Academic Quiz Bowls and the Vinyl Geek

quiz bowlSo yesterday my oldest daughter(she’ll be 13 in May) had her first Academic Quiz Bowl competition.  She was on the English and Interdisciplinary teams.  Interdisciplinary meaning a little bit of everything was in this round.  The rounds were: Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and Interdisciplinary.  80s Sitcoms weren’t included, otherwise I’d a swept it.

Let me just say, I have no idea where my daughter gets her academic prowess.  Not that her mother and I are drooling mongoloids by any means, but this girl is really, really smart.  We found out a week after her third birthday that she could read.  By the time she was in the 2nd grade she was testing into the gifted and talented program in our school system and was accepted into it with open arms.  She excelled wonderfully in the program.  It helped that she had two incredibly giving and caring teachers while in the program.  They were also 30 year teaching  veterans, so they knew a thing or two on how to wrangle kids too smart for their own good.  But once she graduated out of the program last year in the 6th grade we were mildly concerned how she would transition from this tight knit group of brainiacs and savants to the cold, hard halls of middle school.  Turns out, pretty damn good.  In fact, it really didn’t phase her at all.  It helped that she was already going to the middle school the previous year for geometry(Oh yeah, she’s in the seventh grade and already in Advanced Algebra 2.  I barely made it out alive in Algebra 1 as a freshman in high school).  So she’s doing great in middle school.  And she’s joined a bunch of clubs.  Magazine Club, Spellbowl, Academic Quiz Bowl, Drama, and Archery(okay, not archery).  She’s also in band and plays the oboe.  I barely made it out of my pajamas in the 7th grade, so the fact that she’s involved in so many things has me thrilled beyond belief.

So the quiz bowl.  Yeah, my wife and I had a blast just sitting out in the audience and guessing random answers.  I never felt so stupid in my life(well, there was a that $40 shoe shine in Chicago…ugh).  I mean, I thought I knew a little about Greek Mythology.  Harry Hamlin, the Kraken, snakes for hair,….thought I had it covered.  Well, no.  No I didn’t.  And the math?  Umm, I took Accounting my junior year in order to get my math credit so I didn’t have to take Algebra II and fail it.  Smelting, Sophists, Antigone, Macedonia, Persia,….Great Odin’s Raven!!  Despite feeling like the bridge troll that showed up for the Masquerade Ball, my wife and I actually had a great time.  It’s been a hell of a week, so having a sub with my high school sweetheart and then laughing at ourselves and lack of book smarts was just what we needed last night.  My daughter did pretty well.  Her school’s team got a first in Science and a second in English.  My wife and I?  Well we had fun being the immature ones for a change.

The vinyl geek thing.  Well, you may get from time to time on this page that I love music.  And my preferred format to listen to music is vinyl.  You didn’t get that?  Huh.  Well, I do and it is.  I started collecting vinyl back in 2008.  I never really collected vinyl at all.  I bought a couple Judas Priest albums, a Yngwie Malmsteen album, and a Vinnie Vincent Invasion album back when I was 13 when for Christmas I got my first proper stereo.  But that was it.  It was cassettes and then CDs till 2008.  So in 2008 I bought my turntable and so began my vinyl journey.  Lately I’ve started to get serious about my collection.  Building vinyl cabinets, geeking out over colored limited edition pressings, etc.  So I started an account on and have begun to catalog my collection.  My collection is still relatively small -roughly 150 to 170 records- but I’m particular about what I buy.  I’m not like, but I’m working on it.

So this cataloging thing….it’s addictive.  And what’s even better is that it doesn’t cost me anything.  It’s busy work that doesn’t hurt the wallet.  And it fills my anal-retentive quirks.  And thanks to ma and pa Hubner I’ve got a few oldies.  I’ve also got two collections of 78s that were my grandma’s that I haven’t even begun to investigate.  I’ve got a geek-tastic weekend ahead of me!

Maybe the smarts my daughter has is from her mom and I, and not Little Einstein and breast milk.  Maybe it’s just coming thr0ugh her in a way that could actually pay off someday.  Great job, nice savings account, lake home for mom and dad, wicked sense of humor, and vinyl collection to look forward to when her old man croaks.

I really should read Antigone.


9 Replies to “Academic Quiz Bowls and the Vinyl Geek”

  1. So, you compare yourself to your kids and come up short, eh? Well, here’s your counter-argument:

    Intellectual performance is determined by both nature and nurture. You had a hand in both. Antigone? Not the best parental example if I remember correctly (<50% chance I'm right).


    1. Hey, I don’t feel so dense already I says…

      Yeah, doing a little research, it seems Antigone’s mom was also her grandma. I thought this was written by Sophocles, not Tennessee Williams?


  2. This is great. My son is a genius, and I have to have him teach me Algebra so that I can be better prepared for when I am subbing a math class. I consider myself pretty smart, but I think his intelligence comes from good study habits, which I never had.
    As for the vinyl thing, I hated records and gleefully embraced CDs when they came out. I never took care of them. In fact, I destroyed 4 copies of Led Zeppelin 4 before i finally got it on cd. Now, I want to collect vinyl.


    1. It’s no fluke. We had to have a part in our children’s smarts. I like to say I have ‘street smarts’, which is an absolute lie. But it’s fun to say at parties and to her teachers while she’s there so she gets embarrassed.

      You’re not alone in your turn back to the vinyl love. I have a couple friends that are about 10 years older than I am and one in particular talked about dumping his vinyl in a dumpster back in the early 80s. Now he regrets that…just a little. It’s a strange and beautiful little culture. It’s a hobby much healthier than smoking, drinking, or gambling. Plus, it’s something I can hand down to my kids(when I’m damn good and ready).


  3. Lovely – my son’s a whizz at languages and piano, where the hell’s have those skills come from? I think the fun of parenting is when the bits that are them and not you start to really shine through.

    And thank you for the namecheck – it’s not a hobby, it’s a condition I have …


    1. You’re right. Seeing those bits appear that seemingly come from out of nowhere that make them ‘them’…that’s the good stuff. Like knowing she’ll be able to do our taxes for us in a couple years? Warms my heart just thinking about it.

      It’s a condition I see taking me over as well, if it hasn’t already.


  4. The individual in the High Quiz Bowl Photo, second from right front row, is me, 35 years ago. Our Team, Duluth Cathedral, won this event. I later went on to graduate from East High School 1 year later. I still have the paper photos, including this one from this event.

    Liked by 1 person

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