posted by Noah
When last we left off, Aegean Sea had kicked major toochis in the Opening Chant contest and now it was time for all the events.
Amanda and I weren't participating in too many events. We were judging some, and trying to be helpful for others. But we did take part in the board games. Amanda was doing Pictionary and I was the Scrabble guy (well, me and a guy named Paul). I had been practicing a LOT for Scrabble on my computer. I probably fell two weeks behind on the writing I needed to do because I was trying to beat "Maven" on the Expert setting.
I don't think the setup of the Scrabble contest was the best. It was just five isolated games and the highest scores won medals. A tournament would have been best, but would have taken time. I also don't think it was wise to have us play in teams -- Scrabble isn't really a team game. But Paul and I worked pretty well together. We had only one board-clearing word --REPANELS -- but we won pretty handily against pretty good competition. It wasn't enough though. We left with the second highest score in the room, but two games that finished later than ours had higher scorers, knocking us down to fourth. Sigh. Amanda's Pictionary adventures didn't fare much better. So, alas, we let our Sea down.
Around lunch, I judged a pie-eating contest. This was not my favorite. I'm not a fan of wasting food. I mean, for the luvva Pete, we were sailing to India, a country where a huge chunk of the population is starving and we're having a contest to eat as quickly as possible? (This isn't even mentioning the Mashed Potato Sculpture Contest) As it turned out, the Pie contest was controversial and pivotal in the events of the day. It didn't make any difference, but one onlooker yelled out "Go Sarah" one second before I said "go" starting the contest a second early. More important was the one girl claimed she should have won silver and didn't stop complaining until the whole event's results were vacated, costing Aegean a Gold Medal that wasn't even in question. Remember this for later.
Also much more complicated than I thought it would be was the Mixed Doubles Ping Pong, the other event I was judging. I think of Ping Pong as a simple game, but when it becomes Mixed Doubles, suddenly it's more complex than a Russian novel. And there were some VERY serious ping pong players out there. It quickly became clear that I should just stand back and let them handle their own game.
Amanda judged the swimsuit relay, which involved every team member putting on lots of clothing swimming back and forth, then swapping clothes with the next competitor, who would do the same. Handy win for Aegean.
Also in the pool was the Synchronized Swimming event, which yielded some very funny performances. Of course, Aegean nailed it again, thanks to a weird and wonderful Disney medley by Grant and company.
Amanda and I were both judges for the photo scavenger hunt. Tough one because it was all about how they interpreted the items on the list (a picture of a professor making the peace sign, a person playing flip cup, etc). Many people had roughly the same funny take on something, and we had to make sure we didn't penalize the group that we happened to see second or third or sixth.
The final event of the night was the lipsynch contest. I was very honored to be given the chance to emcee this. I think I was the only person who asked, but, still.
All the perfomances were good, from a recreation of an Indian music video to a Dirty Dancing parody to an extended Britney Spears mix. Aegean took Silver with a drag number.
I was pretty pleased with how my emceeing went. Some of my best lines ...
Our motto today was Altius, Citius, Sweatius ... I used to think it was sad that South America and Africa have never hosted an Olympics but now I understand. Holding any athletic competition this close to the equator is deranged.
How about that? Britney Spears' entire career in five minutes, which is about how long we thought it would last, anyway.
(After the drag number) As if my Malaria medication wasn't already giving me weird dreams. My favorite was Qi as "Topless Spice."
When all was said and done, Aegean only came in fourth. It would have been second if the Pie Eating results had stuck. Nicole, our Sea Captain, was very upset. She was taking things a bit too seriously, but I admire her passion.
All in all a day of great fun and good spirits. I still have a lot of problems with these students, but we saw their best today and it was nice to behold.