Toss Ups and Bonuses

“Category is: current events. This singer of the song ‘Momentous Day’ is also the subject of a popular Facebook page that combines him with Brock from Pokémon. This man says the line, ‘I’m forty seven percent through kicking your a**’ while doing a spinning kick in a rap battle and was the namesake of several fried chicken restaurants. A YouTube channel titled this man’s ‘dubs’ features clips from his speeches set to pop songs like ‘Call Me Maybe.’ A Key and Peele sketch features this man’s ‘anger translator.’ Parodies of this man frequently feature him saying ‘uh,’ ‘let me be clear,’ and ‘my fellow Americans.” For two points, name this president of the United States of America.”*


It’s like a scene straight out of the Big Bang Theory. This Thursday, February 16, teams of four to five student nerds will be arriving at Graded from over 9 different South American schools for a biannual Knowledge Bowl tournament. The question above is a sample of what the Graded Knowledge Bowl team will be facing during the tournament.


While this year’s team does not include Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, Howard Wolowitz or Rajesh Koothrappali, we still have a strong chance of performing well. The Eagles were defeated in the semifinals of last semester’s tournament in Recife, Pernambuco, but were also the tournament’s top scoring team with a total of 243 points, compared to the next best team which only scored 148. In knowledge bowl tournaments, head to head victories define a team’s position in the tournament as opposed to the number of total accumulated points.


In order for the Graded community to get to know this year’s competing nerds, The Talon interviewed four of the five members of Graded’s team.


Both Lorenza Colagrossi and Roberto Bruni have been a part of Knowledge Bowl since their freshman year. Lorenza first heard about the club from Michael Borger, a former team captain. She says that she has “always loved trivia and was inspired to join a club with others who shared my passion.” Roberto, on the other hand, joined Knowledge Bowl while studying at Nido in Chile. According to him, an unnamed friend told him about a fun “trivia game” and he was “interested to see what it was about.” Thibault Srienz joined the Graded team at the beginning of the school year after finally giving in to Jack and Roberto’s efforts to make him a part of the club.  


Jack Conway has been in Knowledge Bowl for an impressive five years; he started back when Graded had a middle school team. While he can’t remember exactly how he first heard about Knowledge Bowl, he believes that it was probably introduced to him by his 8th grade humanities and science teachers, who ran the activity at the time.


Most Knowledge Bowl teams divide and assign general subjects to each member. Lorenza’s area of expertise is centered around literature and history. Roberto focuses on answering questions specifically related to math, physics, art, and classical music, amongst other categories. Jack is a wizard when it comes to answering geography, politics and current affairs questions. For example, in last semester’s tournament, he was able to correctly answer a bonus question on currency exchange rates between the Swiss Franc and the Chinese Renminbi. He is also specialized in answering questions related to history and chemistry. Lastly, Thibault is a master at answering questions related to Australian culture, physics and math.


All team members are looking forward to the tournament for similar reasons. Roberto can’t wait to see some of his old friends from his days at Nido and shares Thibault, Lorenza and Jack’s enthusiasm to “talk about nerdy things with other nerds.” As Lorenza put it, this will be the last tournament for the team’s seniors, making it a rather bittersweet event. Lorenza also added that she “hopes to help Jack get his revenge on Nido which he hasn’t stopped talking about since Recife.”


The Eagles Knowledge Bowl team would like to profusely thank Mr. Prosalik for working so hard to organize this semester’s tournament. The Talon would also like to wish the team best of luck this Thursday and say that we are very proud of how far the team has come since the last tournament!
*The correct answer is Barack Hussein Obama II