Westley Baucom, Staff Writer

It was 5:30 p.m. and Trivia Night at the Honors College had just opened its doors. There were circular tables with numbers separating the teams, and off to the side nachos were being served, with the smell of savory beef wafting warmly throughout the room. I was one of the first to show, taking a table with the lucky number 7 for myself and whoever wanted to be on my team. 

I could overhear trivia veterans saying that it was the biggest turnout in Trivia Night history. My teammates at table 7 were: Christine, Nick, Jessica. As soon as the prizes of enticing UMSL merch were introduced, the heat and pressure in the room began to escalate like magmatic rock, with all of us deep in the basement, far below the world above us. We all glared at the radiant projector screen, ready for the fierce competition. 

The first round of trivia was on medical facts, and Nick and Jessica were quite confident as science majors, though the rest of us, three journalists and english majors, were wary. It came and went, and we were 4/10 that round, but not out. TV show questions came next, and the whole room swelled with confidence. Us TV junkies at Team 7 were more assured. And rightly so, we ended up 9/10 for this round.

Then came the mini-bonus round, and participants who donated were asked to stand. Three people at our table stood, and the proctors called out birth-months and the donors were asked to sit after theirs was called. All three at table seven were knocked out in the first round as the proctors called out September. The team then realized that we were all September babies and the name “Team Virgo” was born. 

The third round creeped up, and it was Disney films. Once it was called, all the females lit-up with fiery energy as more excitement filled the room. Us Virgos were especially confident, and we ended up getting a high 10/10.

To put it bluntly, rounds 4 and 5 chewed us up and spit us out. At this point I was split between writing the answers and taking notes, all while trying to balance my diet of nachos and many, many sodas. Round 4 consisted of Environmental questions, and even though everyone tried to be conscientious, we simply couldn’t do the Earth justice. Then round 5 came and it covered topics regarding the Honors Colleges Brain Stew publication. I and many people at the event simply didn’t know enough to bring in the points, though it got me interested in the journal. Over both rounds, Team Virgo went 5/10 in each.

Round 6 was Pixar themed, and both guys’ and gals’ confidence in their knowledge rose once more. On Team Virgo’s side, Nick in particular flexed his brain power over us to our benefit, though everyone was particularly well-versed. A perfect 10/10 for us Virgos. Finally, the last and 7th round came up on the projector. It was Broadway themed; and again, the women in the room were filled with joy as the groans of many men accompanied their excitement. Jessica on Team Virgo carried us through this round to all of our gratitude.  Team Virgo finished this inning with a 7/10 score. 

After all this the night of fun had finished. Losing teams left shortly after and coolness filled the underground space. Despite our efforts Team Virgo got 6th place out of 10 teams. Not bad considering we had the fewest members. As everyone left I stayed behind to catch up with Andrew Stoker, vice-president of the Honors College student body and MC for the evening. 

“I think these events distinguish us as an Honors College. We’re such a small group at such a large college and I think it really helps with the culture… but we’re really just a bunch of nerds,” Stoker said. 

In regards to that, including myself in that group, I couldn’t help but agree. After all is said and done, the event was extremely thrilling. Even though Team Virgo couldn’t pull a victory, we still made the most of the night. If this what the Honors College has to offer, what comes next? 

“Our next event is for Halloween. Haunted Honors takes place on Oct. 30th and is open to everyone,” Stoker said 

So for everyone reading, take note. There’s more excitement and perhaps some spookiness coming our way this upcoming month.