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Logging bits into the brain

You’ve heard it and maybe you have said it yourself.
The phrase “You never stop learning” is very wise-sounding.
It is of the logic that once you quit learning, then you cease to exist as a person.
Of course if you delve closer into the combination of those four words, “learning” can be rather skewed.
Please allow me to explain -- If you learn how to create the next realm of technology in the world of smart phones, that has a higher wisdom achievement that learning how to twerk dance.
But we should be proud to learn -- no matter what it may be.
As for me, my “learning” definitely does not focus in one direction. My brain gathers tidbits of this, pieces parts of that, and a sampling of “what in the world is that stuff.”
While knowing that it should have been named the Bob Uecker line instead of the Mario Mendoza line when referring to battling above or below .200 in baseball, serves some relevance to a person like me, it may not mean squat to you. Mendoza’s career major league batting average was .215, while Uecker’s was .200.
That is the kind of odds and ends rattling around in my cranium.
I was told by one lady that if she ever went on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” she would have me listed as all of her life lines.
I’m am not sure I should be happy about that or wonder why I haven’t used my brain for more meaningful things.
I will have to ponder that some more and get back to you.
I like to associate myself with people who are book smart, but yet also have a grasp of common sense. By doing this, it helps me keep my sarcasm meter turned down to the “low” position or at least “medium.”
If my sarcasm meter is too active, I have to intensify my speaking filter.
That isn’t easy in some cases.
And I do not seek out intellect in those who have reached adulthood. Nope, if you are a mental giant in a less-than-giant sized body based on your age, that is fine too.
For the last two years, I have traveled with the Screven County Middle School quiz bowl team to region competition. My son Broc is joined by students who too are very bright and are quick thinkers.
Last season, the SCMS team, advised by teacher Ruth Sommers, advanced from region onto state, but even though the group this year also were intelligent, the opponents were just faster to their buzzers in what I like to call the lightning rounds.
To be good by academic bowl standards, you have to have knowledge in subjects that would be part of the typical middle school curriculum, but also in areas that simply do not make it into traditional teaching format.
The other items can be found in everyday news items that may be read online or in newspapers.
In short, you have to really know what is going on in the United States and around the globe.
The format for a quiz bowl round against another team of students is simplistic, but the questions asked aren’t simple in nature.
Here is a sampling of some of the content involved at the Jan. 11 regional quiz bowl held at Thomson Middle School:
The first question involves “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The next question is on the Periodic Table and that is followed by a Georgia geography one.
Each round has 10 toss-up questions. Get that question right and then your school has a shot at bonus points. If one of the bonus questions are missed, then the other school has a chance at those.
The next round involved some questions about Harriet Tubman, geology and computer usage.
The next one was about such items as what states border other states; what makes up our atmosphere; and international ranking officials.
Another round had ones about biology and, of course, mathematics problems.
If you were wondering, no, there was no reference to Uecker.
However, there was mention of Buster Posey, the catcher for the San Francisco Giants and a product of the state of Georgia. Posey just so happened to be the answer to two differently worded questions -- one in 2013 and the other in 2014.
I knew my random sports knowledge would come in handy at some point in my life.
Along with my son, this year’s SCMS quiz bowl members are Ashley Adams, Jaiden Malphurs, Rachel Roberts, Kaila Arnett, Haley Fischer, Micah Mesecher, Alexis Ball, Jackson Giles and Houston Roberts.
These students are very intelligent. Their parents and our school system should be very proud of them.
Each of them have a quality future ahead of them because they already understand at their age that being well-rounded intellectually is extremely important.
With that said, I need to get back to studying some more about the United States’ curling team for this year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.
You never know when that information could come in handy.

Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.