I was never athletic. I never liked gym or physical education. I liked learning about the sports and there were some things I could enjoy if I did them casually, but I never liked having to play sports or having to exercise. I wanted those things to be my choices.
Of course, this meant that when I was in high school, I didn’t try out for any sports or cheerleading. Those weren’t my things. I was intellectual and enjoyed intellectual things. I joined clubs about making good decisions and Christian clubs. I joined the French club because I enjoyed French (which I still enjoy, but haven’t used in a long time, so I need to review and relearn the language).
When I heard about Quiz Bowl (some schools call Quiz Bowl an Academic Tournament) from a classmate and later good friend for my freshman year, I joined the Quiz Bowl team.
While the brain is not a muscle (though we often joke and refer to it as the “thinking muscle”), it does need exercise like muscles. The brain needs to be used to function correctly.
We would never know what types of questions would be asked at a Quiz Bowl tournament. Just like an athletic team, we needed organization and practice. Because of this, Quiz Bowl had a coach. The coach’s name while I was on the Quiz Bowl team was Mr. David Kay.
Mr. Kay always made sure that we learned, but he did not force us to act as if we were in class. He filled his room with trivia books. He was also a debate coach, so he would let teammates debate answers as long as the debate (or sometimes what may have seemed like an argument) got out of hand.
It was obvious that Mr. Kay loved the people on the Quiz Bowl team. He would personally take us to tournaments in his van. When there was a tournament in Lafayette, we went, and we were excused from school for a Quiz Bowl field trip.
Mr. Kay taught us how to play fun and educational games like Botticelli. Botticelli quickly became one of our favorite games to play while traveling. However, sometimes we just wanted to relax and be ourselves. Mr. Kay never frowned upon this and let us talk, sing, or listen to music.
Sometimes Mr. Kay even treated us to ice cream after a tournament. We all enjoyed this because first of all it was ice cream, and second of all, we got to spend some more time together as a team.
Of course, there were some things with which I did not agree. Once I was on varsity, the assigned Captain and Co-Captain of the team focused more on answering questions themselves than for the team to win. This was a huge disappointment to me because I could remember the first time that I answered a question in Quiz Bowl and how when I was on Junior Varsity, we won the parish tournament. That never happened on Varsity and we even lost to a school that should have allowed for an easy win. The only reason we didn’t win was because of the captain, who was being selfish instead of playing intelligently.
However, no matter what happened, Quiz Bowl was always fun. We even had summer practices one summer, and attended them without hesitation! Mr. Kay made it fun to be in that learning environment.
I am thankful for Mr. Kay, the Quiz Bowl coach.