Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Math Bowl Mania

The Rationalist joined 4 other students from the third grade for the first stage of the county's Math Bowl.

The entire Bowl consists of 10 questions with 5 minutes allotted for each question.  The points for getting a correct answer are weighted; 10 points for the first minute, 8 points if answered in the 2nd minute, etc.  After each minute a timer beeps, informing the students of the disappearing window for answering the question.

Although I love to show my support for my son, I hate the Math Bowl.  The entire time I look on as his team huddles together, pencils scribbling, arguments erupting, time slipping by.  It's hard for me to watch.  The questions are quite tough for their grade, but are easy enough for me to figure out within a few moments of reading them on the projector screen.  Knowing the answer, I have to sit still and quietly hold my breath while I observe them working it out.

Completely. Nerve. Wracking.

It's even worse when, on occasion, I realize that they have misunderstood the complicated directions and are working on the problem from the entirely wrong angle.

Alas...they came in fifth place...just above the middle of the pack, but not one of the top three teams going to the finals.

Watching your children compete is so much worse than competing yourself.

1 comment:

Retriever said...

Yes, it is nerve-wracking. Mine were decent but not stellar at math. With us, it was the classics competitions (easy questions on Greek and Roman mythology) and geography quizzes at that age, and I would be sitting biting my nails whilst my supposedly sensitive plant daughters would coolly answer each question easily. Oddly, my kids tended to do okay with an audience (hams like their mom? Shy people who love an audience?) but would completely freeze during auditions during regular school hours, even with teachers who would be rooting for them (as for a choir). On those days, I would be agonizing at home, knowing of their nerves.