February 12th, 2007

Nao Claws

In which my Ego screams "Monument Valley!"

WARNING: The forthcoming entry was written in a state of mild distress relating to a television quiz programme. The entry contains statements that are most certainly not modest. Continue at your own risk, else normal entries will resume when llieno has calmed down

That was extremely frustrating.

I just watched Wadham, Oxford, defeat last year's RHUL University Challenge team.

The irritating thing was how it tended to be the questions RHUL got wrong which I knew. I'm not pretending to be a Quiz Whizz: my knowledge of the sciences is limited to what I recall from GCSE and AS Chemistry, and my literature is pretty poor. I'm also weak on classical history, art and sport.

However, I'm willing to say I'm rather good with geography. I've been wanting to go on Eggheads for a while now, just so I could tackle the geography round. Also, whilst I realise geography forms a limited part of the questions asked (which didn't stop me screaming MONUMENT VALLEY at a James Bradley of 8 months ago), I have a photographic memory, which is useful for more than just sounding cleverer than I am in seminars.

The UC trials are on the 22nd, and nothing will keep me away. If I don't get in, fair enough, I can say I tried. Even if I do somehow make the team (rare for someone who isn't a mature student, postgrad or finalist), there's only a slight chance we'd make the show. Even then, I'd probably have a braindrain on the programme and say the Red River was in Myanmar or something like that.

I want to try, though. I wouldn't be the star, but I'd be the plaster filling the gaps in the rest of the team's knowlege. I'm actually finding that my random Wikipedian wanderings, and mad atlas surveying, have actually a use to me. Even Classic FM has been an aid, as I've noted (with some amusement) that I can get a few of the classical music rounds the others cannot (to be fair, I just made an educated guess).

Aye, I realise this sounds really rather egotistical, but it's largely out of frustration. I'm sure many of you have yelled answers at contestants on the Weakest Link or WWTBAM?, and this is the same, only in this case, the team getting the answer wrong is your own university's, and in this case, there is a chance you could be there. It'd be something to stick on my CV for sure (not that I don't have plenty of those already: my CV is just lacking the rather crucial job experience). I'd also be on national TV, making a fool of myself as I did last time I was on national TV babbling on in my 10-year old voice about mazes (As Seen on TV, BBC1, January 1998).

Fingers crossed.

This is, after all, the flip side of spending your lectures naming all 50 US states whilst creating your own alphabet using characters from Norwegian, German, French, Czech and the IPA, and occassionaly scribbling personal notes in English, in Cyrillic. In fact, my big problem, and the one that's hurting me right now, is how I can't direct my research. I'm supposed to be covering European Migration in the 19th Century, but I've spent a fair part of this weekend looking up subjects related to the American Deep South, from 'The Appalachian Trail' to the history of Louisiana to the lyrics to 'Dixie' and 'Shenandoah'.

Oh dear, I'm babbling. I'll shut up now before you all decide to ram an atlas down my throat for being boastful...