A Monologue

by Elliot Geo

Elliot: . . . Geobee was run by National Geographic and is very similar to the spelling bee, but contestants answer geography questions and the Geobee created a bunch of geography nerds due to all the geography people had to learn to effectively participate.

Jimmy Bob: Tell me of the closest time you ever got to winning it!

Elliot: So I really love history, and to do history you need to know geography well. My mom decided to sign me up for the Geobee since she knew I would do fine with geography and she wanted me to be in another club. After she signed me up, I began constantly studying for the competition until it was time. At the school competition, I won by getting every correct answer on all of the questions. Upon winning the school competition, I was allowed to go to state, where I repeated my previous success and got the first seven questions right. When my final question came, I can’t quite remember it completely but it was along these lines, “What major Russian port city that is connected to Russia by Russian territory and is on the Neva river and the Baltic sea?” I answered immediately to my regret, hardly using the granted fifteen seconds, “Leningrad”, I gave as my answer. I suddenly realized my error: the answer was St. Petersburg. My answer was the same city, but it had been named Leningrad between 1924 and 1991. My knowledge of history had betrayed me. I knew that I had lost. But hope came to me when the judges deliberated for ten minutes; I began to believe that they would let me continue on to state finals regardless, until they came back and said that I was wrong. I was horribly saddened and disappointed with the outcome, but now in retrospect it’s kind of funny. I was allowed to go on to tiebreakers as no one had qualified for the eighth and last seat in the finals, but I lost in the tiebreaker as well.

Jimmy Bob: Ouch. That must have hurt for a while.

Elliot: It did, but after a little while it went away and was replaced with amusement at the situation.          

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