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AcaDec preps for Jan. 27 competition

As tradition would have it, the Academic Decathlon team will study at Molly Sargent’s house a day before the Fresno County competition on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2 in order to prepare for the competition.

“Going to Mrs. (Molly) Sargent’s house is great and amazing,” Will Hierholzer, ’07, said. “We accomplish a lot in that day. It is a great practice because we review everything that we have learned.”

Last year’s AcaDec team placed third in Division II in the 30th annual competition at Fresno State University, having studied the Renaissance. This year the class has been studying the impact China has had on the world.

AcaDec is a ten-event scholastic competition. The categories are: economics, art, interview, essay, language and literature, music, social science, speech, mathematics and the Super Quiz.

Each high school enters a competition team of nine students: 3 “A” or Honor students, 3 “B” or Scholastic students, and 3 “C” or Varsity students.

“It is not easy being in AcaDec,” Sargent, AcaDec coach, said. “Students must study and learn the material well enough to be tested on it.”

The AcaDec team has also been listening to traditional Chinese music and instruments and attended a concert sponsored by the Kern County Academic Decathlon on Oct. 25.

“The school district sponsored a showcase of Chinese music,” Sargent said. “They hired a group of traditional Chinese musicians to play for us. They also showed us several opera scenes one being a Bejing opera.”

In an effort to provide aid in learning the material, Fresno State provided three lectures by university professors.

“The classes that we go to really help me,” Aaron Ortiz, ’07, said, “because the speakers we listen to specialize in what they are teaching, so they know what they are talking about.”

The competition will be split up into two days. The first part of the competition consists of an essay, speech and interview on Jan. 27.

“I am nervous about the speech, interview and essay,” Molly Griffin, ’09, said, “because the unplanned speech is so important. We have one minute to think of a speech [impromptu], which must be two minutes long.”

The second part of the competition includes the Super Quiz competition on Feb. 3.

“I think I will do fine on the super quizzes and tests,” Whitney Chessum, ’08, said. “I am more worried about the first part of the competition because I have never done a speech before.”

Every year the team travels to Los Angeles to visit at least one museum which displays the type of art the team is studying. This year the group will visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts and maybe the Huntington Library.

“Going to the museums will help us learn more about the things we are studying,” Jared Kneefel, ’07, said. “I also think it is fun and intriguing to actually see things we are learning about. Going to museums is great but the trip is our reward for a long semester of study.”

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  • A

    Amin HaddadSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    David would be dunking over this guy if he’d lift in 2nd period.

    Reply
  • J

    Julio IbarraSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    This picture is awesome. Props to Beth White for getting a shot of this awesome lay-up.

    Reply
  • D

    David CasugaSep 11, 2009 at 6:44 am

    I love it, Hartfield, who’s on the shorter side, going up strong. Ha–short people rule!

    Reply