Math Competition Bloopers (Part 1)

Throwback to an exciting part of my school days — math competitions!  Wheee! 🙂  Sometimes, even the most handsome kid can make a mistake. 🙂

1.  The Mystery of the Missing Page 2

Exam-type competition starts.  I raised my hand to ask the proctor why after page 1, the next page is page 3.  In full panic I asked out loud, “Ma’am where’s page 2? Everyone, are you all missing page 2?”  She replied in a Jedi voice, “Page 2 is at the back of page 1, kid. Double-sided.”

There was 3-second pause, as if time stopped.  Then everyone burst to laughter, including the cute girl of my dreams from the other school.  All my manly-hood crushed.

— Division Energy Quiz: Rizal, Philippines (1998, Grade 10/Year 4) – won First Place

2.  This Tie-Breaker is So Easy

Tie-breaker round for first place.  Tension is in the air, like a slow-motion suspense thriller movie scene starring Liam Neeson.  But I feel confident.  I answered the question and it’s correct!  “Woohoo!”  I jumped to my seat: arms raised, closed-fists, closed eyes, savoring the moment, thanking the heavens like an Olympic athlete.  Then I shook my opponent’s hand, my mind saying, “Pleasure to defeat you, other school guy.”  It’s over and I win.  I can imagine balloons and confetti and champagne popping everywhere.

(*Microphone speaker feedback.*)  “As I said earlier,” the quiz master interrupted, “there are 5 questions. You need to score 3 to win. That was just the first question. Please be seated.”

The balloons and confetti and champagne disappeared to thin air.  I went back to my seat scratching the back of my head in a red smiling face.  I’m just being friendly, you know.  Nice to meet you, other school guy.  I’m just testing you (making a peace sign like a Korean photo shoot).  Let’s continue the quiz hehehe. 🙂

— Division Mathematics Quiz, Rizal, Philippines (1997, Grade 9/Year 3) – won First Place

(To be continued..)

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