Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cheering for My Honey at Geography Bee

Let's get one thing clear from the beginning: I have two totally brilliant kids.

Today's post concerns ABC (Amazing Boy Child) and his school's Geography Bee.

Let's get something else really clear: Sometimes, one's success in something is based on skill or diligent preparation and study. Sometimes, it's just a matter of the luck of the draw. Often, it's a combination of both. Because in a contest that is essentially a test of an infinite number of pieces of information, (some of which, like, say, are which country has the lowest birthrate in South America), no matter how damned hard you study, you're not going to know all the answers.

Lest this sound like a mother's attempt to justify the outcome of her beloved son's participation in said Geography Bee, let me simply say "Oh, shut up." I mean, come on. This is not sour grapes. It is based on a two hour observation of a WHOLE BUNCH of kids doing variously well and not so well on a WHOLE BUNCH of questions. Many other sons and daughters went down in the Geography arena's ring when they were punched on the nose by some obscure question. Most fought bravely, offering answers even if they were unsure. A few sometimes just admitted defeat. One young man broke my heart when he looked at the judge and said simply, "I don't know," and walked back to his place on the stage.

But despite the fact that my Amazing Son did not get crowned the King of Geography, I enjoyed watching the competition. He upheld the honour of the Family Forrest by giving it his best shot (and as a bonus, knowing the correct answer to a majority of the questions he was asked). I must confess he was not the most entertaining performer, though.

That distinction goes to the kid in the front row who held his arms up in self congratulation, ala the winning quarterback style, whenever he scored a correct answer. His funniest moments came when he misspoke an answer, sat down with a disgruntled look, only to loudly gasp in disgust and hold his head in his hands when the next question to someone else was something he clearly knew. The crowd roared at his reaction.

It's the luck of the draw. ABC had the same experience. The young man before him got a question about Ireland. Softball!! At least, for ABC, it would have been. The young man who followed him got a question that ABC could have answered in his sleep. What was my darling ABC asked? Which country has the lowest birthrate in South America.

I am willing to wager two dollars that no one on that stage would have known the answer, with the possible exception of The Girl Who Had a Perfect Score going into elimination rounds, and The Boy Who Ultimately Won the Bee, and maybe a few others. How's that for hedging my bets? Pathetic, I know. I just don't have the stomach for gambling huge sums like that. There is a high probability nobody would've nailed it. My point is, though, it's the luck of the draw.

The Perfect girl dropped after missing "In which state is resort town Myrtle Beach located?" If ABC had been asked that, he would have known because we've been there twice, gorging ourselves at the Giant Crab. Oh, well.

I loved that the kids all seemed to support each other in their successes and commiserate in their conditions of not meeting a desirable or intended objective. (My personal goal for this post was to avoid the use of the word "failure" since I don't consider there to have been any failures, just attempts that didn't quite hit the target. If you disagree with me, I don't want to hear about it. La la la... I'm not listening.) There were lots of fist bumps when someone got a particularly tough one right, and several heartfelt "ohhh"s of sympathy if someone was eliminated.

The fact that each of these kids were interested enough to participate
and brave the geographic inquisitor makes them all winners in my book.

It should be noted that he did not force them to endure the Comfy Chair.

If you're interested in the Bee, check it out here. It's a nationwide contest, sponsored by National Geographic Society.

Oh, that birthrate thing? It's Uruguay, okay? I'll bet you didn't know that, either.


Small Footprints said...

Wow! I am totally impressed that your son and all the rest of the kids took part in the "bee". You're right ... they are all winners. At their age, there is no possible way (short of being forced at gun point) that I would have actually agreed to do anything remotely this tough (or this public) ... I don't know if I would do it as an adult. So I congratulate them ... big time!!!

BTW ... thank you for stopping by Reduce Footprints and following. I'm going to follow you as well!

Take Care ... and congrats (again) to your brilliant son!

Small Footprints

Ms. B1tch is tired tired tired...(and very hungry said...

Ms B is laughing and laughing at your comment about the man...tee.hee.!

Fantastic Forrest said...

Thanks, SF. :)

Ms. B, glad to be of service. Eliciting a tee hee from you is the praise I crave.

Shana said...

Everyone is a winner blah blah blah Being in the game is half the victory blah blah blah.

If your boy didn't win, it was obviously rigged!

Fantastic Forrest said...

I love you, Miss Shana! Big smoochies for you.