Cross posted from Western regional discussion forum, Pacific Rim thread:
I am writing this gazing out at a Pacific sunset drinking a margarita and contemplating a dip in the infinity pool or going bodysurfing having just come back from directing the inaugural Guam History Bee and Bowl, my Christmas present to myself. This was so much fun, I barely know where to begin. I think partly it's because I actually slept six hours for the first time ever before directing a tournament. Secondly; there is an absolutely thriving quizbowl scene here (which has just gotten their first taste of pyramidal quizbowl and loved it) with something like 15 high schools and 15 middle schools having teams. With less than 200,000 people here, Guam, it's safe to say, has the highest qb density of teams of any geopolitical entity in the world. The competition was great - they were not overwhelmed by our C set, and even the middle school that brought three teams had a great time. I've never seen kids have so much fun going a collective 2-13, with the only 2 wins coming in intraschool matches. We ended up with 10 teams from 5 schools - oddly, the split was 3 Varsity, 7 JV.
Jeff Hoppes, if you're reading this you'll know the birding on Guam is terrible, due to the brown tree snake, but that was also one of the answer lines in 8 Guam History tossups I wrote for the event. They all elicited lots of enthusiasm (and yes, the brown tree snake was answered for 20 points in the room I was reading in). In the results, Harvest Christian and Father Duenas both contested the JV and Varsity Bowl finals. Father Duenas, who had a great lineup that could easily vie for top 100 national status on the mainland took the Varsity, but Harvest Christian took the JV. Lenny from Bishop Baumgartner won the middle school division of the Bee (not a part of our middle school competition, officially), Alfonso from Father Duenas took the Junior Varsity Bee, and Adam from Father Duenas took the Varsity Bee.
I have 3 more school visits here on Monday and Tuesday. Next year's Guam Bowl will almost certainly have 20+ teams. That's enough to pay for the flight out here, and there was interest from Guam teams in coming to DC for Nationals. This, like all NHBB "exotics" was not a boondoggle, but an investment in the growth of NHBB and quizbowl in the Western Pacific. At lunch, I had an audience of about 80 for my clinic, where I discussed ACE camps, the Torrey Pines Database, my resources guide, and our partnership with the History Channel for the Middle School Bee. We hope to make Guam an official region next year.
Next stop: Hawaii for next Saturday's Hawaii History Bee and Bowl at Iolani School in Honolulu. Now back to that sunset and margarita...
Ridgewood (NJ) '99, Princeton '03
Founder and Director: International History Bee and Bowl, National History Bee and Bowl (High School Division), International History Olympiad, United States Geography Olympiad, US History Bee, US Academic Bee and Bowl, National Humanities Bee, National Science Bee, International Academic Bowl.
Adviser and former head coach for Team USA at the International Geography Olympiad