When I was in high school, I was on the Quiz Bowl team. Don’t mock me. Or do. It’s pretty nerdy. My sisters were ballerinas and musicians. I was the geek in high school that thought spelling words at lightning speed and arguing over lines from Troilus and Cressida was fun.
Before you roll your eyes, understand that Quiz Bowl requires a lot of training and practice. It was an elite team. And by “elite” I mean “you basically had to have a GPA higher than 1.2.”
The basic premise was that you’d go head to head with another team of geeks, seeing who knew more random trivia questions and who could find the answer to a logarithm the fastest. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their Saturday mornings in a school packed with math geeks, science whizzes, and football players forced to be on the team to improve their grades? It was almost like football. Minus the effort, brute strength, and popularity.
This is where I always start to giggle a little. It’s worth noting that I told this story to a friend at work recently. While I laughed so hard I could barely get my words out, she stared at me blankly. Then it turned to awkward laughter. Then I put my head down and walked away.
At every match, our group had to put a sign with our school’s name on it on our table, so that when the judge called on someone for an answer, he could say, “Marcus Meriden Cleghorn” or “Most Precious Blood” or whatever the name of the school was. I attended Unity Christian High School. But our sign always, always, always said Junity Christian High School. Not Unity. Junity. With a J.
Inevitably, the person in charge would look at us as he registered our group or before a match started and say, “You’re with Junity Christian?” And inevitably, our captain would answer completely seriously, “Actually, it’s Unity Christian. It’s just that the J is silent.” And inevitably, the judge would say, “Ohhh. Thanks. Yeah. Right. Good. Ok. Great. Mmhmm. Let me make a note of that” while scribbling on his paper.
And inevitably, all of us 15-year-olds would hold our giggles for a good half an hour until we stepped out of the room after the match was over and let loose with a great deal of nerdy laughter at our extreme wit. Get it? Junity? With a silent J?
If anybody needs me, I’m going to go sit quietly in a corner now.