Really? Pub-quiz for education? Really?
Yes. If trivia is fun for you, and I’m guessing since you made it to my website that at least it doesn’t repulse you, then why is it fun for you? When you know the answer on Jeopardy do you do a mental high-five? A real high-five? When you know the answer and those three people on tv with buzzers in their hands are just standing there, do you scream at the tv? When Alex Trebeck confirms your unheard shouts do you dance around the room? No? Oh sorry, then I guess that was just me. But you should.
When I was in the tenth grade, Mr. Bryant, my Chemistry teacher had a chemical equation on the board and was trying to teach us… something. I don’t remember what exactly, but I had a question about whatever it was he was trying to explain. I raised my hand to ask a question.
The question I had required me to use the word coefficient in a sentence. This was a little too much for me, so I pretended not the know the name of that big number two that was next to the big letter H. Mr. Bryant looked at me strangely, because he knew that I knew what a coefficient was, and I knew he knew that I knew.
But there I was, pretending to be less than I was. Afterwards, I just felt … dirty. I could do better; I was better. That day in third period Chemisty in the tenth grade I made up my mind that I would never pretend to be less than what I was. The shame of dumbing myself down was worse than any alternative What was I afraid of? Being smart? Being me?
But there was more to it than that. Let’s go back even further to the second grade, Ms. Metz’s class. There was a classroom game involving addition and subtraction. I don’t remember the rules of the game, but two students participated at a time, and took steps across the classroom with each math problem correctly solved. The first one to the front of the classroom won. Frankie Boyce and Nat Stow were up. I was in the “audience”, playing along in my head. But…. one time, when Ms. Metz read one of the questions, I said the answer to myself, a little to loudly, and Kort Wilson tattled on me that I was saying the answers. Ms. Metz told me to sit in the hall. I went through all the seven-year old emotions of this being unfair, yadda yadda, while pouting in the hallway. But, it didn’t really take long for me to come to the conclusion that I knew I wasn’t trying to cheat at anything. I just really liked math, and my enthusiasm about 7 + 4 was nothing to be ashamed of. When I went back to my desk I felt no desire to explain myself.
Not then, and never since, until now. Sitting here at my laptop is the first time I have ever recounted that story. Back to 16 year-old me in Chemistry. Feeling not only bad for pretending, but for betraying that little girl sitting in the hallway as well.
So here I am. An adult who screams at Alex Trebeck and goes to pub trivia twice a week. I love that I know things, and I love learning about things. Going to a bar on a Tuesday night where I can take a test for fun is the greatest thing in the world.
So back to why use pub-trivia to benefit an elementary school. This kind of thing naturally lends itself to education. There are beautiful moments of discovery happening everyday. Quiz Night for Day is to support the teachers who are teaching about the Mars Rover, and why this is a huge deal. About the world of Dahl and Tolkien. How a rook or a bishop moves. The works of Beethoven and Mozart and Gates and Jobs. About the classifications of birds or insects.
And what a coefficient is.
All proceeds of this event will directly benefit these programs. Your support is truly a gift to the children in our community, and I, and that little nerd inside of me, are deeply grateful.