AHS competes at It’s Academic


Vincent Randazzo

The It's Academic team and the AHS cheer squad pose for a picture in the It's Academic studio


Annandale High School competed at the NBC program It’s Academic, which will be broadcasted on NBC on March 28, 2015. We went against Osbourn Park High School and South County High School
Each school sends three students to compete, with no substitutions. I ended up being the team captain with junior Phuong Nguyen and senior Alex Mekuria as team members. We walked into the studio nervous, seeing that the other schools seemed very intimidating. Nevertheless, we sat down in our chairs before the cameras and prepared to compete.
After the quick first round, we were down only 10 points, the scores being 110-140-120. Many of the questions were easy, but I could not buzz in, as the nervousness was overwhelming. The second round was a team round, and we answered almost all of the questions correctly. No team answered all questions of the second round correctly.
After the third and fourth rounds, we had lost the match in last place, 370-400-420, Osbourn Park winning after a tiebreaker with South County. The match was close, with only a few questions from last and first place. We shook the hands of our opponents and left the studio in defeat, but we were confident that we could do better next time.
The real challenge in It’s Academic bowls is not one’s level of knowledge, but one’s confidence in his or her knowledge, although knowledge is a fundamental part of the game. I, along with my teammates, knew many of the answers to the questions asked, but we only buzzed in on ones we knew 100 percent.
We answered all of the buzzed-in questions correctly because we played it safe; we did not take risks. I noticed that winning teams get questions right, as well as wrong, but take risks on questions that they think they know because, in the long run, they will get more questions right than questions wrong.
It’s Academic is a club for people who enjoy trivia and quizzes. Questions are of every subject, including music, history, literature, math and science. Buzzers are used, just like in the famous game show Jeopardy, and the team’s objective to answer as many questions as possible before any other team can answer them.
I joined the It’s Academic club in the beginning of my sophomore year at Annandale, and I was really intimidated by the other members. I tried my best, but I really could only do well in math, which is my strength.
As the year progressed, I gained confidence, and I started to answer many more questions, and also many more incorrectly. Still, the correct answers outweighed the incorrect, and I was starting to do a little better.
As a junior, I looked forward to competing in scrimmages and bowls against other schools. The first Scholastic Bowl we went to was at Woodson High School.
I ended up the team captain, with sophomore Derek Lawrence and Adrian Gomez as my team mates. There was a slight dilemma; teams consisted of four people with room for substitutes, while we only had the three of us.
Despite the clear disadvantages, we went on to compete with the other schools in our district, three to four. We lost against all of the schools, but we came close to tying with two other schools. We were also ahead against Woodson after the second round (Woodson beat all other schools).
Even after the losses, we went home happy knowing we could go head to head with the smartest students at each school (many of those competing were seniors, and our team consisted of a junior and two sophomores).
Even though we lost the It’s Academic bowls, I feel like the experience in the studio will help us do better during the next Scholastic Bowl in the spring, and the NBC taping next year.