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Broken buzzers

November 14, 2010   I spent what was probably the last sunny day before snow arrives in the Annex participating in a trivia competition and having a marvelous time.

Every Tuesday evening fellow journal writer Dylan Wulderk ’13, Kayla Safran ’13, Leah Cairns ’13, Nick Sylvester ’13, and I head to the Little Pub to participate in Hamilton’s weekly Trivia Night. Sometimes we have good nights and other nights not so much, but it’s always a good time with lots of laughter. Plus, it’s quite astonishing to watch Dylan figure out any presidential or sports related question. He’s probably the only person I know who can name all of the vice presidents who took office after an assassination, and the year in which they did so off the top of his head.

Anyway, we decided to participate in the NAQT Hamilton College Campus Tournament, which took place this afternoon. Oh my goodness, it was much more intense then the usual trivia night, but just as fun. Tuesday evenings we gather in the pub to take a break from work, listen to some tunes, and test our knowledge of pop culture and random knowledge. This afternoon, there were buzzers and lights that kept breaking and a much more rapid pace, no thanks to Dave Eng’s reading style. At first the set up was a bit daunting as I wasn’t used to the process and not being able to confirm with our teammates before submitting an answer, but as the games went on, it became a bit less overwhelming.

I have to say that I’m quite happy with our team’s performance, and quite surprised that I was able to answer some of the questions. More often than not I had no clue about the answer. Not the case for the Harry Potter question about horcruxes, Don McLean’s song “American Pie,” or the questions with Japan as the answer. There were two questions where the answer was Japan, and I answered them both correctly. But when the next bonus round was all questions about Japanese literature, three heads turned my way and I had absolutely no inkling at all about possible answers. Sorry! None of the previous questions about Japan had anything to do with literature. So naturally, Dylan and Nick took a stab at it by naming the last names of Japanese baseball players. Better than nothing.

It’s kind of amazing the things you forget that you know until you're asked a question about it. Case in point: Nick’s performance today. He apparently knows a significant amount of mythology, but has no idea where this knowledge came from. And sometimes we had no idea about the answer, and Nick would take a stab at it and say the correct answer. It’s always great when that happens. Our team did well today. We won two rounds and lost the other two. And we realized that none of us know very much about classical music.

Oh well. I think the day showcased how well balanced our team is in terms of areas of knowledge because when one person gave an answer, in most cases, the rest of us didn't know the answer. Trivia can be quite frustrating when you have a bad round or two. But I find that it’s the company that makes the evening, or afternoon in this case, quite enjoyable. There will always be moans of disappointment and thoughts of “I knew that…” or “why didn’t I think of that….” But those are offset by the magical moments of disbelief and astonishment of getting something correct on a complete guess, or the laughter that accompanies good conversation.