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AcaDec preps for competition

Academic Decathlon began as a way to maximize one’s learning potential by involving a competitive challenge. In the competition, students match intellects with others by competing in ten categories.

Each high school enters a team of nine students: three ?A? or honor students, three ?B? or scholastic, and three ?C? or varsity. The theme for the 2005-2006 Academic Decathlon season is the European Renaissance.

The AcaDec team plans to attend the Bakersfield City Orchestra at the Bakersfield Convention Center on Oct. 26 for a two-hour concert featuring this year?s curricular music. An afternoon lecture will also be presented on the pieces and their composers.

?I think listening to orchestra will be extremely beneficial,? Jennifer Schmidt, ?06, said. ?Hearing the pieces in person should help us remember them better rather than just listening to our CDs. It is going to be a tiring day, though, considering we have to go workshop at Fresno State right after the concert and lecture.?

Three days later the team will head to Stockton for the 10th annual Fine Arts Seminar Day, at San Joaquin Delta College. An art history professor will present a lecture accompanied by slides.

?Last year going to Stockton helped our team a lot,? Jared Kneefel, ?07, said. ?The Stockton trip is more diverse in its presentations, while the Bakersfield trip focuses on just the music.?

There will be a lecture analysis of selected scenes from the two Shakespeare plays [Much Ado about Nothing and Anthony and Cleopatra] in addition to a poetry reading. Also the Stockton Symphony, under the direction of Maestro Peter Jaffe, will perform.

?This will be a long day for us,? Molly Sargent, adviser, said. ?It is a long drive and we do not miss school for it. But it is so valuable for its multiple program of music, literature and art.?

Acadec is scheduled to leave for Stockton to attend the Fine Arts Day at 5:30 A.M. on Oct. 29.

The team will also travel to Los Angeles to attend the Norton Simeon Museum in Pasadena, and the L.A. County Museum of Art on Dec. 2-4. This trip will also be beneficial for the team?s understanding of Renaissance art.

?The reason for going to L.A. is primarily to view some pieces of art that is representative of the Renaissance,? Sargent said. ?I think it is always beneficial to see art in person rather than simply looking through an art book.?

Outside of the museums, the team will also attend White Christmas, the Broadway production based off the 1954 movie, starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kay.

?We are going to see White Christmas mainly because I never got to go to the theater as a child,? Sargent said. ?Now I love it so much I want to expose the AcaDec students to it. I usually try to involve some Broadway play into these trips.?

As a requirement for Academic Decathlon, participates must learn art, music, economics, science, super quiz, essay, interview, speech, language and literature and social studies.

?One of the major parts of this trip is to reward the work of the AcaDec students,? Sargent said. ?I feel like this little trip shows the school?s appreciation for those in the program.?

For more information regarding Academic Decathlon contact Sargent at 299-1695, ext. 150 or go online to www.usad.org.

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