Classical Quizzing

Just as classicists at Bancroft’s School thought their trudging week in our current spring, which seems averted to really springing, couldn’t get any longer, it became more pleasant!

While rain relentlessly persisted at the windows, unperturbed Bancroftians began to pile into the cosy Sixth Form library for the highly anticipated annual Classical Quiz. Competitors began to sort themselves into their teams while cake was scoffed as heartily as the punny team names were scoffed at by the teachers in the prelude to the first round.

The Bancroft’s Classical Quiz is indeed about classics, but also classic itself in style: the cake and camaraderie, the friendly competition found in comparing knowledge of all things obscure with friends and foes alike. Our wonderful Mrs Burnside described it as either the coolest or the geekiest event of the year. I wondered why it oughtn’t be both!

The atmosphere in the 2024 Bancroft’s Classical Quiz would have you believe quizzing were a tradition older than literature as the structure of being asked a series of ultimately trivial questions to answer more accurately than colleagues seemed to be extremely well-practised in providing entertainment and creating a fantastic atmosphere; “it’s really lovely to have so many people coming together,” said Martha, who attended the quiz and Zaara’s comprehensive list of superlatives suggests she enjoyed it just as much.

As the air seemed to become warmer and the clamour of teams discussing answers to the final questions of the quiz became louder, the announcement of the winning team drew ever nearer. Finally, after 4 rounds of eclectic questions had been answered- though some of them cluelessly shrugged at- and a great many more slices of cake consumed, the winners of the 2024 Bancroft’s Classical Quiz were announced: team Procrustes, led by Kaitlin!

The friendly congratulations and mighty applause which this announcement received truly captured what makes quizzes rather special- after spending some meaningful time showing off your know-how, or perhaps learning something new, you are ultimately left feeling fulfilled enough to simply be happy for whichever team managed to defeat you, because you verily yielded about as much enjoyment from simply soaking up the competitive atmosphere as you would from emerging the victor from it.

Ted (Lower Sixth)

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