Quiz Bowl Team at MIT
On Saturday, six members of the Berkshire School Quiz Bowl team spent the entire day competing in a top-ranked, high-school academic tournament, hosted by MIT in Cambridge. Leaving campus before the dawn, sixth-formers Unyimeabasi Udoh (captain), Sam Cabot, Swetha Kodali, Xiyue “Sissi” Wang, Liza Bernstein, and III-former Shuvam Chakraborty fought hard through nine rounds of as many as 80 questions each, finishing with a respectable 5-4 record, tying for second in the Noether division (after the namesake German mathematician), in an overall field of 28 teams. Questions ranged from the obscure and highly abstruse (e.g., theoretical physics, ancient Asian philosophy, and Scandinavian political history), to the contemporary and popular (football trophy winners, current events in the Middle East, and MTV’s Video Music Awards), to the quirky and irreverent (video games). Berkshire’s capable, diversely-talented group leapt into the fray with determination and aplomb, working as a team to maximize the strengths of each player in a day filled with many dramatic moments and “squeaker” endings. Strong individual performances included that of Unyime, who finished in 16th place, and Shuvam, who took 48th, out of 136 players in total. Over sandwiches and burritos at lunch, the team spoke with a friend who is an MIT freshman, and she explained the academic program, research opportunities, and extracurricular and social activities at the university; in the evening, the team stopped off at Harvard Square for noodles and laughs before the long ride home.
This year, Berkshire School will sponsor varsity (alpha), junior varsity (beta), and developmental teams (omega), since the program is growing substantially. Our next major tournament is on October 27th, at Yale University in New Haven.
-- Evan Clary, English Chair and faculty advisor to the Quiz Bowl teams