Friday, May 4, 2007

Cuba is Not in the North China Sea

I came across this entry in one of my favorite blogs and was totally able to related to this sentiment.

For Betsy Land of The Enquirer-Journal team, getting ousted on the word "sacalait," which is a small, delectable fish from the crappie family, came with a chuckle."It has a beautiful irony," said Land, whose former job with ESPN centered around fishing and fish enthusiasts.

Back in 1993 when I was in the 7th grade I participated in the National Geogaphic Geography Bee. For the third year in row I had qualified for the state championship competition. Unlike in previous years I did exceptionally well in the early rounds. By late afternoon the competition had been winnowed down from 100 to 2 competitors, and I was one of the two left standing. I quickly took the lead in the final round, and finally got to the point where I was just one question away from becoming state champion.

The prize package that one got for being state champion was impressive, you got a free week long trip to compete in the national competition, in Washington D.C., a four year half ride scholarship to the University of Denver which was worth well into the five figure, plus an assortment of other goodies. So not too surprisingly my excitement level was through the roof as the moderator read out the potential state title clinching question.

The moderator read out the question "Russia, China and which neighboring Communist nation are attempting form a free trade block?" Tragically in my excitement I did not hear that oh so key word, neighboring. Not hearing that key qualifer I blurted out the first communist country that came to mind, Cuba. Obviously only in sense that they are located on the planet Earth are Cuba, China, and Russia all neighbors, the correct answer was North Korea.

With this I fell into a tie breakers which I, being totally deflated, promptly lost. Ironically the next year I would again come with one question of winning the state title, but at least I missed that question because I honestly did not know what island Chian Kai-shek was most strongly associated with, Taiwan.

I miss the geography bee, such as shame they have nothing like this for adults.

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