Four students wait with their hands hovering over buzzers as the next round begins. “A math question.” As quiz team adviser Kim Van Wey continues reading the question, two of the students furiously scribble at their scrap paper, while another begins punching things into her calculator. The last stares at their paper for a moment, thinking, then shrugs and takes a sip of Mountain Dew as somebody else buzzes in, wrong answer.
Math teacher Doug Perry, the other adviser clears their entry and writes a zero on the score sheet. Moments later, somebody else buzzes in, this one correct, and he marks down a one. Van Wey begins reading the next question and the game is on again.
The John Glenn Quiz Team meets on Wednesday after school and practices until around 4 p.m. Currently, this year’s team consists of seniors Tori Edwards and Steven Telepak, juniors Logan Fitzgerald and Aaron Laube, and sophomore Heather Moore, but it’s early in the season and those who are interested still have a chance to join.
Topics range from math questions to ones about geography, current events, literature, sports, European royalty, historical figures, or anything else under the sun.
It may seem like an overly austere atmosphere, but it’s peppered with humor from, “the random names we give ourselves each week and the random answers we sometimes say,” says Fitzgerald.
In theory, each member of quiz team writes their name on the board behind them like the signs they will write at competitions. In practice, most of the members of quiz team arrive early and decide on a theme for the names and then name themselves and any students unfortunate enough to be late.
Last week’s theme was the Beatles and previous themes have included countries, SNL celebrity jeopardy, and “crazy dictators.”
Quiz team isn’t all laughs, “At the practices it’s fairly competitive. We always try to get the most questions correct. It doesn’t matter if you answer incorrectly because no points are subtracted, so we all guess a lot,” explains Edwards.
Some members try to get an edge by checking the news, brushing up on their geography, or reading or re-reading classic literature.
Right now, quiz team’s only scheduled competition is the MVL tournament on Feb. 26. To anyone who may still be on the fence about joining, Edwards advises, “JOIN IT! It’s not as hard as you think, and there is always food.”
Who knows, you may even get to sample some of Perry’s famous Hawaiian cake, made with real Hawaiians. [Editor’s note: No actual people were harmed during, or for, any quiz team rehearsal. While the food Perry and Van Wey bring to practices is delicious, it is never made from cannibalistic ingredients.]