The Great Midwest Trivia Contest is already adored by many. These capers wreak havoc across campus in a multitude of fashions, including silly costumes and indiscriminate screaming. While exciting and wacky, there are definitely some occupational hazards faced by everyone, on-and off-campus, involved in the Lawrence atmosphere.
One of the most impressive demands placed upon the players is their sleep deprivation fortitude. How do participants stay awake for a completely unofficial average of eight cumulative hours? Apparently, many really cannot. Senior Nick Paulson was a noted Trivia Master who did not fare well, to the point of being accused of having a concussion on the Facebook group. By my own observations, as well, nobody seems to manage wakefulness for two days without developing some sort of delusion about how they’re not sitting in their own filth. Taking shifts may work well for larger teams, but many small teams call for greater sacrifice. Most players really need to tape their eyelids open, especially during the daytime Sunday when it becomes clear whether or not they are undead zombies. While clearly no one has figured out how to stay alert and normal the entire weekend, I can only suggest wearing uncomfortably tight clothes and playing loud atonal music. Nothing keeps me awake like a tiny bra and throat singing.
The next feat attempted by participants is maintaining normal function on an incredibly abnormal and nutrition-void diet. Senior Shannon Kreuser said, “I had so many breakfast sandwiches, poptarts and pizza that I think the whites of my eyes are lubricated by carcinogenic grease.” Her experience is not unusual, as many residence halls served a cocktail of chips and Tootsie Rolls to keep players awake. How do they cope? By ignoring what their bodies are telling them and ordering more Topperstix. I am especially impressed by this aspect of the contest, and the strength required to avoid complex carbohydrates and biologically based substances. I vote this diet should be lauded and made available much more regularly.
Above both of these challenges is the overwhelming enthusiasm brought by the players throughout the entirety of the contest. Teams channel their collective focus, work together and communicate in three minute increments to achieve consistent results. Not only that, but many group HQ’s are pleasant atmospheres that greet new teammates upon entry. I accidentally stumbled upon the Hiett lounge, hosting David and the Bells, on Sunday and got a standing ovation, until I asked if any of them could help me find the room I was looking for (it turns out, there is no 424 Hiett, that room is in Briggs).
The participants are serious about success, but they are certainly willing to have a good time and joke around while they fight for an auspicious title within the top three teams. Congratulations to the winners of the Great Midwest Trivia Contest and everyone who participated. It was an amazing experience for you and for the many bystanders, like me! Additional kudos for making my night at Delt much more entertaining, and thank you to the team “Winter is Colman” for pretending not to notice when I stole all your pizza.