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Q & A with the Academic Team

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Ashley Curtis, Editor-in-Chief

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Whether you’re aware of it or not, Hidden Valley has its own Academic Team, and like any other sport, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams compete to win. The competition is tough, and as one member, Harsh Patolia (12), explains, “What most people don’t know about academic team is that we are not your run-of-the-mill nerds–we just have a passion for knowledge.”

Here’s everything there is to know about the Academic Team from Harsh Patolia, a three year member, Sreemoyee Som, a two year member, and Dr. Tim Spence, the sponsor.

What is the Academic Team?

Harsh Patolia: “The HVHS Academic Team is a collective group of kids who compete in quiz bowl-style matches. We shared a love of knowledge and enjoy answer questions about the most random topics ever.

Sreemoyee Som: “It’s an organization of students; basically just people who enjoy learning about things that we don’t cover in normal high school and revel in a sense of community.”

Dr. Spence:  “A lot of people refer to it as the ‘quiz bowl’, but it’s general knowledge questions ranging from history to literature to science, to mathematics and pop culture.”

How do the meets work?

Harsh Patolia: “We basically answer questions from every corner of knowledge. We compete usually at other schools in our district or in Dr. Spence’s room for home games.”

Sreemoyee Som: “We set up a buzzer system and compete to answer the questions first in toss up rounds, and in directed rounds, we work together to reach a consensus; that’s where the team work part comes in.”

Dr. Spence: “There are three periods in a typical competition, and the 1st and 3rd periods have toss up questions, which anyone can answer.  The middle round is called the directed round, which is directed to one team at a time, and that team has the capacity to answer it without competition from the other side.”

What is your favorite part?

Harsh Patolia: “My favorite part definitely has to be that feeling you get after you get a question right–nothing tops it.

Sreemoyee Som: “The practice round for JV because it’s always more fun to cheer people on without the pressure of having to answer; JV and Varsity; mainly seniors; on the JV team we have really good players and it doesn’t count for point, but it’s a definite moral boost if JV wins and the varsity doesn’t.”

Have you come across any stereotypes regarding the team? Is there anything you wish people knew about Academic Team?

Sreemoyee Som: “You don’t have to be labeled “super smart” in school to excel at Academic Team, it covers a wide variety of topics including pop culture; as long as you’re passionate about something you will probably get to answer a question about it. Since a lot of seniors are laving this year, I hope a lot of people will get interested in Academic Team and maybe something HV can beat CS and Christiansburg.”

Harsh Patolia: “On a final note, just to join Academic Team, you don’t have to be a walking encyclopedia. You can know a lot about a particular field, and still dominate the matches. Also, we really need a student section.”

Dr. Spence:  “The questions are extraordinarily hard and difficult.  The kids put a lot of time in running through old sets of questions; they work hard at memorizing a broad range of information.”

Test your knowledge

Below are examples of “toss-up” questions.  Anyone from either team can answer one of these questions at any point after the reader begins speaking.  Wrong answers subtract five points from a team’s score, while correct answer adds ten points.  Test your knowledge below! The answers will be posted in the comments in one week.

1.  Though he suffers from avascular necrosis, this man passed a physical and was traded for running back Tony Smith. This player was the victim of Michael Strahan’s single-season record-setting sack in 2001. This man claimed to have the “itch” in a 2008 interview with Greta Van Susteren. Eric Mangini offered this man an instructor position at Browns’ training camp, and he is noted for claiming to be comfortable in Wrangler Jeans. For 10 points, name this former Packers quarterback who will likely stay retired in 2009.

2.  One book revered by adherents of this religion is the Kebra Nagast, and the oneness with the spiritual is expressed with the doctrine of “I and I.” Dietary restrictions observed by some followers of this religion include a ban on cigarettes and coffee, and are known as Ital. Other important tenets of this religion include a rejection of “Babylon” and connection to Jah. For 10 points, name this religion whose adherents often wear dreadlocks and smoke ganja, which celebrates Grounation Day as the day Haile Selassie traveled to Jamaica.

3.  A descendant of this woman, Jane Bolling, married Richard Randolph. According to William Strachey, her first marriage was to a warrior named Kocoum. Other names given to this woman include Matoaka and Rebecca, the latter of which she took after she was baptized at Henricus. She married a man who cultivated tobacco in Virginia named John Rolfe. She supposedly saved the life of John Smith. For 10 points, name this daughter of Powhatan who aided settlers at Jamestown.

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The news site of Hidden Valley High School
Q & A with the Academic Team