After day 1 we all were excited to return to Sheikh Sarai. Uhm, maybe not everyone, considering the return journey is so horrible.
As usual, I turned up at school punctually – fifteen minutes late, which is natural. Saw this kid named Shubham, who went with us for VB programming, going again just for the heck of it. His classmates scared him that they’d tear his certificates and break his award. So he’s like 1955’s original George McFly. I wonder how long it’ll take Darth Vader from Planet Vulcan to meet him.
Now that we knew that majority of the quiz questions were taken from already-existing archives, we wanted to study. Unfortunately, I was too busy proving f(x)=|sin x| + |cos x| is periodic with π last night, and Saumey was reading from Vidit’s archive (which Arnav later informed me, had been pulled from gyaan.in). But I was more interested in reading from my TCS archives over the past three years. Surprisingly, they were no longer available on MediaFire! Strange.
So anyway, we were just talking about a lot of other stuff (other than the quiz, that is) on the way to Apeejay. As usual, the kids were making a ruckus in the car making the journey even more tedious. Somehow I can’t recall some of the finer details about the journey probably because it was uneventful this time with Jyot Singh having no problem in finding the school today.
We reached at exactly 9.04 AM and the quiz was scheduled to start at 9. Auditorium was really quiet and the first person I saw as soon as I entered was Arnav, listening to his iPod. There really was no Prempal today, so we had a reasonable shot. But we did know, however, that Arnav was a pretty damn good quizzer on any given day, considering that he qualified for TCS once and won the Japan Quiz this time.
The quiz began about ten minutes after we finished with registration. We could choose our places randomly and judging by the huge screen, I chose to sit at the seat farthest from it – team 6.
The quiz began with a dry round with infinite bounce system. Apparently, the quizmaster was dreaming about going back to bed, by forgetting the most basic rule of infinite bounce – the team next to the tem which correctly answered the question gets it.
Round one was pathetic was me and Saumey. We were stuck at zero while others had some points. Arnav was at his usual flamboyant self, of course.
Next round featured negative marking, and we got -10 for getting Camel Case wrong (I confused it with tOGGLE cASE).
It was like that for a while, when the connect round came around. There were five points for identifying each picture and ten for the connect with the scoring being same for all. We managed to scrape together some measly five points in some questions, and boy did it go a long way.
The quizmaster was definitely not paying attention this time as when we answered “This is the first player YouTube used to stream videos” it was not accepted, but when the next team said “This is the first player YouTube used to stream videos online using Flash”, they got it. Another instance was Arnav saying essentially the same thing about some “tables” (something to do with guessing hash keys while guessing) and it was not accepted, while the next team’s answer was, even though it was essentially the same. Arnav almost looked like he’d found out that Vader was his father.
Then came the big mega connect for us. We had to connect Nupedia, Jimmy Wales (photo), “quick” and Julian Assange. Of course the connect was Wikipedia and we garnered a lump sum of thirty points. This was crucial to the quiz at it changed everything.
Or so I though. Until the buzzer round spread its wings to cover us all in its mighty wingspan.
Or more appropriately, cover us in its poop.
The main idea of the round was flawed. In buzzer rounds, you’re supposed to see the question and immediately strike the buzzer to answer it. It’s not the vastness of the knowledge that’s being tested here, it’s how quick you can recall it. They didn’t have “quizzing-grade” buzzers installed here; they wouldn’t break circuits. Nor did they use Exun’s strategy of recording it and playing in slow motion. They did have spotters, but that path is never devoid of controversy, you know.
Arnav went totally bonkers here, hitting the buzzer before the question was completed, getting -20, hitting it again for another -20. Even we got a -20, but we covered up with some great answering.
Suddenly at the end of the round, we were with our noses ahead at 80 and others in mid seventies.
My knees started shaking at the prospect of actually winning the first quiz of the season, when the next round showed up. I’d like to call this little tyke “Deux Ex Machina”. Here are the rules
- Plus fifty for the correct answer.
- Minus twenty for the wrong answer.
- Plus thirty for a passed question
See what just happened there? That’s like giving Stoke City a fifty point boost if they score a goal in their last game. This is madness.
So the round started with a tough one (in my opinion) and it got easier later on. Almost all the questions here took up entire slides. Suddenly, we were fourth. The last question of the quiz went to us and it was like requiring four runs of one ball with one wicket remaining.
It was a huge quote about a person “responsible for getting the computer to the masses” speaking about his life-changing experiences with the Homebrew Computer Club.
And guess what. I forgot. I panicked there and knew we had lost it. But Saumey stood there like a white knight in shining armor braces.
“Bhaiya Steve Wozniak bol do. “
“I don’t think that’s right.”
“Arre maine iWoz mein yeh padh rakha hai.”
It was difficult to trust him as he was responsible for that -20 in the buzzer round and another question to which I knew the right answer.
But then, quizzing is all about trusting your partner and we went ahead.
It was right and we WON. Boy was the adrenaline rush massive. Went down the stage feeling like a boss. From -10 to 130 is no mean feat, guys. The win was slightly unconvincing, because of that stupid buzzer round (although it was responsible for saving our skins).
Lots of questions were from Vidit’s book, Saumey and Arnav told me. This was funny as Vidit himself didn’t qualify. BTW, there was one question he could definitely have answered as it was in German and Vidit knows German.
More results started pouring in, and we were quite sure of winning the overall trophy with the first position in the PowerPoint presentation on corruption the kids made, second in LOGO Programming and some other event, and third in some robotics event and VB programming.
When we went on the stage to collect the overall trophy, what we didn’t know was that we had also won a printer! And when we opened it in the Qualis it turned out to be an HP All-in-One which we decided to put in the secondary lab. Now two labs have photocopy machines.
Meena Ma’am didn’t accompany us today and was absolutely astounded at the news about the overall trophy and the printer. We all were.
So a good day for ze Converge Clan. Not a waste of time at all (hope you’re reading this, Dad).
P.S: Anyone has those TCS archives? Please mail: firstname.lastname@example.org