiting as things were totalled up. Our kids hadn't done as well as they *could* have - they won their rounds, but they dropped the ball on a bunch of bonus rounds they should've swept, including one infuriating one where I heard Elayna give the answer to the then-captain (each kid got to be captain for a round) and he promptly forgot and said "We don't have an answer for part two." Oh, the look she gave him... so we weren't sure what to expect, especially going up against kids like the Durmstrang team, and seeing others around the cafeteria wearing matching T-shirts and being obvious pros. And they'd had a lot of fun playing, and knew that's what counted - they would've been okay with not placing.

So out of twenty teams - Elayna's team grabbed fourth place!

The kids were surprised, and thrilled. Pictures of them with the trophy will be posted when I get them from the other mom. (Yes, fourth gets a trophy; in middle school, fourth gets to state.) Turns out they were only twenty points away from third place, actually - that went to the team they beat in round three. And yes, Durmstrang won. I told her "Dude, you went 4-1 in your first Quiz Bowl ever, and the only team that beat you won first place by a lot. You rocked this."

She did. She was so nervous. But she really kicked ass once she got warmed up. And I am so proud of her, and she is so proud of herself. :) There was lunch at Applebee's (she likes it), the purchase of a Cardcaptor Sakura manga, and a few rounds of Tekken 5 in the mall arcade in celebration.

Next up: Math competition on Dec. 10. Then Science Olympiad in April. *headbang avec metal horns*

*pause*

I am really so proud. :)
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